Introduction

Introduction

This module examines social and political satire across a broad range of historical eras and cultural settings. Our approach is historical and ethnographic, and rests on the idea that there exist various traditions of satire, each deeply embedded in social and political contexts. Rather than treating satire as mere commentary upon culture and politics, we examine it as a particular form of social practice that can shape politics and culture. We explore throughout the question of whether satires can in fact be viewed as unique historical and cultural documents that reveal certain dynamics and truths that more “serious” documentation cannot.