Call for Papers: Editing the Twentieth Century
Editing the Twentieth Century
The British Library
5 September 2017
Call for Papers
What do editors actually do? What makes a good editor? And more importantly, what makes a successful editor? From the Times Literary Supplement to Les Temps Modernes and Novyi Mir, from The Criterion to Die neue Rundschau and Spare Rib, there can be no doubting the influence of literary-intellectual magazines in selecting and shaping our cultural knowledge, our beliefs and values. But we still know surprisingly little about how these crucial cultural institutions were led and managed and even how day-to-day editorial duties were undertaken in practice. Above all, we lack any kind of comparative perspective on the role of the periodical editor, both across national and historical boundaries and across different types of publications. How does the role of editor compare between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for example, or between the French and British intellectual fields? How does it vary across literary reviews, newspapers, academic journals and commercial magazines? And in all these cases, how can we reconcile the reality of editorial practice – so often mundane and resolutely collective –with the stubbornly persistent myth of the singular charismatic editor?
As part of the British Academy funded project, Editing the Twentieth Century, we invite papers and workshop contributions addressing these issues for a one-day event to be held at the British Library on 5 September 2017 exploring the key role played by the editors of periodical publications throughout the long twentieth century. As well as specific studies of individual editors and publications, we particularly welcome comparative analyses (both chronological and geographical), theoretical approaches, and reflections from practitioners. Contributors may choose to address one or more of the following issues:
- Editorial success and failure
- Editorial responsibilities, competences and dispositions
- Editorial foundations, programmes, and manifestos
- Editorial succession
- Editorial leadership and administration
- Editorial creativity and sociability
- Editorship as authorship
- Collective and uncredited editorship
- Comparative studies across periodical genres, national contexts, and historical periods
Professor Matthew Philpotts
University of Liverpool
A short note from Margaret Beetham
Dear Friends in ESPRit,
I am writing to you as a member of ESPRit and a committed European. As you know, I write also from a deeply divided Britain where many of us are in grief and shock as we try to come to terms with the results of our recent Referendum. Several people have said to me that they feel as it must feel when a country is about to enter a civil war. Several people have said they don’t feel safe going out in the streets. This is a completely irrational feeling for most of us but yesterday I heard from a very upset young woman a story of a horrific racist incident on a Manchester bus. Racism and xenophobia are always lurking but now they seem to have been given legitimation. We are wrestling with how best to resist this. As the lies told during the campaign begin to unravel with who knows what consequences, I want also to resist the emergence of a ‘post-truth’ politics - this may be an issue for us as intellectuals who have dealt freely with various ‘posts’ in our work .
As intellectuals and teachers and mostly those who have not had to carry the burden of neo-liberal economics, we are trying to understand our responsibilities for the divided country we live in and what we can do to mend it. I know you will help and support us in this and I am glad that some of us will be meeting in Liverpool very soon.