Beyond Charlie: Anticlericalism and Freedom of the Press


Network Lead: Professor Mary Vincent, Department of History, University of Sheffield

The Paris attacks on 7 January 2015 make this an apposite moment to assess the deep cultural and historical links between iconoclastic thought and freedom of the press in western Europe. The proposed network will reassess anticlerical print culture and ideas of free speech, taking as its starting point the Hébertiste tradition of radical and scabrous political satire, a tradition in which Charlie Hebdo clearly stands. Though part of a wider secularist tradition, this populist—and often deliberately provocative—strand of anticlerical transmission should be distinguished from literary forms or those rooted in social and political movements.


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