Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936

Wikis > Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936

Banta, Martha. Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936, University of Chicago Press, 2003.
This book explores how caricatures have helped record and shape the social climate of England and America from 1841-1936. Banta uses Punch as her primary resource when writing about England, and Life when writing about America. Both of these primary sources were widely read and produced for a mass audience during the years she covers. Banta argues that the caricatures found in these periodicals in the mid-nineteenth century act as social moderators that illustrate the borders between crudeness and civility, while also reflecting the social conflicts and class anxieties of the moment they were illustrated in. To support this, she explores how text and image interact on the page and how the caricatures change as periodicals mature, social climates change and photomechanical technology improves. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, for example, Banta states that Punch’s caricatures became less critical and more visually pleasing, but during the First World War, Life’s caricatures became more politically charged and socially instructive. This book is a great resource for researching the development of caricaturing as an ever-changing, responsive, and flexible art form.