Future States, a nearly carbon-neutral conference (NCNC) hosted by the Centre for Design History, University of Brighton, is now open for registration. The conference explores the constructive tensions between modernity and nationalism in popular magazines across the globe, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Running from 23 March – 5 April 2020, this is a landmark event in magazine studies, with talks by 35 leading scholars from 15 countries, and multiple Q&As and discussion forums. But there are no air tickets, hotel bookings, or conference packs – and no registration fee. Attendance at Future States is free, and open to all.

Future States is a new kind of academic conference for the world of the internet, and the era of climate crisis. This is a new way to share knowledge, making full use of the amazing capacities of digital technology. Presentations at Future States are recorded in advance, and are viewed by participants at their leisure; discussion threads remain on the site as a permanent record of the proceedings, alongside multiple further resources: reading lists, images, links to archives and research centres. Future States is the future of conference-going. Do join us!

To register, and to view abstracts of all the conference papers, visit our website: www.futurestates.org

The conference

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. 

Keynote presenters

Professor Patrick Rössler (Erfurt University)

Spearheading the iconic turn: A survey of illustrated magazines during the interwar period – the example of Germany

Professor Faye Hammill (Glasgow)

Travel as nationalist practice in Canadian magazines

Professor Claire Lindsay (UCL)

Advertising in Mexican Folkways

Professor Michel Hockx (Notre Dame)

Modern Chinese magazines and moral censorship

Week One (23 29 March)

Opening remarks: Professor Andrew Thacker (NTU), Future States co-director

Keynotes: Prof Patrick Rössler, Prof Faye Hammill

Panel 1: Francophone Modernities

Dr Chara Kolokytha (Northumbria): Le Génie du Nord: Sélection and the advocacy of an international “Nordic” culture

Prof Adrien Rannaud (Toronto): To be or not to be modern: The paradox of modernity in French-Canadian magazines during the 1930s

Laura Truxa (EHESS): Visual modernism and its others in VU

Panel 2: The Soviet World

Dr John Etty (Auckland GS): Performing ideology: Communism and modernism in Soviet graphic satire

Phaedra Claeys (Ghent): Safeguarding Russian culture as a cultural reality or as a cultural construct? The case of the news magazine Illustrated Russia

Dr Michael Erdman (British Library): Issue: class, volume: nation : Periodicals in the construction of Soviet Turkic identities

Panel 3: Youthful Identities

Prof Richard Junger (Western Michigan): “The young man of to-day is not the young man of fifty years ago”: The changing image of United States men as portrayed in cover art of popular periodicals, 1880-1920

Dr Elena Ogliari (Milan): Negotiating modernity and tradition in Irish periodicals for juveniles (1910s-1920s)

Dr Christophe Premat (Stockholm): Promoting youth between the two world wars: The case of the magazine Télémaque in France in 1934

Panel 4: Australia – Home and Abroad

Dr Susann Liebich (Heidelberg) and Prof Victoria Kuttainen (James Cook): Currents of international travel: Australian magazines and travel writing about the Asia-Pacific in the 1920s and 1930s

Dr Louise Edensor (Middlesex Dubai): The Native Companion: E. J Brady’s ‘home-grown’ literature and modernist aesthetics

Prof Melissa Miles (Monash): The city, race and labour in Australian design magazines of the 1930s

Panel 5: Transnationalism

Prof Max Saunders (KCL): Transhuman transnationals: The future states of J. B. S. Haldane and J. D. Bernal

Prof Carey Snyder (Ohio): The global dialogics of The New Age

Dr Nissa Ren Cannon (Boston): American on Sundays: The Paris Tribune’s Sunday magazine section

Dr Jaleen Grove (Ringling College): Magazine Digest: The visual rhetoric of a Canadian Jewish magazine before and during wartime

Week Two (30 March - 5 April)

Opening remarks: Dr Tim Satterthwaite (Brighton), Future States co-director

Keynotes: Prof Claire Lindsay, Prof Michel Hockx

Panel 6: Latin America – Transitional Cultures

Dr Laura Fólica (Catalonia): Between the local and the international: The role of literary translation in Revista Nosotros (1907-1943)

Prof Hanno Ehrlicher and Dr Jörg Lehmann (Tubingen): Indigenism as nationalism: The case of Amauta

Claudia Cedeño (Tubingen): The ancient and the modern woman in Mexican Folkways

Panel 7: The Age of Extremes

Prof Konrad Dussel (Mannheim): Pictures for German communists: The newspaper supplement Der Rote Stern in the Weimar Republic

Prof Vike Martina Plock (Exeter): Klaus Mann’s Decision: The unfinished story of a modernist magazine

Prof Antonella Pelizzari (CUNY): Modernity and distraction in Fascist Italy: Photography in 1930s Rizzoli illustrated periodicals

Panel 8: Representing the Modern

Dr Jean-Louis Marin-Lamellet (Savoie-Mont Blanc): Scrambling for a cooperative future: The Arena magazine, reform discourses and the production of national identity (1889-1909)

Dr Margaret Innes (Syracuse): Photo-History and radical print media’s national turn

Pedro Castelo (Birkbeck): Nationalism and modernity: A cultural and intellectual debate in Portuguese architectural magazines of the mid-century

Panel 9: The Power of Photography

Dr Emma West (Birmingham): “The Greater Britain of Fascists”: Politics and photomontage in Action (1936-1940)

Dr Guilia Pra Floriani (Heidelberg): Transmediality and the construction of a national imagery: Portraits of Republican leaders in the Chinese popular media (1912-1913)

Josie Johnson (Brown): Mutable modernity: Margaret Bourke-White’s Soviet photographs in magazines

Panel 10: Postwar Modernities

N Zeynep Kürük-Erçetin (Boğaziçi): The American image in the Turkish context: A close reading of the translated content in Resimli Hayat magazine

Roozbeh Seyedi (Leiden): Fight for what? The forgotten “Revolutionary Spirit” of modern art in Iran

Prof Anne Reynes-Delobel (Aix-Marseille): Caliban (1947-51): A forum on the future of Europe