For its sixth edition, the Université de Montréal Arts and Medias Annual Symposium offers to explore the possibilities rendered by humour and laughter, seen as tracks of analysis or sources of creation. This colloquium gathers scholars and students from multiple disciplines, such as Art History, Film Studies, Fashion Studies, Visual Arts, Literature and Political Sciences.

The Senses of Humour Symposium questions the evolution, the transformation, the excesses, the limits, and, lastly, the role of humour in artistic creation. With the evaluation of the various possibilities offered by humorous apparatuses, their functions and their powers, can humour be an appropriate perspective from which addressing a cultural object? Should it always make us laugh? What does it provoke? Which part do the plastic choices and the diffusion and presentation strategies take in the artists’ and public’s elaboration of a sense of humour? What could humour reveal about our society and our relation to others? Here are many questions allowing deep thoughts through the presentations of our invited scholars and students.

To meet these diverse areas of study , this scientific gathering will be divided in six thematic panels. The first panel will analyze irony. One of the most critical type of humour, irony allows artists to criticize their own practice, but can also be appropriated by the dominant systems. Does it mean institutional irony loses it critical nature?

The second panel will explore the many humorous representations that transform our societies and cultures. Yesterday and today, new discourses and ideologies arise from humour. Artists will then question its transgressive potential and specific impact on the public. From visual arts to performance, they will analyze the way humorous apparatuses distort conventions, destabilize and reconfigure discourses in their work.

The fourth panel will focus on moments in time  when humour is rejected or denied by critic and Art History.

Lastly, humour will be analyzed in the fifth panel from a postcolonial perspective , and in the sixth and last panel, from a feminist perspective Based on specific cases, the communications try  to determine the boundaries and assets of humour when engaging with others or when highlighting power relations.

This international symposium about the senses of humour in arts, as a ground for encounters, exchanges and discoveries, will hopefully contribute to your respective fields of study in a significant way.

We thank our sponsors for helping us make this edition possible.

  • La Fédération des associations étudiantes du campus de l'Université de Montréal via le fond pour les «Projets d'initiatives étudiantes» (FAECUM-PIÉ)
  • L'Université de Montréal via le «Le Fonds d'amélioration de la vie étudiante» (FAVE)
  • Le Fonds d'investissement des cycles supérieurs de l'Université de Montréal via les «Subventions aux initiatives étudiantes» (FICSUM-SIE)
  • L'Association des étudiantes et des étudiants en histoire de l'art de l'Université de Montréal (AEEHAUM)
  • L'Association des étudiants doctorants en histoire de l'art (Aesthesis)
  • Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
  • The Musée de la civilisation
  • The National Gallery of Canada
  • The Cinéma Beaubien

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