The 9th International ESPRit Conference on 'Periodical Formats in the Market: Economies of Space and Time, Competition and Transfer', which was supposed to be held in Bochum from 16-18 September 2020, has been postponed to 14-16 June 2021. 

Instead, we are organising an ESPRit annual meeting and a workshop on periodical studies on 17 September 2020 from 13:00 CET via Zoom. A fuller programme will be circulated in late August.

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.)

Book Reviews and Beyond. The Transformations of Literature and Art Criticism in Periodicals Between the 18th and the 21st Century

Milan, 3-5 juin 2020

Although unquestionably all-pervasive within the history of modern and contemporary press, the ‘review form’ has been to present an understudied practice. In fact, this multi-faceted, cross-disciplinary form that has persistently accompanied the different phases in the evolution of “print-capitalism” has hardly been analysed from a theoretical perspective. This dismissal by the academic world is certainly peculiar, if not manifestly contradictory; however, it significantly testifies of the difficulty of investigating such a slippery object of study critically.

The very ‘physiognomy’ of the book or film review, inherently wavering between the duty to inform and the needs of the market, influenced as it is by the definition of ‘taste’, makes this form difficult to tackle with a sound methodological approach. Since the beginning of the XVIII century, the book and film review has proved to be an essential interface between cultural supply and demand, and it has always been something more than a weapon to reach fame and recognition. Depending of the position gained in the literary or film fields, the review has often determined the success or failure of a creative enterprise, of a name or reputation. This particular device has been the yardstick of the most diverse sensibilities and tempers, from the learned expert to the passionate amateur. In this, its proliferation has foreshadowed the changes in the reception processes of works no longer provided with an ‘aura’ and therefore prone to the whims of a mass audience, whose judgments ultimately assessed their value.

For these reasons, it is hard to trace the evolution of the ‘review form’ from a single point of view while focusing on the mechanisms that have triggered its fortune. As a crucial touchstone of intellectual production, the review still performs its essential normative function, contributing to outlining the ever-evolving “horizon of expectations” of its audiences, often identified with an ideal corpus which should epitomise a shared canon. On the other hand, as a social process, the review tends to keep track of the continuing dialectics between mainstream aesthetic values and their renegotiation in distinct contexts and/or communities of consumption.

In the light of the rapidly-changing scenario of media and technologies, the conference “Book Reviews and Beyond” aims at exploring this compelling area of research in accordance with the interdisciplinary perspective of periodical studies, with particular focus on the period from the eighteenth century to the turn of the new millennium.

Scientific Committee:
Paolo Giovannetti
Andrea Chiurato
Mara Logaldo

Organizing Committee:
Dario Boemia
Stefano Locati
Laura Sica

Website
The website for the conference is now online at beyondbookreview.iulm.it. It contains all the links to follow the event in streaming on YouTube day by day. Simultaneous translation into English will be available for all presentations or sessions held in Italian by clicking on the “English” button. 

For information about the event, and other questions about the conference program, please contact the Organizing Committee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Bild-Sequenzierung im Journal: Comic, Fotoreportage, Cinéroman und illustrierte Filmzeitschrift

12–13 June 2020, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany

Organised by the DFG Research Unit 2288 Journal Literature, the Committee for Comics Studies and the Committee for Photography Studies at the German Society for Media Studies (GfM)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Jan Baetens (Leuven) and Marina Ortrud M. Hertrampf (Regensburg)

The premise of the workshop is that periodicals, as soon as they are capable of incorporating pictures, are prone to display not only single isolated, but most often multiple pictures and, moreover, arrange them in typical, possibly media-specific ways. The object of the workshop is to explore page layout strategies used in periodicals from the 19th to the 21st century in order to identify their manifestations, historical modifications and adaptations to different visual media.

From the late 19th century onwards photographic images have been published frequently in periodicals. As the 19th century drew to a close, photo-reproduction processes quickly supplanted wood-engraving. Photo-mechanical technologies such as the half-tone screen enabled mass reproduction of photographs. The importance of photojournalism and, accordingly, of photographic magazines such as the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung was increasing, leading to the formation of the influential journalistic genre of the ‘photo reportage’. American comic strips explored novel ways of “juxtapos[ing] pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer”, as Scott McCloud famously defined. Serial novels such as Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-Morte (1892) were published AG Fotografieforschung accompanied by numerous photographs. After the turn of the century, the ever more popular medium of film found in the pages of the periodicals an ideal partner to transform its moving pictures into a fixed printed form. Throughout the 20th century these forms continued to flourish and develop, introducing new modes of serial picture display like the photonovel or the cinéroman up to current projects such as the Revue dessiné, offering a news magazine relying solely on comics. All of these forms raise the question how sequencing pictures on a page—and on ensuing pages—does produce meaning: How do still pictures narrate and produce visual discourse?

The workshop seeks to advance the study of image sequences from a transmedial perspective. The focus lies hereby on the way in which the medial format of the periodical operates with image sequences: How are images arranged and connected to each other, how do they produce coherence, the impression of a succession and very often even narrative cohesion? We welcome theoretical approaches as well as studies that work with historical or contemporary material.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to the conference organisers Christian A. Bachmann, Vincent Fröhlich, Iris Haist, Jens Ruchatz, and Monika Schmitz-Emans (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) no later than 31 January 2020. Please include name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a short CV (150 words). This workshop seeks to advance transdisciplinary discussion and exchange. In line with this goal and the fact that the workshop encourages interaction, participants are required to submit preliminary papers of approximately 8 pages no later than 24 May 2020. Presentations should not exceed 10 minutes and should primarily serve to kick off discussions of 30 minutes. The papers will be sent to the attendees prior to the workshop and participants should read them in preparation of the discussions. The languages used during the workshop will be English and German. We will provide accommodation in Bochum and reimburse travel expenses up to €250 in total. Please add a short note to the abstract if you need us to refund costs up to €250. Please contact us no later than 24 May 2020 if you would like to participate in the discussion without presenting a paper.

Possible topics and case studies include but are not limited to:

  • the formation of image sequences as part of an emerging practice of text production for periodicals from the late 19th century onwards;
  • comic strips as image sequences and series of image sequences;
  • image sequences as a mean of producing visual news in the ‘photo reportage’;
  • the representation of film in periodicals using sequences of pictures;
  • image sequences in periodicals as forms of remediation and/or negotiations of mediality;
  • the intermedial structure of image sequences in photo comics, photonovels and film photonovels;
  • mediations of and reflections on movement and time in image sequences published in periodicals.

Periodical Formats in the Market: Economies of Space and Time, Competition and Transfer / Periodische Formate auf dem Markt: Ökonomien von Raum und Zeit, Konkurrenz und Transfer

14–16 June 2021, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, organised by the DFG Research Unit 2288 Journal Literature

The 9th conference of the European Society for Periodical Research welcomes proposals for original papers, panels, and roundtables concerning the conference topic: Periodical Formats in the Market: Economies of Space and Time, Competition and Transfer. The conference aims to bring together experts and scholars from various disciplines of periodical studies. We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of their careers.

The conference seeks to examine journals from the 18th to the 21th century within the market and its sociocultural, economic, and legal frameworks, exploring two main areas:

  • economies of time and space, i.e. spatiotemporal aspects of the production, distribution, and reception of periodicals and similar serialized formats, and

  • facets of competition and transfer between periodicals within localised and regional as well as international markets.

For this purpose, the conference looks at periodicals as agents that react to sociocultural space configurations while simultaneously participating in their nascency, formation, appearance, and perpetual transformation. The conference seeks to advance theoretical approaches, established analytical methods, and analysis oriented towards the spatiotemporal dimensions of periodical culture. To achieve this goal, the 9th ESPRit conference invites theoretical input, case studies, and comparative analysis from philological, philosophical, as well as sociological perspectives from all disciplines (such as philology, media history, history of publishing and printing, comparative literature, cultural studies, gender studies, visual studies, postcolonial studies).

Possible topics and case studies include but are not limited to:

  • the formation of periodicals and (international) periodical culture in their relation to space and time;

  • the representation and/or production of cultural, temporal, and/or geographic distance in periodicals;

  • spaces and geographies of production and distribution: spatiotemporal parameters and frameworks like postal service, newsrooms and pressrooms, relations between editorial boards;

  • spaces and geographies of reception: newsagents, cafés, salons, communes, urban/suburban/underground spaces;

  • the writing/printing space: private, semi-public and public writing/printing spaces, technological change and its influence on format and layout;

  • periodicals and utopias/dystopias;

  • cultural, economic, or legal forces of regional, national, or international diversification and exchange within periodical culture, copyright, news agencies, clipping services;

  • material dimensions of journals in space and time: volumes and/or issues of periodicals as visual, tangible, and corruptible objects, contaminations between book forms and journals, paratextual strategies for attracting or evolving reading publics;

  • specific forms of concurrence, competition, and transfer of/in periodicals within certain epochs and in the market of (often interrelated) cities or countries;

  • the translation of periodicals across time and space.

Further information, including details regarding registration and accommodation, will be published on the conference website: www.rub.de/esprit2020.

The conference is organised by the DFG Research Unit 2288 Journal Literature. Based in Bochum, Cologne, and Marburg, Germany, the Research Unit strives to formulate the principles of a media literature history. In this regard, the Research Unit understands ‘journal literature’ as an umbrella term for a wide range of literary and non-literary (icono)texts published in an equally wide range of serial print publications: from (illustrated) general interest/news magazines, special interest magazines and ‘little magazines’ to newspapers and comic books.

We look forward to welcoming you to Ruhr University Bochum!

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | www.rub.de/esprit2020