congresos y reuniones científicas
Distinguishing Subgenres of Cartoon Based on a Multicultural Contemporary Corpus
Conferencia; 29th Conference of the International Society for Humor Studies; 2017
Institución organizadora:
International Society for Humor Studies - Université du Québec à Montréal
Cartoons consist of a schematic and condensed text, often reduced to a single-panel published in the press, in which the cartoonist deploys a wide range of resources in order to comment on social/political issues, events or personalities.Even if cartoons can be considered a discursive genre (Bakhtin, 1986), to date a systematic framework to distinguish among different types of cartoons is lacking. Most studies in the field have focused on editorial cartoons and have neglected other subgenres -like gag cartoons-, which however are gaining space in many media, especially in western countries (El Refaie, 2009). Our goal is to propose a classification within the cartoon genre, allowing to identify subgenres based on the thematic, pragmatic and rhetorical analysis of a wide variety of contemporary cartoons.The corpus is composed of 85 cartoons (50 multimodal and 35 solely visual) from 22 countries in four continents. This corpus was obtained by means of a questionnaire in which cartoonists were asked to choose the cartoon that best represented their work. They were contacted via email individually or through organizations in the period 2012-2016.Each cartoon was coded according to temporal information, topics addressed, author?s motivations and rhetorical resources used. The authors of this paper coded each cartoon independently. Codes were compared and discrepancies were resolved through discussion. Multivariate descriptive statistical techniques were subsequently applied in order to identify profiles of the cartoons.Results allowed to distinguish four cartoon subgenres based mostly on thematic and pragmatic features: Current Political cartoons, Current Non Political cartoons, Timeless Playful cartoons and Timeless Committed cartoons. From a rhetorical standpoint, Timeless Playful cartoons are the most clearly defined subgenre, with the lowest semiotic density (2-4 resources per cartoon), whereas Current political cartoons show the highest semiotic density (8-12 resources per cartoon). This contrast might indicate a difference in the cognitive challenge posed to readers by each subgenre, with a major cognitive effort demanded by Current political cartoons, in addition to the necessary awareness of current affairs dealt with and their circumstances. ReferencesBakhtin, M.M. (1986) Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Trans. Austin: University of Texas Press.El Refaie, E (2009) Multiliteracies: how readers interpret political cartoons. Visual communication, 8(2): 181?205.