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:

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!

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