In the Spring of 2021, ESPRit organises a series of online seminars in collaboration with ETMIET/KENI, Panteion University, Athens: Crossover influences and local identities of the popular illustrated periodicals of the 19th and twentieth centuries

 The second session of the series was held on 16 April from  3-4PM CET.

Chair: Sophie Oliver (Liverpool University)


1. Júlia Fazekas (ELTE University, Budapest), “Popularity of Hungarian and European fashion magazines in the 1840s”

The Hungarian fashion magazines gained notable popularity in the 1840s. They were modelled after other European magazines and previous Hungarian periodicals. These magazines aimed to gain a wide readership and wanted to shape the literary sphere, publish influential works, and facilitate Hungarian education and reading through them. They mainly focused on literature, and during this period they were the most significant literary source. They contained a mixture of texts, not just literary works – they were concerned with entertainment, gossip, local and foreign news (even political content), and fashion. I believe that this thematical variety and the relation between different elements is particularly interesting in this research. In my presentation I want to look at how these fashion magazines gained popularity in Hungary and Europe. My main question is how this type of periodical can be examined from the perspective of popularity, and how their position could vary in different countries.

Watch the recording of this lecture here:

2. Charlotte Lauder (AHRC-funded PhD student, University of Strathclyde and National Library of Scotland), “Pithy people: the People’s Friend, a national magazine for Scotland”

The People’s Friend was established in 1869 in Dundee, Scotland, as a magazine for Scottish people, and is still published from that city today. A weekly illustrated penny magazine, the People’s Friend set out in 1869 to ‘encourage the literary talent which we know exists among the people’ by publishing ‘Scotch stories, poetry, and other articles, written by Scotchmen’. By 1905, the People’s Friend had created popular magazine culture in Scotland and came to define Scottish literature for the masses. How did it do this? How did a provincial literary magazine managed to sell an average of 212,600 copies per week by 1890? This presentation explores how the People’s Friend became Scotland’s most popular penny weekly magazine. It assesses the landscape of popular literature in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Scotland and the importance of magazine culture within it.

Watch the recording of this lecture here:

In the Spring of 2021, ESPRit organises a series of online seminars in collaboration with ETMIET/KENI, Panteion University, Athens: Crossover influences and local identities of the popular illustrated periodicals of the 19th and twentieth centuries


The third session of the series will be held on 14 May from  3-4PM CET

Chair: Andrés Mario Zervigón (Rutgers University)


1. Patrick Roessler (University of Erfurt), “From Simplicissimus to Simplicus and Der Simpl. Satire magazines between Nazi gleichschaltung and exile, 1934-35”

In 1934 and 1935, the seventy-three issues of the German-language satirical magazine Simplicus (later renamed Der Simpl) were published in exile in Prague. The editors, a team of German emigrants and Czech artists, primarily attacked the Nazi regime in the neighboring country, but their caricatures, poems, and essays criticizing the period were controversial in the exile community itself. The presentation will elaborate on the content of the magazine with a focus on its illustrators, displaying a selection of notable contributions. Moreover, it will focus on the editorial team and the quarrels between Simplicissimus founder Thomas Theodor Heine and the group of exiles in the Czech capital. Documents from the time suggest that within the exiles united by the fight against Nazi Germany, political positions were often diverse, leading to conflicts which weakened the resistance movement.  

2. Mary Ikoniadou (University of Central Lancashire), “Refugee publishing. The case study of the Greek political refugees in East Germany. Imaginings and aesthetics of repatriation amidst Cold War borders”

The presentation will consider publishing as a site in which refugee populations can challenge official narratives of nationhood while simultaneously claim belonging to a 'homeland' and a national body from which they have been displaced. Through the case study of Pyrsos illustrated magazine published in East Germany in the 1960s by Greek political refugees of the Civil War, the presentation will argue that visual, and material analysis can offer an in-depth understanding of the complexity of the political refugees' claims. It will demonstrate that the juxtaposition of images and texts in the design of the magazine alongside its editorial and distribution strategies challenged the position of its readers: it invited particular ways of reading and knowing that embodied political experiences and affective responses whilst incited imagined national cultural identities. 

The activities of European literary magazines since the 1960s constitute an under-documented and under-analyzed field. And yet most European countries have a lively literary magazine scene. Such a lacuna needs to be addressed and rectified. Certain categories of literature – poetry and short fiction, for example - depend heavily on journals for initial readership and in order to achieve subsequent book publication. This special issue of the Journal of European Periodical Studies aims to draw attention to this vital aspect of the periodical scene and literary periodicals’ importance in relevant national and trans-national literatures. The changing configurations and roles of literary journals in the past decades may also tell us something of the effects of new media on this venerable type of periodical. The period in focus is the last sixty years; this may be interpreted to include literary journals that have emerged in (approximately) the last sixty years, or older literary periodicals that have evolved or played (or evolved to play) significant roles in literature over the past several decades.

Possible topics could include:

  • discussions of the literary periodical scene in individual European cultures;
  • discussions of the activities and changing faces of individual journals in the period under consideration;
  • the intimate relationship between the literary periodical and categories of literature – poetry, the short story, and drama, for example;
  • the effects of specific literary journals on the literature of particular decades or contexts;
  • the literary periodical as a vehicle for literary and social change;
  • the response of literary periodicals to social, cultural, and political changes of the past six decades (Eastern European examples may be of particular interest here);
  • responses of literary journals to new media and the digital revolution;
  • economics and institutional issues in literary magazine publication;
  • editors and their influence on the literary periodical scene.

The aim of the special number is to offer a view of the development and roles of the literary periodical in several European (not only Anglophone) cultures over the past sixty years.

The deadline for article proposals is December 1st 2020, full articles are expected on June 1st 2021. All accepted articles will be reviewed and sent out to one external reviewer (double-blind peer review). The standard length of an academic essay is between 5,000 and 8,000 words, and this includes notes and bibliography.

Please send your article proposals to the guest-editors: Wolfgang Görtschacher (University of Salzburg, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and David Malcolm (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

In the Spring of 2021, ESPRit organises a series of online seminars in collaboration with ETMIET/KENI, Panteion University, Athens: Crossover influences and local identities of the popular illustrated periodicals of the 19th and twentieth centuries


The inaugural session of the series was held on 26 March from 12-1PM CET

Chair: Peter Buse (Liverpool University)

Keynote speaker: Victoria Kuttainen (Associate Professor English and Writing, James Cook University, Australia) 

Title: Portholes, Channels, and Seductions: The Messy Affordances of Antipodean Periodical Scholarship  

In a well-known essay in published in The New Left Review in 2000, Franco Moretti called for a new approach to literary history that would capture the enormous abundance and variety of world literature. In his subsequent 2005 book, Graphs, Maps, and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History, he proposed various ways to approach the field from the perspective of distant reading: graphing the rise and fall of the novel in various countries, mapping various literary geographies from village stories to the larger transits enabled by the modern industrial railway , and tracing an evolutionary tree of developing literary forms. Though Moretti’s work expanded the universe of literary study beyond a narrow band of canonical texts usually offered up for study, it was criticised for still yet focusing on history’s “winners”—famous novels, mostly written in English.

Taking its cue from Moretti’s ways of thinking about the literary field, this presentation reflects on the conceptual possibilities offered by periodical study, and in doing so it offers a perspective of culture not from the standpoint of the “winners” but from the “other side.” The etymology of the “antipodes” means quite literally “the other side” or “the other foot.” Scholarship from the Global South in general and from Australia in my specific experience has offered me as scholar originating from Britain and North America alternative ways to view established narratives of world culture and literary history, in particular.

This presentation looks at a few conceptual possibilities that have offered themselves up through a decade of research on 1920s and 1930s' Australian magazines, a journey that began by asking the random question, on an airplane journey over the Pacific, “how come there are so few Australian novels about the sea?” It proposes that what Sean Latham called the “Mess and the Muddle” of modernist periodical scholarship offers particularly rich insights when undertaken from an antipodean perspective, about the print culture of colonial modernity. And it suggests that this perspective can be viewed as kind of heterotopic site for European modernity. 

Watch the recording of this lecture here:

8-9 July 2020, University of Salford, MediaCityUK

Deadline for 400-word abstracts: 16 December 2019 
In 1702 Elizabeth Mallett founded the Daily Courant at her modest bookshop on Fleet Street in London. Two centuries later, the street had become the spatial nerve centre for a range of local, national and international networks of communication that were replicated on “newspaper rows” across the globe. As media influence grew, so too did the size and scale of its buildings, with American publisher Joseph Pulitzer contending that ‘a newspaper plant…should be something to be gaped at.’ Structures such as Pulitzer’s own New York World building, the striking neo-gothic spires of the Chicago Tribune tower, and the sleek art-deco exteriors of the Daily Express buildings in London and Manchester offered their own expressions of media power, modernity, and the aesthetics of mass communication, providing what Aurora Wallace describes as a “definable shape…a hook on which to hang some news about the media itself.”
This conference, located at the heart of MediaCityUK, invites contributions which explore the intersections between media culture, architecture, and the built environment. We are interested in the relationship between media content and media space, and the ways in which this relationship has changed over time. What would press barons such as Pulitzer, who saw their buildings as “the central and highest point(s) of New World Civilization”, have made of Facebook’s Menlo Park Campus; an arguably more impressive yet radically different vision of media power, sophistication, and influence? How might publishers such as Lord Beaverbrook, the ‘first baron of Fleet Street’, have reacted to its decline and dispersal during the latter decades of the twentieth century? More broadly, how have media buildings informed and given form to a range of sociopolitical, cultural and ideological constructs, becoming a “delivery mechanism” for ideas about objectivity, authority and identity? And what can the past and future of media architecture tell us about the changing nature of media production, distribution and consumption in the twenty-first century?

Potential topics and case studies could include:
•    The history and impact of the “newspaper row” (Fleet Street; Park Row; Picayune Place; etc)
•    Media power, message and the modern skyscraper (China Media Group HQ, Beijing; the New York Times building, ‎Manhattan; Der Spiegel building, Hamburg; etc)
•    Media cities and mediated cities (Facebook Menlo Park Campus, Silicon Valley; MediaCity, Salford Quays; Media City Park, Dubai; etc)
•    Liminal spaces, private architectures, media publics (blogging and the coffee shop; radical media and the built environment; media cultures in the ‘post-newsroom’ age; etc)
•    Reuse, relocation, and the afterlife of media architecture (the Daily Express building, Manchester; the Tribune building, Chicago; BBC/Channel 4 move from London to the North, etc)
•    The relationship between media building design and professional ideologies of journalism/newswork (soft power and media architecture; the ‘newsroom’ as a social and cultural construct; etc)
•    Race, Ethnicity and Media Buildings (the Defender building, Chicago; the Daily Forward building, New York; etc)
•    Media architecture and the end of empire (Times of India building, Mumbai; National Media Group, Nairobi; Broadcasting House, London; etc)

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to conference organisers Carole O’Reilly [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] and E. James West [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] no later than 16 December 2019

A limited number of travel awards are available to subsidize conference attendance by PGRs, ECRs and temporary faculty. To be considered please submit an estimate of travel expenses with your abstract.