This week (February 8th) we met with Sophie once again, after presenting our ideas and what we had discussed the week prior, we came to a more precise idea of what we want to research. We thought about doing a comparative study, but decided it would probably be too difficult to find actual data, so we opted for a historical study of humour in one country – France. Since we felt that studies of political satire often focus on the Anglo-saxon world, we hope a study of France will bring some originality to our research.
We decided we wished to analyse the relationship between political events and satire through time. Regarding our literature review, we have decided to read scholarly articles on the wider theme of links between politics and humour, and to analyse whether the hypotheses presented are relevant to our case study.
In order to have a clear timeline of possible shifts in political satire, we thought we would attempt to find specific events through time that would be our main benchmarks throughout the case study. We aim to identify moments of shift in France’s history of political satire. We thought about studying satire during elections, focusing on one of them or comparing a few; during world war I, since Matias mentioned the clandestine pacifist drawing mocking generals; and/or during the student revolts of May 1968.
We decided upon six main strands of shifts through time that our research should address:
- Shifts in form – e.g. 19th century drawings / then radio shows / then TV shows / then youtube
- Shifts in content – do we still laugh about the same things?
- Shift in object – what are we laughing at? Are we laughing with or at?
- Shift in person making the satire – i.e. who they are representing
- What taboo subjects are
- How central politics is as opposed to other topics
We have also decided to do a survey, interviewing students about their perceptions of French humour, giving them different examples of such, although we have still to work on the details of the interview process.
We also started brainstorming the main medias we would be using for our analysis:
- Press: le Canard Enchaîné / Plantu / Charlie Hebdo …
- TV: Les Guignols …
- Youtube: …
This list will build on as our research continues
We finally came to a draft research question: How has the relationship between political events and satire evolved through time? A case study of France
We divided up our next tasks, Sophie suggested to focus on selecting which exact changes we will be looking at, as well as finding literature for political satire. We will meet again as a group before or during reading week in order to decide on what we want to be doing next.