First North American Periodical Studies Symposium


The Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS) is a new research initiative that aims to bring together scholars working on American periodicals (magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications) from any historical period.

The first NAPS symposium sought to explore and debate some of the theoretical, methodological and practical implications of the rise of periodical studies for American Studies. We welcomed papers on the publication, production, dissemination and reception of American periodicals from the colonial to the contemporary periods and we encouraged colleagues to reflect on how periodical studies might provide new ways of thinking about and interpreting the cultural history of the Americas. To what extent, for instance, does the study of periodicals challenge the boundaries circumscribing ‘America’ as a nation? What is the role of the American periodical in the public sphere and how has it changed? How do periodicals map the spaces of America? In what ways do periodicals reinforce and/or transgress the divide between literature and journalism? How does the material history of print culture offer alternative ways of reading and interpreting the complex and often contradictory identities of America? What is the impact of digitization on research into American periodical studies and to what extent does the study of periodicals offer new pedagogic opportunities for American Studies?

Included in the day’s activities were a workshop on the British Library’s American periodicals archives and resources. In addition, there was an invited plenary lecture as well as lunch and a wine reception.

This event was co-organised by Dr. Sue Currell (Sussex) and Victoria Bazin (Northumbria).

It was co-hosted and supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies, the British Library, the University of Sussex’s Centre for American Studies and Centre for Modernist Studies and Northumbria University.