Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion – presentations online!

All presentations from this one-day symposium that drew upon the legacy of acclaimed animator, Bob Godfrey, to examine the politics of comedy in cartoon animation are now online and publicly available to view free of charge!

We were also thrilled with this review of the day’s events by Dr Christopher Holliday for the Fantasy Animation blog

Opening Remarks: Tom Lowe / Dr Birgitta Hosea

Keynote 1: Dr Sharon Lockyer, Brunel University London, ‘Contextualizing Comedy Studies’

Panel 1: Performing Satire (whole panel chaired by Professor Paul Ward includes the presentations by Dr Maggie Gray, Pierre Floquet and Kate Jessop plus Q&A)

Dr Maggie Gray, Kingston School of Art, ‘Cartooning and Performance: Cartoon Style Alternative Theatre’

Kate Jessop, University of Brighton, ‘The Politics of Comedy: How has adult animation used satire as a vehicle for feminist cultural commentary’

Pierre Floquet, Bordeaux INP, France, ‘Tex Avery as the Noah Webster of Cartoon’

Panel 2. Absurdity and the Destabilisation of Authority (whole panel chaired by Jim Walker includes presentations by Professor Fran Lloyd, Sarah Tehan and David Wischer plus Q&A)

Sarah Tehan, Belfast School of Art, Ulster University, ‘Captain Phineas May. War Cartoons 1940-1946′

Prof. Fran Lloyd, Kingston School of Art, ‘Humour and the Subversion of Authority. The Animated Internment Drawings of Peter Sachs’

David Wischer, University of Kentucky, USA, ‘Prints in Motion: Amplified Absurdity’

Keynote 2: Steve Bell, The Guardian

Panel 3. Politics and Propaganda from Print to Pixel (whole panel chaired by Dr Birgitta Hosea includes presentations by Professor Paul ward and Dr José L. Valhondo-Crego plus Q&A)

Professor Paul Ward, Arts University Bournemouth, ‘Satire and Subversion in the work of Han Hoogerbrugge’

Dr José L. Valhondo-Crego, Universidad de Extremadura, Spain, ‘Subverting the myths of Francoism in the Spanish satirical press’

Closing Panel

Thanks to the University for the Creative Arts for supporting this event

Animation Research Centre: https://www.uca.ac.uk/research/arc

Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion – 17th Feb 2020

'Great' by Bob Godfrey 1975 - 2019. Image © Thomas Lowe & Claire Godfrey
[Still from Great by Bob Godfrey courtesy of the Bob Godfrey Collection, UCA Archives]

What makes us laugh at cartoons? What is it that makes something funny? Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion is a one-day conference on 17th Feb at UCA Farnham, Surrey, UK, inspired by the legacy of legendary British animator Bob Godfrey to explore the politics of comedy. The Keynote speakers are Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist and Dr. Sharon Lockyer, Director of the Comedy Research Centre at Brunel University. The conference will be accompanied by the opening of Bob Godfrey, a Collaborative Act, an exhibition of rarely seen items from Bob Godfrey’s archive.

Click here for more information and to book a free place: https://www.uca.ac.uk/events/cartoon-animation-symposium.

CALL FOR PAPERS. Cartoon animation: Satire and Subversion

Monday 17th Feb 2020
Animation Research Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey

You are invited to submit proposals for conference presentations of 20 minutes.

Deadline: 16th December 2019
Notification of selection: 6th Jan 2020
Send proposals to: animationresearch@uca.ac.uk

Background

Fifty years ago (in 1969) Oscar winning animator, Bob Godfrey, established the Animation course at UCA, which was the first Higher Education animation course in the UK and his archive is held at UCA. As well as his work in teaching, Godfrey served as mentor and employer to many budding animators and is revered as an iconic figure in British animation. Although popularly known for his children’s TV series, such as Roobarb and Custard and The Do-It-Yourself Animation Show, Godfrey also created a number of more experimental and adult works that drew upon traditions of British satire, DADA and Situationism.

To mark the Golden Jubilee of animation at UCA, celebrate the irreverent and anarchic humour of Bob Godfrey and re-launch the Animation Research Centre at UCA, we are running a symposium in our new Film building at Farnham, that will be accompanied by an exhibition of items from Godfrey’s archive.

While the main focus of our symposium is on animation, we warmly invite interdisciplinary perspectives by scholars from other disciplines such as film, performance, illustration, comics, philosophy, psychology, queer and gender studies, etc. Our Keynote speakers are Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist and Dr Sharon Lockyer, Director of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research, Brunel University.

For its themes, the symposium draws upon Bob Godfrey’s archive to call for papers that engage with the following questions:

Symposium Themes

Politics and propaganda from print to the pixel.
How have traditions of print cartooning from Hogarth and Punch influenced animation? 

Laughing in the face of adversity.
Is humour a form of survival strategy? What is funny for those who are historically the focus of caricature and the butt of jokes based on stereotypes? What is the comedy of the oppressed? What is satire for the subaltern? How are hegemonic discourses around colonialism, class, race, gender and regional identity resisted through laughter?

Dream Girls
Funny or pathetic? How do we deal with historic cartoon versions of male sexual fantasy? What do they say about masculinity? Are they due for a feminist re-evaluation?  Could they be read as a critique of patriarchy? Are humorous films about sexuality made by women different in any way?

It ain’t half hot, Mum
How do we discuss racial stereotyping and caricature in historical animation? What is the relationship between iconic cartoon characters and minstrelsy? Are there arguments for re-evaluating controversial works such as those made by the Fleischer brothers or Ralph Baksche?

What are we going to do now?
What were the influence of traumatic circumstances such as war and PTSD on animators during and after the two World Wars of the 20th Century?

Arty Farty
Is there a relationship between comic animation and post-war art movements such as DADA, situationist and theatre of the absurd?

Vader his dolly buns: subculture, sexuality and comic codes
How does insider knowledge of shared cultural conventions, such as camp, gender parody and ‘secret languages’ like Polari, slip undetected into mainstream animation? How has theatricality and performativity effected animation?

What’s up, Doc?
What is it that is just so funny about the cartoon character whose impossible, plasmatic body defies all the limits of the physical world and all social taboos about abjection?

—-

Organising committee:
This conference is organised by Birgitta Hosea, Emma Reyes, Jim Walker (Animation Research Centre)
Exhibition curated by Jim Walker
Supported by Felicity Croydon, UCA Archivist, and Lesley Adams, Programme Director for Animation, UCA.
Peer Review Committee: Birgitta Hosea, Chris Pallant, Caroline Ruddell, Jim Walker, Paul Ward.

Selected conference papers will be included in a proposal for an anthology, Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion, to Palgrave MacMillan.