Welcome to the European Society for Periodical Research. Since its inception in 2009, ESPRit has proven its value as an international network for periodical researchers. We are proud of our inspiring annual conferences which bring together scholars from inside and outside of Europe and of the peer-reviewed Open Access Journal of European Periodical Studies (JEPS) which has entered its fourth year. 

Until recently, ESPRit membership has been informal, consisting mainly of a subscription to our mailing list. As from July 2019, a paid membership system is being put into place. Periodical scholars who wish to support the Society, participate in its annual meetings, and benefit from discounts at future events, are kindly invited to register their membership by clicking on the button below.




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

16–18 September 2020, 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.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to conference organisers Christian A. Bachmann, Andreas Beck, Mirela Husić, Nora Ramtke, 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). Individual presentations should be 20 minutes long. We especially welcome proposals for panels of three speakers and roundtables with up to 6 discussants. The conference language will be English; German presentations are also welcome. Further information, including details regarding registration and accommodation, will be published on the conference website from December 2019 onwards: 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

23 Mar – 5 Apr 2020

A nearly carbon-neutral conference

Hosted by the Centre for Design History, University of Brighton

Future States explores the projection of modern national identities in magazines from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. The scope of enquiry is global: we are looking to capture the distinct and intertwined histories of magazines in all corners of the world, and to bring together a worldwide community of magazine researchers. But we are doing so in a radically new way.

The event is a nearly carbon-neutral conference (NCNC), a model pioneered by UC Santa Barbara in 2016, and developed in a series of environmental conferences over the past three years. This will, to our knowledge, be the world’s first NCNC in the history of art/visual culture. Running for two weeks (23 March – 5 April 2020), the conference has no physical venue, and its participants do not, on this occasion, meet in person. In place of the concentrated spatial and temporal unity of a conventional conference, Future States offers a more expansive (asynchronous) online event: panellists record a 20-minute video or PPT recording, which is submitted to the organisers in the weeks leading up to the launch. Over the two weeks of the live event, the conference website will host multiple keynotes, panel presentations and curated Q&As; web pages will include a comprehensive database of publications in magazine studies, links to global research centres and archives, and a noticeboard for worldwide research projects. Future States will be a landmark event in magazine studies, and provide a permanent online resource for twenty-first century scholarship.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, ideals of technological modernity and American consumerism had a normative influence on cultures across the globe: magazines in Europe, the US, Latin America, and Asia, inflected a shared internationalism and technological optimism. But there were equally powerful countervailing influences, of patriotic or insurgent nationalism, and of traditionalism, that promoted values of cultural differentiation. Future States explores these dialectical constructions of ideal modernity in the magazines of different countries, exploring how national cultures drew on – or resisted – currents in international modernism, and also informed and constituted this global culture: for example, Garcia Cabral’s extraordinary covers for the Mexican weekly Revista de Revistas brought Art Deco to Latin America, and also presented a distinctive Latin American modernism to an international audience. Modern magazines embodied these dynamic cultural dialogues in their visual images and textual culture, offering a vision of what Partha Mitter calls the “decentred” modernism of the global twentieth century.

Under the general theme of modernity and national identity, and the visual and textual projection of these ideals, Future States will present an eclectic, broad-based enquiry. Conference panels will explore periodicals from the late nineteenth century through to the end of the Second World War, taking in both mass-market and specialist titles.

Please send an outline (ca. 300 wds) of a 20-minute presentation, and a copy of your current CV to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 4 Nov 2019. Conference presentations can be in any language (but would need to be professionally subtitled in English); Q&As will be in English. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conference organisers:

Dr Tim Satterthwaite (University of Brighton)

Professor Andrew Thacker (Nottingham Trent University)

For more information, please fgo to the conference website: www.futurestates.org 

In conjunction with the 9th International ESPRit Conference in Bochum, a postgraduate workshop will be held on 15 September 2020. We seek applications from graduate students working on any topic with regard to periodicals from any historical period, geographical origin, and cultural context. The workshop is open to postgraduate students working in any discipline in the humanities and social sciences and using any methodology or approach. Priority will be given to advanced doctoral students, but applications by graduate students at any stage of preparation of their dissertation will also be considered. Personalised feedback will be offered by a committee comprising ESPRit members and members of the DFG Research Unit 2288 Journal Literature. Participants of the workshop will have their conference fee waived. Furthermore, we seek to secure funding for travel expenses and accommodation.

To apply, please send a 500-word abstract of the thesis to be presented and a short CV (150 words) including name, institutional affiliation, and email address to the organisers no later than 31 January 2020 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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

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.