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Whose satire is it anyway?


Image: Law versus Humanity or a Parody on British Liberty published December 1817 by SW Fores

Academic: David Francis Taylor

David Francis Taylor is an Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies. His specialises in eighteenth century literature, and his work includes research into the history of parody and satire.

Associate Artist: EGO Performance Company

EGO Performance Company are a Coventry based organisation who aim to harness the creativity of their community and creative an inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy art.

What does free speech, satire, justice and truth mean today?

David Francis Taylor will present the case of William Hone, a satirist who was put on trial for blasphemous libel after publishing three liturgical parodies attacking the royal family and the government. An audio re-enactment of Hone’s trial will be available to listen to throughout the week, giving visitors the opportunity to hear his testimony, see his satires and decide the verdict for themselves. This project is an opportunity to explore the ideas of protest and satire, and their relevance from 1817 up until today.

Events as part of this project will include an original performance by EGO, produced in response to the research, and a debate on satire and offence with expert panellists. Speakers confirmed so far are:

  • Ella Bucknall: Cartoonist and founding editor of Whip, a magazine that publishes political cartoons by women.
  • Gholam Khiabany: A specialist in democracy, multiculturalism, and Islamophobia, and author of After Charlie Hebdo: Terror, Racism and Free Speech (Zed, 2017)
  • Martin Rowson: Guardian cartoonist and satirist
Whose satire is it anyway? Events 
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