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Grant number: FT-229536-15

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Frank Anthony Palmeri
University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL 33146-2503)

Satire and the Public Sphere: Caricature, Fiction, and Politics in England, 1790-1910

Summer research and writing on Art History and Criticism and British Literature.

The degree to which satire can express political criticism and dissent varies under different regimes of legislated and unlegislated (but often internalized) censorship. After a period of intense satiric activity from 1790-1820, British culture saw a gradual diminution of satire until, from about 1845-1885, strong political satire virtually disappeared. After that date, predominantly satiric works re-emerged in distinctive new forms. This study investigates why this forty-year period of quiescence in political satire in both verbal and visual media occurred. I examine changing technologies of print and graphic reproduction, and the kinds of middle-class audience they addressed and helped shape. In this case as in others, both recent and historical, I suggest that the suppression or absence of political satire indicates a society’s inability to tolerate challenges to its orthodoxies.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; British Literature; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015