CfP: Caricature in East Asia: crossed perspectives (IAO – Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies)

Date of event:   15/09/2020 − 15/09/2020

Conference Title: Caricature in East Asia: crossed perspectives
Duration: Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 January 2021
Location: IAO (Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies), ENS de Lyon, 15 parvis René Descartes, 69007 Lyon.
Organizators: Laurent Baridon (Lyon 2 University, LARHRA) and Marie Laureillard (Lyon 2 University, IAO)
Deadline: September 15, 2020

Caricature can be defined as a graphic work comically distorting an individual’s features and, by extension, as an exaggerated representation of a reality, according to the Dictionary of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art (Armand Colin, 2007). Through amplification, shift, reversal, caricature transgresses the usual figurative and aesthetic codes. The situation of a character or the presence of attributes can also contribute to this form of subversion. “Caricature, by delegitimizing artistic and social codes of representation, is part of the invention of a truly new art that is likely to be popular.”(Ségolène Le Men).

However, the ability to understand these codes and to evaluate their outrageousness is based on cultural references. Will a Japanese viewer laugh at a French cartoon? Will a German understand all the intricacies of a Chinese humor drawing?

In the wake of The Mocking Picture (edited by Laurent Baridon, Frédérique Desbuissons, and Dominic Hardy, INHA, 2019), the purpose of this conference is to consider the concept of caricature from a broad, decentralized perspective, and to ponder the specificities of this art in East Asia. Above all, we will focus on the satirical dimension. We will make sure that exaggeration is intentional, and that it has a comic, parodic, even critical meaning. Press cartoons, which spread throughout the world from the end of the 19th century, reflect a global imagination, as Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair (Hans Harder & Barbara Mittler (dir.), Springer, 2013) has shown. We could conduct further investigation, but we may also focus on older pictures. Thus, works like Ukiyo-e Caricatures edited by Noriko Brandl and Sepp Linhart (Brill, 2013) or Ôtsu-e: Popular Imagery of Japan by Christophe Marquet (Picquier, 2015) do not hesitate to describe Japanese popular images in terms of “caricatures”, because their immediacy and effectiveness remind of those of their modern counterparts.

The aim is to explore further the caricature in East Asia (China / Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, etc.) through time and space. Crossed perspectives, mirror effects between the Far East and the West are also eligible, as well as the image of East Asia in the Western caricature (or vice versa). Thus, the conference will welcome communications spanning over various periods, cultures and geographic areas, coming from a variety of disciplines ranging from art history, media theory to social, political, cultural history, psychoanalysis, etc.

Communication proposals (title, abstract of about 300 words, short bio-bibliographic notice, affiliation, contact details) must be sent at the latest on September 15, 2020, simultaneously, to the following two addresses:


The answer will be given on October 15, 2020.

Scientific committee: Laurent Baridon, Laurence Danguy, Martial Guédron, Dominic Hardy, Marie Laureillard, Ségolène Le Men, Chiaomei Liu, Christophe Marquet, Barbara Mittler.

Organizing institutions: Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO); LARHRA; Center for the Study of Writing and the Image (CEEI)