About the Exhibition

Caricatures about vegetarians and vegetarianism were not an absolute rarity in the last quarter of the nineteenth century—yet they take time to find in a flood of cartoons on gender relations, certain professions, and political positions. Thanks to the progressive digitization of magazines, it is increasingly possible to search more specifically for caricatures on vegetarianism; however, many papers are still not available online. Therefore, the total number of vegetarian cartoons can hardly be quantified. This exhibition draws mainly from magazines that are already digitized. The selection of images presented here represents both what is possible in light of copyrights and the conceptual aim of the exhibition—to show a wide spectrum of visual and verbal motifs and arguments.

Evi Zemanek is professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Freiburg (ALU), where she has taught German literature and intermedia studies since 2010. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from LMU Munich. Her main research interests lie within the fields of media ecology, intermedia and intercultural studies, ecocriticism, and multimedia environmental journalism. She has published broadly on the aesthetics of nature in various media, ecotopias, eco poetry, and, more generally, on the history of ecological thought and the poetics of “ecological genres.” Most recently, she has published on “sustainable media cultures” and edited (with U. Kluwick) an interdisciplinary book on Sustainability (Nachhaltigkeit interdisziplinär. Konzepte, Diskurse, Praktiken, 2019). She is currently finishing a book on caricatures, which investigates the entanglements of media history and environmental history since the nineteenth century. Evi Zemanek is founder of the DFG-Network Ethik und Ästhetik in literarischen Darstellungen ökologischer Transformationen, a member of the DFG-Network Politiken der Idylle, as well as of the Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research, and of the Transatlantic Humboldt Network Environmental Humanities. 

She can be reached at evi.zemanek@mkw.uni-freiburg.de.

Sophia Burgenmeister is currently writing her dissertation at the University of Freiburg (ALU), exploring the discourse and media history of meat consumption and vegetarianism. Her further research interests lie within the fields of climate communication, contemporary lyric poetry and intermediality. Her book Der “Blick auf Beowulf” – Eine Spurensuche zwischen Medialität und Materialität bei Thomas Kling und Ute Langanky (2018) focuses on the interplay of photography and lyric poetry. She has studied Philosophy and German Literature, Culture, and Media at the Universites of Freiburg and Nottingham and has worked as an editor for Philosophy, Literature, and Media Studies. 

She can be reached at sophia.burgenmeister@posteo.de.


The authors, who wrote both the English and the German version of the exhibition, thank Nikolina Hatton for her helpful editing of the English text and Kimberly Coulter for her witty support in translating the poems into English. We also thank the three anonymous peer reviewers, Jonatan Palmblad for editorial assistance and the technical implementation, and Matthias Reifegerste (Freiburg University Library) for his help in identifying some historical cartoonists. Special thanks also go to the cartoonists Greser & Lenz, who have kindly allowed us to use one of their current cartoons.