On March 3rd, at 4pm CET, we are organising an online seminar with the team from the Kassák Museum–Petőfi Literary Museum in Budapest who hosted the 2022 ESPRit conference.


Gábor Dobó, 'Comrades and Censors: Tracing Implied and Actual Readers of Radical Periodicals During the Interwar Period'

This presentation examines the readership and reading practices of Hungarian working-class communities in Budapest, New York City, and Chicago during the interwar period, with a particular focus on radical periodicals such as Ma, 365, Munka, 100%, Új Előre, and Bérmunkás. By analyzing these publications and available sources such as trade union reading halls and social democratic book catalogs, this research aims to trace both the imagined and actual readers of these periodicals. Through an exploration of the intersection between avant-garde techniques and workers’ culture, this study reveals a synthesis of radical imagination and collective cultural practices that expanded the political imagination and fostered new forms of cultural production, performance, and consumption.

This research also seeks to address questions about the types of materials available in archives about working-class readers, their reading habits, and the broader cultural infrastructure of the time. The presentation puts forward the hypothesis that the relationship between avant-garde laboratories and working-class milieus during the 1920s and 1930s has remained a historical blind spot, due to limitations in historiographical and archival research.

Merse Pál Szeredi, 'No clichés: Conflicting Aspects of Knowledge Production and Printing Techniques of Avant-garde Periodicals'

This presentation focuses on several visual aspects of the production of avant-garde periodicals during the 1910s and 1920s, with a special emphasis on Lajos Kassák’s magazine Ma (Today) and the archives related to the production of this periodical held in the Kassák Museum, Budapest. Even though visual arts have been an integral and – in several cases – central theme in avant-garde magazines of the early twentieth-century, the production, accessibility and material aspects of reproductions of visual artworks, as well as the role these reproductions played in the international networks between magazines, has not yet been studied in detail. This presentation aims towards a contextual analysis of different techniques, materials and technologies used to reproduce visual artworks in avant-garde magazines, and offers insight into the politics of networking and exchanging reproductions, stereotypes and printing blocks (clichés) between European magazine editors. Through examples related to Kassák’s magazine, produced in Budapest (1916–1919) and in exile in Vienna (1920–1925), it poses questions regarding interferences of financial means, accessibility, camaraderie and rivalry between avant-garde editorials.   kassak museum

"40 Years Jubilee". Collage made for Lajos Kassák's 40th Birthday by his colleagues, 1927. Kassák Museum, inv. no. KM-M-79.3.1.


A recording of this seminar is now available on our YouTube channel:

On February 3rd 2023, at 3pm CET, ESPRit is organising an online seminar with the research group Spaces of Translation from Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and Nottingham Trent University.

The members of the research team (Alison E. Martin, Marina Popea, Dana Steglich, and Andrew Thacker) will share some of the results from the project.

Here is the abstract of their presentation:

Our project studies a small constellation of important literary and cultural magazines from three countries (Britain, France, Germany) in order to consider how they explore and construct notions of European identity in the period following from the end of the Second World War to the mid-1960s. Drawing on diverse theorisations of Europe and European public space, we ask: how does periodical culture in Britain, France, and Germany attempt to articulate a reconfigured notion of European identity after the catastrophe of World War Two? At the heart of the project will be a focus upon the practice of translation: what is the significance of the translation of works of poetry, fiction, criticism, and non-fiction in our corpus of periodicals in this period? How do translated texts operate as vehicles for the forging of new European identities? Does the crossing of linguistic boundaries produce alliances across national borders? Conversely, in the practice of non-translation do we see a new assertion of national languages and identities? Do bilingual magazines in this period work to bring diverse national literatures together, or mark their continued divergence?

A recording of this seminar is now available on our YouTube channel:

ESPRit and RSVP are delighted to welcome colleagues from TransfoPress, the Transnational network for the study of foreign language press from the 18th-20th century (see www.chcsc.uvsq.fr/transfopress-english) for an online seminar on the Foreign Language Press. The seminar will be approx 90 minutes long and will include four 15 min presentations by members of the Transfopress network followed by Q&A and discussion. The seminar is free and all are welcome.

Date/Time: 8th December at 5pm GMT / 6pm CET via Zoom. 


  • Diana Cooper-Richet (Université Paris-Saclay): "The Transfopress network (2012-2022): object, activities, publications".
  • Jennifer Hayward (Wooster college, Ohio) and Michelle Prain (Universidad Adolfo Ibànez, Valparaiso): "The English-Language press in Chile: 19th Century global networks to 21st Century digital dialogues".
  • Nicolas Pitsos (BULAC/Université Paris-Saclay): "The foreign-language press and the emergence of a polyphonic capital: the case of Paris".
  • Isabelle Richet (Université Paris Cité): "Helen Zimmern and the Italian Gazette: the editor as cultural go-between".

A recording of this seminar is now available on our YouTube channel:


On January 20th 2023, at 3pm CET, ESPRit is organising an online seminar on new computational approaches to periodical studies. The following speakers will shed their light on this topic: 

Thomas Smits (Antwerp University): 'Distant Viewing the Illustrated World of the Illustrated London News, 1842-1900'

Kaspar Beelen (Alan Turing Institute, UK), 'Mining Victorian Metadata. A computational analysis of historical press directories'

Ben Lee (University of Washington), 'Newspaper Navigator: Reimagining Digitized Newspapers with Machine Learning'

A recording of this seminar is now available on our YouTube channel:

Ghent University, Belgium | 14 – 15 September 2023

en francais

Call for Papers

In partnership with Antwerp University (Belgium), Gothenburg University (Sweden), Leuven University (Belgium) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) (Belgium)

The history of feminism and the history of feminist literature are often studied in separate disciplines, though in reality they are closely entwined. To explore the connections and intersections between these two disciplines, this conference looks at the development of feminism through the lens of the media, and more specifically, the national, international, and transnational modes of public outreach which women’s rights activists, journalists, editors, and writers have resorted to from the early nineteenth century to the second part of the twentieth century. This conference thus seeks to engage in a discussion about the cultural and ideological transformations of the concept of feminism over time and across geographical and language boundaries.

The conference is organised as part of a Flemish Research Foundation (FWO) funded project on transnational perspectives on feminism affiliated to Ghent University (Belgium). It will take place in Ghent. Although we invite proposals for papers on the full range of topics related to the conference theme, we particularly welcome transnational, cross-cultural, multilingual, and global approaches to encourage a more comprehensive outlook on feminism(s).

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Pioneering feminist activists with careers as journalists and/or literary authors
  • Women’s periodicals, their development and exchanges
  • International women’s rights congresses
  • Programmatic feminist novels linked to political history
  • Feminist/anti-feminist propaganda
  • Campaigning for “difference” feminism, or different interpretations of feminism
  • Morality debates and the development of national feminisms
  • Advertisement campaigns on feminist/anti-feminist themes
  • Feminism and trans-imperialism: India, African colonies…
  • Feminist exhibitions
  • Suffragette movements
  • Women and the film and television industry: feminism and popular culture
  • Theoretical approaches linked to feminism in the media

We are honoured to receive as keynote speakers for the event Prof. Catherine Clay (Nottingham Trent University) and Prof. Lucy Delap (Cambridge University).

The working language of the conference is English. We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of their careers. The conference will be an in-person event. Travel and accommodation costs will have to be covered by the participants. A small registration fee may be requested.

Proposals of around 250 words (references not included) for 15 to 20-minute papers and a short CV (no more than 200 words) should be sent to Dr. Eloïse Forestier (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 15 November 2022. We invite individual case studies as well as comparative, theoretical or methodological approaches. We also welcome proposals for joint panels of three papers. Please include a brief rationale for the panel along with an abstract and CV for each presenter.

For more info, please visit the conference website at www.femed.ugent.be.