Call for Papers: The Fourteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry May 16-19, 2018 University of Illinois (USA)

The Fourteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry May 16-19, 2018 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (USA)

Session Organizer:

Kevin Howley Professor of Media Studies Department of Communication DePauw University

On July 4, 1852, the former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, thought to be alive and well by the current occupant of the White House, famously proclaimed: “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour forth a stream, a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.” Douglass’s recognition of the value and importance of pointed satire in troubled times is deeply relevant to the current historical moment. From climate change and the rise of authoritarianism to austerity politics and the criminalization of dissent, these are most assuredly troubled times.

Drawing on classic and contemporary scholarship that examines the discursive power of political dissent in the satiric register, this session seeks to address the following questions: What role does satire play in such vexed and perilous times as these? Do we laugh to keep from crying? More critically, are we, as cultural critic Neil Postman famously put it, merely “amusing ourselves to death”? Or is satire a potent, if somewhat underappreciated, resource for resistance, resilience, and renewal in the wake of the ascent of anti-democratic forces; the deepening of social, political and economic inequalities; and the wholesale destruction of our fragile ecosystem? In correspondence with this year’s conference theme, Qualitative Inquiry in Troubled Times, this session examines the form, function, and political efficacy of satirical discourse in contemporary culture.
Theoretical and empirical papers employing qualitative methodologies may include, but are not limited to, the following lines of inquiry:

* Satire as creative resistance

* Political mobilization within and through satire
* Satirical discourse and digital culture
* Satirizing neoliberalism
* Political satire in national, international, and transnational contexts
* Limits and possibilities of racial satire
* Assessing the efficacy of political satire
* Form and content in satirical discourse
* Satirical interventions in public policy
* Historical perspectives on political satire


Send 300-word abstracts, a short biographical statement, and contact information to the session organizer no later than October 30, 2017 <>.

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