Punch Conference: Women in Punch 1841 – 1920

Thursday 2 November 2017, Senate House


Punch: or the London Charivari first appeared in 1841, published as a weekly magazine with a strong political agenda. Although some work has been done on the social reform agenda of Punch, very little is known about women in the magazine. Were there any women contributors? What representations of women appeared in the magazine, both in images and text?

Women were certainly a subject for humour and caricature in Punch, but what were the political implications of those comic illustrations? What was the role played by verse in the depiction of women? Did the representation of women change significantly between 1841 and 1910, and if so, how and why? How do the caricatures and/or depictions of women in Punch differ or resemble those in other illustrated papers, such as the Comic Almanack (1835-1853), The Illustrated London News (1842-1989), the Man in the Moon (1847-1849), and Fun (1861-1901)? Queen Victoria subscribed to Punch; did it have many women subscribers and/or readers? How was the ‘New Women’ reported in the pages of the magazine? Was Punch interested in female education or the entry of women into the professions?

These are some of the questions to be explored by this one-day conference. We welcome submissions of individual papers, panels and discussions on the following themes (although submissions need not be restricted to these):

  • Women in the literary marketplace;
  • Education;
  • ‘New Women’ and ‘cartoons’;
  • Domesticity;
  • Punch and the Intellectual Woman;
  • Women and sports;
  • Representations of Political Women;
  • Punch and female readership;
  • Sex, body, and Punch caricatures.

Please send 300 word abstracts to the conference email address (womeninpunch@gmail.com). If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, please include an abstract of up to 300 for each paper.

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, 2 September 2017.

Conference organiser: Mariam Zarif, mariam.zarif@kcl.ac.uk.

*all images reproduced with permission from Punch Limited.