Northwestern Events Calendar


“‘To Strike Our Time In Its Face:’ Physiognomic Unease in the Traditions of Caricature and Cartooning”

When: Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Central

Where: Kresge Hall, 2430, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures   847.491.5288

Group: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Category: Academic



Political caricature has often employed an aggressive gaze in its depiction of subjects’ bodies since the 19th Century, an aggression that the non-comical comic book can either reveal or ideologically displace and render into a generalized semiotic code. This talk will discuss the disparate genealogies of such physiognomic unease – from representations in 18th Century sentimental drawings and staged bodies to Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonish treatment of Islam in France - both in terms of its social situation in concrete media usage and within the specific aesthetics of the cartoon. Prof. Packard will illuminate the political and racial implications of representing “deformed” - simplified and amplified - physiognomies in cartoonish drawings and how artists have represented bodies by conveying visible information, but never depicting a body’s actual or imagined visual appearance.

Stephan Packard is Substitute Professor for Popular Culture and Its Theories at Cologne University and Junior Professor for Media Culture Studies at Freiburg University. He is President of the German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor), chief editor of the open access journal Mediale Kontrolle unter Beobachtung, and co-editor of the journal Medienobservationen. – Anatomie des Comics. Psychosemiotische Medienanalyse (Göttingen 2006); Poetische Gerechtigkeit (ed. with Donat/Lüdeke/Richter, Düsseldorf 2012); Abschied von 9/11 (ed. with Hennigfeld, Berlin 2013); Thinking – Resisting – Reading the Political (Berlin 2013, ed. with Esch-van Kan/Schulte); Comics & Politics (Berlin 2014, ed.).

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