Rethinking Carnival from the Pre-modern to the Present

International Conference "Rethinking Carnival from the Pre-modern to the Present"

Dr. Roberta Colbertaldo (Institut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Dr. Jeremy DeWaal (Department of History, University of Exeter)
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Campus Westend, Max-Horkheimer-Str. 4, SH 3.104
Gefördert durch
UK Arts and Humanities Research Council
Frankfurt am Main
Findet statt
In Präsenz
Vom - Bis
05.10.2023 - 08.10.2023
Roberta Colbertaldo, Institut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

The conference is open and free for everyone. Please send an informal registration to by the 20th September 2023.

International Conference "Rethinking Carnival from the Pre-modern to the Present"

The conference is open and free for everyone. Please send an informal registration to by the 20th September 2023.


Thursday, 05 October 2023


Welcome and Institutional Opening

Introduction (Prof. Dr. Christine Ott, Dr. Jeremy DeWaal, Dr. Roberta Colbertaldo)

First Panel: Contrasting Ideas about Carnival in Different Christian Traditions

Andrea Baldan (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Carnival in Hell. Carnivalesque Representations of the Infernal Afterlife in France and Italy between the 13th and 17th Centuries

Dr. Stamatis Zochios & Dr. Margari Zoi (Academy of Athens), Carnival Tradition and Ritual Role Playing in the Orthodox World: The Case of “Priests”

Refresher break

Screening of two short films realized by Prof. Dr. Werner Mezger in the frame of the project “museum4punkt0”

Friday, 06 October 2023

PD Dr. Heidy Greco-Kaufmann (Universität Bern), Lucerne Carnival and Theatre Traditions. Continuity and Change

Coffee break

Second Panel: The Battle of Carnival and Lent

Dr. Roberta Colbertaldo (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), The Battle between Carnival and Lent as an Allegory of Court Culture

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Bucchi (Universität Basel), Expelling Carnaval. The Rhetoric against Carnaval in Counter-Reformation Italy

Lunch break

Third Panel: Lenses into the Study of Carnival: Animals, Bodies and Masks

Dr. Katrin Hesse (Deutsches Fastnacht Museum Kitzingen), The Monstrous in Carnival

Dr. Rostislav Tumanov (Universität Stuttgart), Elephants, masks, and Mondi Nuovi. Venetian Carnival Attractions of the 18th Century as Subjects in the Visual Arts of their Time

Candice Moise (Université d’Artois), What Masks Tell us about Carnivals. A Look back at the Masks of a Study in Fourteen European Countries Nowadays

Coffee break

Prof. Dr. Werner Mezger, Der Narr als Schlüsselfigur der mitteleuropäischen Fastnacht

Refresher break

Fourth Panel: Carnival beyond the Carnivalesque

Dr. Miriam Strieder (Universität Bern), The Arthurian Court – a Serious Matter? In Search of the Carnivalesque in Arthurian Romance

Selina Seibel & Aline Wieders-Lohéac (Universität Stuttgart), Carnival without the Carnivalesque – an Analysis of a Literary Motif in Nineteenth-century French Literature

Dr. Gianluca Esposito (Università Federico II di Napoli), The Motif of Carnival in Christoph Ransmayr’s Die letzte Welt (1988): Classical and Nietzschean Elements as Connection between Antiquity and Modernity

Saturday, 07 October 2023

Fifth Panel: New Approaches to the Study of Carnival: Bridging across Temporal and Geographic Divides

Dr. Jeremy DeWaal (University of Exeter), A History of Emotions Approach to the Study of Carnival: Examples from the Reinvention of the Rhenish Tradition

Nikos Potamianos (Institute for Mediterranean Studies-FORTH, Rethymno), The Transformation of a Modern Urban Carnival: Athens 1800–1940

Giovanni Kezich & Antonella Mott (Trento), Towards a (double) European Atlas of Masquerades and Carnivals. “Carnival King of Europe”, Sixteen Years on (2006–2023)

Coffee break

Sixth Panel: Carnivals’ Migrations

Prof Dr Jarula M. I. Wegner (Zhejiang University), Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Between National Pride and Transcultural Entanglements

Kearn Christopher Williams (University of Leeds), I ain’t come here for No Stand Up; I come to Party with my hand Up!: Trinidad Carnival Fetes – Innovation, Tensions and Meanings

Andrew Graver Snyder (Uni. Nova de Lisboa), Portugal’s Brazilian Carnivals: Mediation, Migration, and Modeling

Lunch break

Seventh Panel: Cultural Politics and Conflicting Meanings in Carnival Celebrations

Prof. Dr. Hendrik Kraay (University of Calgary), From Entrudo to Carnaval in Nineteenth-Century Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Dr. Ioana Baskerville (The Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch), Fur, Fun and Fight. Social and Cultural Meanings of the New Year Carnival in Modern and Contemporary Romania

Dr. Isabel Machado (University of British Columbia), Carnival in Alabama: Marked Bodies and Invented Traditions in Mobile

Coffee break

Eighth Panel: The Contested Meanings of New Orleans Mardi Gras

Derek Wood (Tulane University, New Orleans), From Medieval to Antimodern: The Americanization of Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Prof. Dr. Martha Radice (Dalhousie University, Halifax), „Everywhere else it’s just Tuesday“: Contemporary Meanings of New-wave Carnival in New Orleans

Brian Boyce (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), The Meeting Place: Congo Square

Concluding discussion

Sunday, 08 October 2023

Nineth Panel: Carnival and State Repression

Naz Vardar (Simon Frazer University), Carnival in Modern Turkey: From Public Festivities to Private Commemoration

Dr. Lina Gergova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Traditional St. George’s Day and Socialist Humorous Carnival: Local Transformations

Prof. Dr. Philip Whalen (Coastal Carolina University), Crazy Mother Rides again: The Gender Politics of Carnival Revival in 1930s Dijon

Concluding Discussion