Patterns of Political Press Caricature

"Der Wahre Jacob" 1891 (Jg. 8), Heft 139, S. 1132

Project Management: Dr Thomas Burch  (Universität Trier - Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH)) · Dr Rüdiger Singer  (Universität Trier - Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH)) · Dr Joëlle Weis  (Universität Trier - Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH))

Sponsors: Universität Trier - Forschungsfond

Running time: since

Contact person (TCDH): Dr Thomas Burch; Dr Joëlle Weis

Research Area: Software Systems and Research Infrastructure, Digital Literary and Cultural Studies



How do political press cartoons succeed in illustrating complex political issues, taking a stand on them and provoking emotions, usually in just one picture?

The research project (DFG individual project conducted at the TCDH, applicants: Joëlle Weis, Thomas Burch, Rüdiger Singer) aims to demonstrate that the question of how political editorial cartoons manage to illustrate complex political issues, take a stance, and provoke emotions in just one image goes beyond rhetoric research and is heuristically fruitful. The project begins by observing that the editorial cartoon, which emerged in the early 19th century, continues the illustrative and emotive patterns of a long tradition of visual satire while also importing new patterns to achieve a new conciseness in competition with other texts and images within a press organ.

The research project will make these patterns visible through the contrasting analysis of representative cartoon corpora from online newspaper issues of the 21st century and satirical magazines of the 19th century in an online edition. This edition will enable users to (1) trace annotated patterns on specific cartoons in the interplay of text and image, (2) query the frequency and distribution of individually selected patterns over the represented period, (3) identify cartoons that are similar in one or more aspects, and (4) compare selected editorial cartoons in detail on the screen.


Copyright information for the project image: "Der Wahre Jacob" 1891 (Vol. 8), Issue 139, p. 1132. 


Annika Engel
E-mail: s2aaengeatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3365

Dr Joëlle Weis
E-mail: weisatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3017

Dr Rüdiger Singer
E-mail: rsingeratposteo [dot] de

Dr Thomas Burch
E-mail: burchatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3364

Marina Spielberg
E-mail: s2maspieatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3365