History and Humour. 1800 to Present

History and Humour. 1800 to Present

DFG-Forschergruppe 875 "Historische Lebenswelten in populären Wissenskulturen der Gegenwart"
Universität Freiburg, Kollegiengebäude III, Platz der Universität 3, HS 3118 (Thursday) and HS 3042 (Friday & Saturday)
Freiburg im Breisgau
Vom - Bis
05.07.2012 - 07.07.2012
Doris Lechner, Forschungsförderung, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

One tends to associate history with serious modes of presentation (academic, heroic, tragic) rather than with humorous ones. Yet Clio also smiles and laughs out loud: Comic renderings of historical events and figures have made a significant contribution to ‘popular’ history since around 1800. We find them in all European cultures and in a wide range of texts, images and performances, in styles both coarse and refined. History has been the subject of caricature, satire, the cartoon and comic book, stage and television/film comedy, and the parody history textbook as exemplified in the British classic, 1066 and All That. There are special national traditions which the conference seeks to explore and compare. But it will also address questions of a more general nature. Theories of humour are diverse but agree in a number of elements: On the intellectual level, laughter seems to be an elementary reaction to incompatible or contradictory frames of reference and interpretation. On the emotional level, laughter releases apprehension and tension, and it discharges feelings of aggression and contempt. It is aroused by the deformed and unfamiliar, it exposes and punishes the unsocial, and it deflates the grand.

To what purpose have such elements been employed in the humorous presentation of history? From what contexts do humorous presentations arise? At what audiences are they directed, and how have they been received?

Prof. Dr. Barbara Korte
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Cheauré


THURSDAY, 05.07.2012 | HS 3118

18:00 Barbara KORTE (Freiburg): Introduction

18:30 Lesley MILNE (Nottingham): Letting Loose the Doggerel of War: Humorous and Satirical Journals in Britain, France and Germany 1914-1918

19:15 Brian MAIDMENT (Salford): The After-life of Regency Caricature: Victorian Re-imaginings of Early Nineteenth Century London

20:00 Martin CONBOY (Sheffield): Goeff Hurst’s Ball: Popular Tabloids and Humour on the Dark Side

FRIDAY, 06.07.2012 | HS 3042

10:00 – 11:00
Katharina BOEHM (Regensburg): Antiquarian Laughter: Satire, Sex and Homosociability in Late-Eighteenth Century Dilettanti Culture

Ulrike ZIMMERMANN (Freiburg): On Boots, Beef and Blackadder: The Comic Historiography of the Duke of Wellington

11:30 – 13:00
Bob NICHOLSON (Manchester): The Laughter of Good Fellowship? Negotiating the Past, Present and Future in Anglo-American Humour, 1870-1900

Dorothea FLOTHOW (Salzburg): Merrying the Monarch: Charles II in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Historical Comedies

Allison STAGG (New York): Presidential Humor: The Political Caricature of James Akin

14:00 – 15:00
Sandra SCHWAB (Mainz): Richard Doyle’s Historical Caricatures

Katerina VARELA (Athens): George Papandreou – A Leader Through the Cartoons (1960-1967)

15:15 – 16:45
Axel HEIMSOTH (Essen): Alfred and Friedrich Alfred Krupp as Butt of Jokes? The German Perception of the Economic Elite in the 19th century

Moshe MAGGID (Jerusalem): The Humorous Ladino Newspapers in Ottoman Turkey

Eberhard DEMM (Koszalin): Propaganda through Humour: Cartoons in World War I

17:15 – 18:45
Jonathan WATERLOW (Oxford): Mirth, Myth and Martyrs: The Loaded Histories of Popular Humour in Stalin’s 1930s

Martina KESSEL (Bielefeld): ‘Victims’ and ‘Perpetrators’: Constructing History and Society in Nazi Humour

Louisa REICHSTETTER (Jena): Between Journalism, Arts and Politics: Left-wing and Liberal Satiric Press and Their Protagonists in the Interwar Period. A Comparative Study of Germany, France and Spain

SATURDAY, 07.07.2012 | HS 3042

09:30 – 11:00
Elisabeth CHEAURÉ (Freiburg): Napoelon and the ‘Patriotic War of 1812’ in Russian Humour

Benjamin KOHLMANN (Freiburg): ‘Brittle Ghosts’: Surrealism, History, and Black Humour in the 1930s

Irvin HUNT (New York): Ralph Ellison’s Humor as Curative Historiography

11:20 – 12:40
Shannon GRANVILLE (Washington): History with a Human Face: Humour and Historical Representation in Hetalia: Axis Powers

Sabrina FEICKERT (Freiburg): ’Then We Will Fight in the Shade’: Comic Representations of Sparta and Dealing with Fearsome Otherness

Duncan MARKS (Sheffield): We ARE Amused; the Afterlife of Queen Victoria’s Alleged Remark, ‘We are not amused’

12:40 Doris LECHNER (Freiburg): Round-Up


Doris Lechner

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Englisches Seminar
Rempartstr. 15, D-79085 Freiburg


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