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10 August 2022 - 10 August 2022

4:00PM - 5:30PM


  • FREE

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This is the image alt text Confabulations event series IMH

Fiona Johnstone’s Confabulations series continues over the summer, with online events in July and August.

This panel addresses the transhistorical use of visual humour in medical contexts. The use of humour in healthcare is its own rich and controversial topic, but as scholars working with visual culture, we will examine the ways in which medically adjacent humorous art communicates a particularly embodied and abiding form of humour.

Katie Snow will present on late-eighteenth-century caricatures of breastfeeding women. Christine Slobogin’s paper will examine the role of visual humour in the plastic surgery wards of mid-twentieth-century Britain. And Laura Cowley will speak on the use of humour by self-identified disabled artists from the turn of the twenty-first century. The range of these three papers show how, historically, visual humour has vacillated between degradation and empowerment. It can be used by those with medical or social power to put others down or as a way for those with traditionally less social and medical agency to take some of that power back. This prompts the question: does humour equal power?