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The Funny Side of War: British Cartoons, Visual Humour and the Great War

Gregory, Philippa Michelle (2016) The Funny Side of War: British Cartoons, Visual Humour and the Great War. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (KAR id:61149)

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This thesis examines cartoons and the humour they express throughout the Great War of 1914-1918. Its aim is to highlight the relevance of visual material in an historical context, to draw upon humour as an insight to cultural moods and attitudes in wartime, and to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the cultural history of the Great War. To do this it will highlight the humour of different British cartoonists in selected newspapers and publications throughout the war and beyond. Primarily it will take a thematic and qualitative approach to visual topics expressed in cartoons analysing their connections to the rest of wartime society. Visual interpretations of public controls, entertainment, avoidance of social duty and comparisons between soldier and civilian responses to the war will be analysed. All of which will look to the use of humour in society relating to these topics in the context of war. Thereafter, the thesis will combine these themes into a formation of memory termed 'commercial' reflecting images and in turn memories sold to the public through cartoons.

The thesis crosses areas of historical inquiry generating a new dialogue with the cultural history of the Great War, developing ideas of humour, media studies and visual source investigation. War, humour and newspapers are consistent points of reference throughout, combined with a broader historiography as appropriate. Cartoon sources provide the visual basis of the investigation, alongside news articles and reference to official data where applicable. Overall, the interdisciplinary dialogue created between the historiographies of war, humour and visual media promote developing historical investigations, newly bound together in an understanding of the commercial memory of humorous wartime cartoons.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Geobel, Stefan
Thesis advisor: Donaldson, Peter
Uncontrolled keywords: Cartoon, History, First World War, Humour, Censorship, Theatre, Soldiers, Subterfuge, Profiteers, Memory of War, Visual Media, Newspapers, War wounded,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 11:00 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Gregory, Philippa Michelle.

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