The 8th ESPRit Conference took place on 12-13 September 2019 in Athens. The subject of the conference was the visual culture of periodical literature, viewed in its broadest sense and in a comparative context. This approach encompasses all visual aspects of periodicals, including typography, covers, format, illustration, fine and avant garde art, cartoons, advertising copy, photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, illustrated travel accounts and ethnographic studies, religious imagery, propaganda and all other dimensions of the visual culture of the printed page. Of particular interest are the development and use of new print technologies for the reproduction of images, the juxtapositions or interactions of imagery and text (at the level of the page or the opening, the issue or the series), the evolution of visual tropes/memes (for example in propaganda and advertising), innovation in design, the emergence of new markets, studies of reader reception of and engagement with visual cultures, the formal (legal) or informal (editorial) regulation of the printed image, and the influence of periodical illustration on art and photography more broadly and on the use of imagery in the daily press in particular.

The conference drew on and enhanced the current Greek Press History Workshop (ETMIET)/ Research Centre for Modern Greece (KENI), Panteion University research project on Greek twentieth-century popular print that seeks to establish the first fully-comprehensive archive of periodicals in Greece, in collaboration with the Journalists’ Union of Periodical and Electronic Press (ESPIT), and the National Library of Greece. Further dimensions that arise from the particular Greek experience, and which invite broader international comparative perspectives, include: (a) the relationships between the uses of imagery in the periodical literature of metropoles and diasporas; and (b) an exploration of the methodologies and the political economies of periodicals research, particularly under the current global circumstances of austerity for the Humanities in general.

A postgraduate workshop took place on 11 September 2019 where students had the opportunity to present their ongoing research in fields related to the conference theme.

During the three days participants had the opportunity to visit an exhibition on visual aspects of the conference theme.

For more information, please visit the conference website: esprit2019athens.com.

Conference delegates

The participants of the 8th ESPRit Annual Conference, held at the National Library of Greece, Athens, on 11-13 September 2019, with thanks to the photographer, Rula Bervanaki (ESPIT). For more pictures of the conference, please go to the online photo album.