Call for Papers: The language of satire

Group Section sponsored by the British Comparative Literature Association

ICLA: The Many Languages of Comparative Literature
21st World Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association

21st July – 27th July 2016
University of Vienna


‘The satirist is the figure in whom the cannibal was received into civilization.’
Walter Benjamin on Karl Kraus

The aim of this panel is to situate satire within the context of contemporary literary theory by examining its relation to other literary modes, its presence in different languages, and at different times. Satirical expression resembles irony and allegory in being a use of language that does not mean what it says, but while irony and allegory have received ample critical attention, there has been relatively little theoretical investigation into satire. Its tongue-in-cheek nature makes it difficult to treat satire ‘seriously’ and with ‘critical rigour’ and yet satire is an important component of Western literary history. Satire has offered a medium for stinging political critique, while protecting the satirist against judicial prosecution. Much written satire responds to visual satire (prints, journals etc.), forming an early example of an intermedial genre. The visual language of satire also includes a repertoire of satirical heroes, e.g. Don Juan, Satan, the misanthrope etc. Furthermore, the contextual richness of satire poses a specific problem in translation – translation between languages as well as translation between historical time periods.

We invite papers that offer a theoretical discussion of themes such as:

·       Comparative perspectives on satire, irony, allegory, and other rhetorical modes

·       Satire and seriousness

·       Satire and humour

·       Satire as political intervention

·       Translating satire between languages, cultures, and time periods

·       Satire and visual media: satirical prints, newspapers, journals and webpages

Submission deadline 31 August 2015.

Please submit abstracts via the ICLA’s website: (search sequence no. 17416)

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: