Project

Grotesque Humor: Race, Sex, and Colonialism in Trade Cards and the Satirical Press

Program

ACLS Grants-In-Aid , ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

History

Abstract

For over a decade, scholars have examined the role of advertising in the development of modern society, but few have considered the relationship between consumer culture and imperialism. Focusing on certain artists who drew political cartoons and advertisements at the turn of the last century, this project explores how derisive humor helped justify imperialism in Spain, Britain, and the US Referring to work historians and anthropologists have done on charivari and other popular expressions of raucous humor about race and sex, the study assesses some ways grotesque images of inside and outside enemies helped unite white men around nationalism and desire for certain products.