Early Modern Satire: Themes, Re-Evaluations and Practices
Early Modern Satire: Themes, Re-Evaluations and Practices (2 - 4 November, 2017)
Early modern satire – broadly, from c. 1500 to c. 1800 – is a vast but still underexamined field of representation. Although flourishing in certain periods and certain places, satire can be said to be integral to the European project, often challenging the limits of tolerance and evoking hostility but also associated, increasingly in this period, with notions of freedom and enlightenment. This conference, hosted by Gothenburg University, seeks to position satire as a mode of representation throughout early modern Europe and clarify its role in politics, culture and religion. We seek proposals from scholars in all fields who work on aspects of satire in the period. Especially welcome are contributions that explore satire as a form of representation existing across boundaries – of territories, of genres and/or periods. We also welcome proposals that situate satire in a wider aesthetic context, including cross-disciplinary work that seeks to address satire as a mode of for example visual representation.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- The mediation of satire. Described variously as a 'genre' and a 'mode', satire often transgresses medial and generic boundaries during the early modern period. Is satire more of an 'intermedial' phenomenon in certain periods and places?
- The gendering of satire. Early modern satire in has been characterized as very much a male enterprise. Are there variations over time and between places, as regards for example female authorship, and in terms of form and theme, how does satire depict aspects of femininity and masculinity?
- Satire and censorship. Always having had a complex relationship with authority, satire in the early modern period also saw the rise of the print medium and various attempts at regulating published output. How do censorship and other forms of regulative interventions shape satirical texts (in a wide sense)?
- Perspectives on the classical heritage. Although a thoroughly investigated field, the relationship between early modern satire and its classical predecessors is still relevant as a field of inquiry. Just how dependent was early modern satire on its Horatian, Juvenalian and other role models?
- Satire and religion. While relating to classical forms and themes, satire also has a complex relation to Christian religion as both a target and a formative system of belief. In what ways do changes in religious institutions and norms affect the production of early modern satire?
- Satire and medical discourse. The frequent description of satire as 'melancholy', for example, suggests links to humoral theory and other aspects of physiology. To what extent can satire be understood in such terms?
- Satire and the canon. While for example literary history has ascribed a central role to satire in the 18th century, scholarly discussion is often based on select examples and relegate others to the margin. What are the social and historical determinants of the 'lasting appeal' of certain satirical texts?
Confirmed keynote speakers include Victoria Moul (King's College London), Ola Sigurdson (University of Gothenburg) and Howard Weinbrot (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
Presentations are strictly limited to 20 minutes in length. A 250-word abstract, a title, and a 50-word biographical statement should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 January, 2017. Enquiries may be directed to this address, to Dr. Per Sivefors at email@example.com or Dr. Rikard Wingård at firstname.lastname@example.org.