We are inviting you to an online seminar on Friday, 12 January 2024, at 12.30pm CET. The seminar will feature the following papers:

Dr Andrew Hobbs (University of Central Lancashire, UK): “Regional Magazines: A research Agenda”

What happens to our idea of the magazine when we take it out of the city and into the provinces? This paper raises some research questions about magazines focused not on the international, the national or the local, but on those administrative units in between: county, province, region, oblast, canton, département, voivodeship, federal state, Bundesland, etc. Are such markets too small? Is the academic market for a study of regional magazines too small? – are there too few to be worth studying? In fact, how many are there? If magazines are modern, can the modern happen outside the city? Is the regional always middlebrow? Can a magazine be radical whilst regional? If Raymond Williams was right in seeing ‘regional’ and ‘provincial’ as value-laden metropolitan ideological constructions, what does that mean for the regional magazine? How does magazine publishing relate to these sub-national administrative territories? Do such territories have an imaginary, a distinctive culture, or are they purely administrative? This paper considers some of these questions with a case study of the twentieth-century English county magazine as a genre, analysing its techniques for exploiting county identity.

Dr Andrew Hobbs is a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a former journalist. He is interested in provincial print cultures and sense of place, particularly nineteenth-century local newspapers and twentieth-century county magazines. His open-access book A Fleet Street in Every Town: The Provincial Press in England, 1855-1900 (Open Book, 2018) won the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals 2019 Colby book prize. His work on provincial magazines includes ‘Lancashire Life Magazine, 1947–73: A Middle-Class Sense of Place’, Twentieth Century British History 24:3 (2013) and ‘Cheshire Life, 1934-39: The Birth of the Modern County Magazine’, Manchester Region History Review 2 (new series, 2023).

Dr Fabio Guidali (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy): “When Politics Meddles in: Local Identities in the Case of Northern League’s Weekly Sole delle Alpi

The Lega Nord (Northern League, today Lega) is currently the Italian political party with the longest history, having emerged as one of the many independence movements that established themselves globally in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Attentive to Northern Italian localisms as opposed to the central bureaucracy of the state and its supposed “southern” character, in the late 1990s the Northern League became an amplifier of the crisis that the parties had been experiencing for years and contributed to the weakening of the political system. In the second half of the decade, the Northern League claimed for a phantom new state called “Padania”, understood as a multi-regional community held together by a common culture and even by supposed common ethnic roots (Celtic or at any rate “barbarian” and Northern European, not “Italic”). It thus gave birth, among other editorial products, to a weekly called Sole delle Alpi (Sun of the Alps), a current affairs magazine which, in addition to politics and society, dealt also with regional customs, trying to build a pool of references to a “Po Valley” culture(“padanista”).
The paper presents this periodical, which appears interesting, though not necessarily indicative of a trend, given its political uniqueness. It highlights the lowbrow character of the publication (which sought to mimic the anti-elitist and anti-intellectual character of the party), its radical and anti-modern political approach, its lack of market success, its focus on very narrow local cultures and a plural regional identity, and, at the same time, its exploitation of the territory also for tourism purposes.

Dr Fabio Guidali is a research fellow in Contemporary History at the University of Milan. He investigates the history of intellectuals and culture in twentieth-century Europe, with particular attention to associations, networks and forms of political commitment. His research also focuses on the history of journalism and on the popular press. He is the author of two intellectual biographies (Il secolo lungo di Gabriele Mucchi. Una biografia intellettuale e politica, 2012, and Un intellettuale europeo. Umberto Campagnolo tra antifascismo e guerra fredda, 2023) and of a monograph on intellectuals’ political engagement (Scrivere con il mondo in testa. Intellettuali europei tra cultura e potere, 2016). He is local scientific coordinator of a national project on discrimination in post-war Italian newspapers (Lingua e storia della discriminazione nei giornali dellItalia contemporanea, PRIN 2022) and member of the advisory board of ESPRit.

The seminar will be held online. Please register below if you wish to receive the Zoom link. 


Registration Seminar 12 January 2024

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This series of work-in-progress sessions will be led by colleagues contributing to the Brill Handbook of Transnational Periodical Research, edited by Marianne Van Remoortel and Fionnuala Dillane, which is planned for publication in 2025. Seminar participants will each speak for 8-10 minutes on the challenges of ‘transnational’ work and on questions that their work-in-progress has raised to date. The workshops aim to deepen and enrich understandings of what we mean by transnational periodical research, including considerations of the usefulness and limitations of the ‘transnational’. As work-in-progress sessions, we also hope to open up discussions about our methodologies and strategies as periodical researchers. Each session will be one hour long, conversational in format, and audience participation will be encouraged. Each workshop will be held on zoom and registration links are included below. We look forward to seeing you and to the ongoing discussions.

Work-in-Progress Workshop 1 

Monday 25 September, 5pm-6pm CET with

  • Gábor Dobó and Merse Szeredi (Petőfi Literary Museum–Kassák Museum, Budapest) on Networks and the Avant-Garde
  • Henriette Partzsch (University of Glasgow) on Translation and Genres
  • Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University) on Travelling Localism


Work-in-Progress Workshop 2 

Monday 2 Oct 5pm-6pm CET with

  • Cedric van Dijck (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) on Empire
  • Stephan Pigeon (St Francis Xavier University, New Brunswick) on Scissors and Paste
  • Sukeshi Kamra (Carleton University, Ottawa) on Postcolonialism/Transimperialism


Work-in-Progress Workshop 3 

Tuesday 10 October 4pm-5pm CET

  • Sophie van den Elzen (Utrecht University) on Rebels
  • Sara Marzagora and Malak Abdelkhalek (King’s College London) on Internationalism, Solidarity and Pedagogy

Registration Workshop 10 October 2023

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Call for Papers

ESPRit Postgraduate Workshop on Periodical Studies
11th International ESPRit Conference (Leeds, 27-29 June 2023)
Leeds School of Arts, Leeds Beckett University, UK
Deadline 28 February 2023

Visit the conference website: https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/events/conferences/11-international-esprit-conference/

Postgraduate students working on any topic concerning newspapers, magazines and other periodicals from any historical period, geographical origin, and cultural context are invited to a training workshop linked to the ESPRit 11th conference on 27th June 2023 in Leeds, UK. Registration for participants is free and includes attendance at a professional workshop and the main conference (28-29 June).

To apply, please send the following:
1. A short abstract (approx. 250 words) for a 10-minute presentation. We request that candidates propose a methodological approach or ask a methodology question relating to their research on periodicals.
2. A page-long summary of the thesis, including title, supervisor, affiliation, year of forthcoming or recently completed PhD.
3. A page-long academic CV (including studies, interests, and possible distinctions and publications).
Please send the above as one attachment (word or pdf) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the Subject: ESPRit Postgraduate Workshop, no later than 28 February 2023.
Please note that texts of presentations will be circulated one month in advance of the PGR Workshop.
We look forward to welcoming you to Leeds!

The ESPRit 2023 Selection committee
Laurel Brake, Fabio Guidali, Evanghelia Stead (ESPRit) and Andrew Hobbs (ESPRit 2023)

Edinburgh Companion to First World War Periodicals
Book Launch, 15 May 2023

Hoek 38 (Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussels) or online (MS Teams)
13:00: Walk-in with coffee
13:30: Welcome by Prof. Marysa Demoor (UGent)
13:40: ‘From War Literature to Literate War: What Periodicals Tell Us About the First
World War,’ keynote by Prof. Pierre Purseigle (Warwick University and Francqui
Chair at VUB)
14:50: ‘First World War, Periodicals and the Everyday,’ roundtable with Dr. Dominiek
Dendooven (In Flanders Fields Museum), Prof. Nel de Mûelenaere (VUB), Prof.
Ann-Marie Einhaus (Northumbria University), Prof. Pierre Purseigle (Warwick
University) and Prof. Antoon Vrints (UGent). Moderated by Prof. Birgit Van
Puymbroeck (VUB)
16:30: Reception
All are welcome. Please register before 7 May at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (indicating
if you will attend in person or online). When following online, please note that all
times are indicated in CEST (GMT+2).

In order to build our online ESPRit community, we are organising a series of online seminars in collaboration with the ETMIET/KENI team from Panteion University (Athens).  Recordings of past seminars are available under Resources. The programme for 2022-2023 is as follows:


8 December 2022, 6pm CET: RSVP/ESPRit Online Seminar on The Foreign Language Press

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".


20 January 2023, 3pm CET: New Computational Approaches to Periodical Studies

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'

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3 February 2023, 3PM CET: Spaces of Translation: European Magazine Culture, 1945-1965

Presentations by members of the research group Spaces of Translation from Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and Nottingham Trent University: Alison E. Martin (JGU), Marina Popea (NTU), Dana Steglich (JGU), and Andrew Thacker (NTU). More information to follow soon.

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3 March 2023, 4pm CET: Knowledge transfer and materiality in and around avant-garde journals

Gábor Dobó (Kassák Museum–Petőfi Literary Museum, Budapest), ‘Comrades and censors: Tracing implied and actual readers of radical periodicals during the interwar period’

Merse Pál Szeredi Dobó (Kassák Museum–Petőfi Literary Museum, Budapest), ‘No clichés. Conflicting aspects of knowledge production and printing techniques of avant-garde periodicals’

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