Registration is now open for the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland's (NPHFI) 2017 conference '"Fake News!": An Historical Perspective' that takes place at Newcastle University, UK, on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November.

This year's conference features two very exciting keynotes from Prof. James Curran (Goldsmiths, University of London) on 'The moral decline of the British press' and Prof. Aled Gruffyd Jones (Panteion University,
Athens), 'Is news fake? A long view'.

Fake news is a term that has become familiar in late 2016 and 2017, not least because of international political developments. But is it necessarily a new phenomenon? The control, presentation and manipulation
of news has played a key role in the, sometimes tumultuous, history of Anglo-Irish relations. And a similarly important role in the assertion and subversion of power in colonial, totalitarian and radical societies throughout history worldwide.

To what extent does fake news, and its close relative propaganda, represent active falsification of information and the dissemination of misinformation, as opposed to the reporting of mistakes or errors due to confusion? What are the implications of the accusation of fake news for a report or news outlet? How does historical perspective change the evaluation of whether something is fake news? The NPHFI seeks to investigate this phenomenon and its historical application in the print media at its tenth annual conference.

Registration is via the NPHFI's Eventbrite page (www.eventbrite.ie/e/fake-news-an-historical-perspective-nphfi-conference-2017-tickets-38503196096).
For further information keep an eye on NPHFI social media: facebook.com/NPHistoryForum , Twitter @NPHistoryForum.

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

Proposals of around 250 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 March 2017. We also welcome proposals for joint panels of three or four related papers or other forms of presentation and discussion.

Professor Matthew Philpotts
University of Liverpool

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Magazines on the Move: North American Periodicals and Travel
Friday 22nd September 2017, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus

Seminar website

A one-day seminar hosted by the Centre for Travel Writing Studies, Nottingham Trent University, in collaboration with the Network for American Periodical Studies (rescheduled from June 2017).

Keynote speaker: Professor Andrew Thacker (Nottingham Trent University)
Organisers: Dr Victoria Bazin (Northumbria University); Dr Rebecca Butler (Nottingham Trent University); Dr Sue Currell (Sussex University); Prof Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University)
Confirmed speakers include Dr Claire Lindsay (UCL) and Dr Rachel Farebrother (Swansea University)

This day-seminar will focus on the relationship between North American travel writing and the periodical format. Its primary purpose is to facilitate historical and critical discussion of narratives of travel in North American periodicals.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers that examine accounts of travel to, within, or from North America, published in North American periodicals. We also welcome papers on periodicals and travel of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Topics to be examined in considering the interplay between the travel experience, the written and/or visual record of travel, and the periodical publication of the travel record, may include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial considerations
  • Editorial policy and interventions
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Periodical context and design
  • Purpose of travel
  • ‘Race’
  • Readership
  • Solo or group travel
  • Technologies of transport/mode of travel
  • Tourism
  • Visual representations

The seminar is a collaboration between Nottingham Trent’s Centre for Travel Writing Studies (CTWS) and the Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS). It draws on the expertise of both research centres, as well as that of our keynote speaker, Professor Andrew Thacker (NTU), a specialist in modernist magazines and spatial geographies of modernism.

The Centre for Travel Writing Studies (CTWS) was established by Prof Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University) in 2002 to produce, facilitate, and promote scholarly research on travel writing and its contexts, without restriction of period, locus, or type of travel writing.

The Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS) is a research initiative set up by Dr Sue Currell (Sussex University) and Dr Victoria Bazin (Northumbria University). It aims to bring together scholars working on American periodicals (magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications) from a range of historical periods and disciplines.

We welcome papers from scholars at any career stage and strongly encourage postgraduates to submit a proposal for consideration. Paper proposals of c200 words should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 28th July 2017. Early submission is advised.

With grateful thanks to the British Association for American Studies (BAAS) for financial support, we are now able to offer a limited number of travel bursaries and fee waivers for postgraduate students to attend. Priority will be given to those offering papers. Please state at the end of your proposal if you are a postgraduate wishing to apply for help towards costs.

Mediating American Modernist Literature:
The case of/ for Big Magazines
1880-1960

Aix-Marseille Université, LERMA (EA 853)
Aix-en-Provence, France, October 5- 7, 2018

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the role played by “Big Magazines” in the production, publication, circulation, and reception of American literature between 1880 and 1960.

The study of modernism’s relations to the press and periodical culture is certainly not new to Modernist Studies. Over the last three decades, sustained interest in the role played by “little magazines” has been instrumental in reorienting the conventional reading of magazines “merely as containers of concrete bits of information” to an approach that considers them as “autonomous objects of study,” comparable with individual books (Latham and Scholes) in the field of modernism.

However, this interest has, so far, been directed mostly towards little magazines, as if these were the only periodicals intersecting with modernist practices. In doing so, it has tended to insulate little magazines as a field separate from other kinds of contemporary periodicals (the lowbrow pulps, the middlebrow slick/smart/mainstream/big periodicals), reducing the latter, at best, to a kind of dim cultural fringe or hinterland of modernism. It is only recently that modernist studies have begun to deal directly with the institutional overlap of literary modernism and middlebrow culture, enriching our understanding of their deep affiliations, by focusing on such middlebrow and smart magazines as Life (in its first form), The Smart Set, Vanity Fair or The New Yorker.

In the wake of such studies, the purpose of this conference is to expand consideration of the connection between American literature and mainstream print culture so as to include “an eclectic range of periodical genres having in common, beyond the necessary qualification of being unapologetically commercial, …a conscious effort to expand their readerships by way of their textual and visual styles rather than their content (Harris, 6). Mainstream print culture includes a vast array of diverse magazines, united by their ambition to speak to a wide national audience and, often, to forge the cultural, literary and political tastes of the middle class, with periodicals such as Harper’s, Scribner’s, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly, Reader’s Digest, Life or Henry Luce’s Time. To this same field of national periodicals one can also relate magazines with a narrower editorial scope, selecting their audience on an ideological (McClure’s) or ethnic (The Crisis) basis, or along gender lines, as with the women-oriented Munsey’s and Ladies’ Home Journal and the more masculine Esquire, a precursor in many ways of the men’s magazines that emerged with and around Playboy in the early 1950s.

We invite papers that explore the interaction between mass-market magazines and modernist literary and aesthetic preoccupations over the time span of eighty years, from the emergence of industrialized journalism and the “fully-fledged magazine” (Scholes) to the rise of television as a most influential medium, and the coincident decline of the magazine as “the major form of repeated cultural experience for people in the United States” (Ohmann, 29). Taking into account transatlantic influences – such as Vu’s influence on Henry Luce’s decision to remodel Life after 1936, or connections between Condé Nast and Lucien Vogel, creator of the French edition of Vogue – we would also like to encourage transatlantic perspectives involving French magazines.

Subjects might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • overlaps, parallels & points of intersection between “little”, “middlebrow”, & “pulp” magazines;
  • the influence of magazine work on literary work (form, content, imagination);
  • the role of magazines in fostering creative nonfiction stories;
  • the role of aesthetic, financial, & commercial preoccupations in shaping editorial policies & contents;
  • the links, interactions, & networks among writers, publishers, editors, & agents;
  • the construction of “complex literary milieus” (Ohmann);
  • the identification of style as a promotional tool;
  • the link with the phenomenon of celebrity & the rise of popular celebrity culture;
  • the role of interviews and portraits in fashioning authorial personae;
  • the role of magazines in creating literary institutionalization & professionalization;
  • transatlantic exchanges & influences with French magazines (Vu, Voilà, Match, or Marie Claire).

For more information, and to submit an abstract, follow the link:

https://bigmagazines.sciencesconf.org/

The Transnational American Periodical

A one day symposium at the British Library, London, 15 December 2017

in collaboration with the Network of American Periodical Studies

Plenary Speaker: Professor Janet Floyd (King’s College London)

Symposium website: here

The ‘transnational turn’ in American Studies can be understood as perhaps the most important reimagining of  the field since its inception; challenging Americanists to reevaluate disciplinary protocols, re-think their relationship to the region they study, and revise their intellectual and theoretical assumptions. For researchers of American print and periodical culture, this shift has often proved especially challenging; reliance on the work of Benedict Anderson and other scholarship on print and nationhood has led to a dominant view of the periodical as a space for imagining nationhood, or as a keystone of the modern nation state.

Against these arguments for periodicals as an instrument for building and imagining American nationhood, this symposium will explore how American periodicals and periodical literature, from the colonial period to the present day, has reached across borders to displace the nation as the primary site of belonging. The symposium will consider how American periodicals – as well as their editors, contributors, and readers – circulated across national boundaries, and the transnational networks that such circulation both relied upon and created. We invite papers that explore how changes in the material text, technologies and economies of print, reading publics, and distribution networks have shaped and reshaped transnational discourses and movements. We also welcome scholarship that examines how periodicals encouraged and sustained transnational identities within the United States itself, including periodicals aimed at immigrant and diasporic communities.

The symposium will also interrogate the relationship between theory and the archive that emerges from a transnational perspective on American periodicals. How does uncoveringthe material, economic, and social conditions of transnational periodical production and circulation encourage us to rethink theories of cosmopolitanism, the border, or the Black Atlantic? How can we write a transnational history of American periodicals using archives that were shaped in response to nation-centric models of cultural, political, and intellectual history? And how can theoretical approaches adapted from other disciplines inform our approach to and understanding of the transnational impact of American print?

Topics for papers may include:

  • The circulation of US periodicals and periodical literature outside of the United States
  • The circulation of non-US periodicals or the ethnic press in the United States
  • Non-English periodicals or international editions of American periodicals
  • American periodicals and transnational understandings of race, gender, and sexuality
  • Transnational cultures of reprinting or collaboration
  • American periodicals and the development of transnational networks
  • Foreign correspondents and the American periodical
  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to transnational periodical studies.
  • The impact of archives, including digitization projects, on transnational approaches to United States periodicals
  • American periodicals, transnationalism, and the digital age

We invite proposals for both individual papers, and for panels involving three or more participants. As well as traditional 20 minute papers, we welcome proposals for digital project showcases, roundtables, lightening papers, and other non-traditional formats.

We would like to thank BAAS, NAPS and the Eccles Centre at the British Library, whose generous support allows us to offer fee reductions and some travel funding for postgraduates, for early career scholars on hourly-paid or part time contracts, and for early career independent scholars. If you wish to be considered for travel funding, please include this information in your covering email, with an estimate of your travel costs.

Please send all proposals and any questions to the conference organizers Dr James West (University of Birmingham) and Dr Katie McGettigan (Royal Holloway, University of London) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 September 2017. Decisions of acceptance will be made by 1 October 2017.