The Research Society for American Periodicals

RSAP 2016-2017 Article Prize Announcement

The Research Society of American Periodicals invites submissions for its 2016-17 Article Prize.

The prize is awarded to the best article on the subject of American periodicals published in a peer-reviewed academic journal between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017.

Because the Article Prize is designed for early-career scholars, authors must not have received their Ph.D. before January 1, 2012. Graduate students are also welcome to apply.

The prizewinner will be awarded $1000. The prizewinner and two honorable mentions will also be provided with a one-year membership to the Research Society of American Periodicals, which includes a subscription to the society’s journal, American Periodicals.

The winner and two honorable mentions will be invited to participate in an RSAP Article Prize Roundtable held at the 2018 American Literature Association conference, to be held from May 24-27 in San Francisco, CA. All roundtable participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses related to the conference (up to $1000).

To apply, please email a .pdf version of the article and a completed registration form to Benjamin Fagan at

The registration form can be found here:

In order to be considered, all submissions must be received by December 1, 2017.

2016 RSAP Book Prizes Awarded

RSAP is pleased to announce this year’s Book Prizes. The prize is awarded to the best monographs on American periodicals published by an academic press between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016.


Eric Gardner, Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture (NY: Oxford UP, 2015)


Elizabeth Groeneveld, Making Feminist Media: Third-Wave Magazines on the Cusp of the Digital Age (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2016)

Benjamin Fagan, The Black Newsaper and the Chosen Nation (Athens: Univ. Georgia Press, 2016)

Grant Wythoff, The Perversity of Things: Hugo Gernsback on Media, Tinkering, and Scientification (NY: Columbia UP, 2016)

Announcing the 2016 RSAP Book Prize

The Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP) proudly announces its $1000 Book Prize

The prize will be awarded for the best monograph on American periodicals published by an academic press between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Books will be judged by a peer review of three scholars chosen by the RSAP Advisory Board.

The Book Prize will be awarded at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in Boston, MA, May 25-28, 2017. The winner and up to two honorable mentions will be notified by March 1, 2017 and will be recognized at an RSAP-sponsored reception at ALA.

Applicants, who must be current members of RSAP when they submit their books, should download and submit a completed registration form and THREE hard copies of their work by December 15, 2016 to:

Mark Noonan

503 Namm Hall

Department of English

New York City College of Technology, CUNY

300 Jay Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Please direct any questions to Book Prize Committee Chair, Mark Noonan, at

Click here for Registration Form

ALA 2016 CFPs

The RSAP offers the following CFPs for the ALA, May 2016:

CFP for “Digital Lacunae: What Are We Missing?” 

We invite proposals on the topic “Digital Lacunae” for the American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, California, May 26-29, 2016 ( This roundtable will be sponsored by the Research Society for American Periodicals.

As digital repositories have become standard sites for researching and teaching American periodicals, the seduction of countless available texts and improved digital tools seem to be luring us into mistaking these resources as comprehensive. But what are we missing? We would like to hear proposals for papers that discuss texts that are not included in digital collections (or are only inadequately represented) or on how digital tools and methods distort the literary historical landscape.

For example, presenters might consider:

What gets “forgotten” when periodicals are not included for digitization?

What difference does it make that periodicals in regions like the Northeast are robustly favored in the necessary selection process, while those in the South are often suppressed and those in the Midwest are quietly discarded?

Which journals enjoy scholarly appeal thanks to better search engines and best digital practices?

How do subscription fees affect what we study?

What becomes of advertising in digital repositories and digital periodical scholarship?

Please email a 250-word abstract and contact information to Amanda Gailey ( and Benjamin Fagan ( by January 10, 2016.

CFP for “Woman Thinking” at ALA 2016

We welcome proposals on the topic “Woman Thinking: Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture” for the American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, May 26-29, 2016 ( This panel will be co-sponsored by the Research Society for American Periodicals and author societies including the Lydia Maria Child Society, the Anna Julia Cooper Society, the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, the Edwidge Danticat Society, the Margaret Fuller Society, the Society for Rebecca Harding Davis and Her World, the Emily Dickinson International Society, and the Elizabeth Oakes Smith Society.

 Historically, women have been excluded from the markers of intellectualism available to men, ranging from the academy to the church to the state. American periodical culture provided an alternative forum for women thinkers to participate in intellectual exchange and, in so doing, influence public opinion, critique societal practices, and advance human knowledge and freedom. While illuminating studies have linked women’s periodical work to their activism, less attention has been paid to the ways that women have engaged with periodical culture to establish themselves as intellectual authorities in the public mind. For this panel, we seek papers that explore the relationship between women’s periodical work and public intellectualism in America. We wish to emphasize that we look for papers on all women working and writing in periodicals, including those without author societies, such as Frances E.W. Harper, Ida B. Wells, Zitkala-Ša, Sarah Winnemucca, Sarah Josepha Hale, Fanny Fern, Grace Greenwood, etc.

In “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson described the ideal citizen as “Man Thinking.” How did women use periodicals to assert themselves as citizen-thinkers in their own right? How did this work against or in conjunction with women’s societal roles (domestic or otherwise) and how might this relate to the expanding boundaries of the positions of women and intellectuals in American society? How wide of a public does a woman need to address to be considered a public intellectual—local, regional, national, global? What types of literacy/writing may define women as intellectuals? In the case of editing, women often worked with an invisible hand, performing intellectual labor as feminized “carework.” How might such work be made visible to literary historians, and how might we think about editing as a way for women to enter public, intellectual discourse? As recent discussions in news and social media outlets have made clear, women of color have faced and continue to face distinctive exclusions from public intellectualism (consider the debate surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry as a public intellectual, for example). How have women of color established their own traditions of public intellectualism through periodical work? What do we have to gain by examining women’s periodical work through the lens of public intellectualism and what might we lose?

Please send 250-word abstracts and a brief biographical statement to Sarah Olivier at and Jean Lee Cole at by January 10, 2016.


Tim Lanzendörfer wins 2013-2014 RSAP Book Prize


Timothy Lanzendörder, University of Mainz, with his prize certificate.

Timothy Lanzendörder, University of Mainz, with his prize certificate.

Professor Tim Lanzendörfer’s The Professionalization of the American Magazine: Periodicals, Biography, and Nationalism in the Early Republic (Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2013) is the winner of the 2013-2014 RSAP Book Prize.

Recognizing the best title published by an academic press in the field of American periodical studies, the prize is sponsored by the Research Society for American Periodicals. It is presented every other year during the RSAP reception at the American Literature Association conference. The present competition considered an impressive collection of eight titles from across the field published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

Tim Helwig (Western Illinois University), Carl Ostrowski (Middle Tennessee State University), and Karen Roggenkamp (Texas A&M University-Commerce) praised The Professionalization of the American Magazine “for the breadth of its primary research and its convincing revision to critical perceptions of the Early Republic periodical. Relying on an array of editors’ and publishers’ private letters, contracts, expense ledgers, prospectuses, and editorials, Lanzendörfer demonstrates that economic considerations drove periodical production far more than the ideology of disinterested virtue that has been supposed to underlie magazine publication during the period.”

Lanzendörfer, an assistant professor at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, is currently at work on a study on speculative fiction and history in the contemporary novel, and is the editor of a forthcoming collection entitled The Contemporary Novel and the Poetics of Genre.

RSAP panels at ALA

Photos from RSAP sponsored and co-sponsored panels at ALA 2015, Boston, MA.

Other periodicals-related papers and panels at ALA 2015

Here’s a list of papers and panels at ALA that are not sponsored by RSAP, but nevertheless of interest to periodicals scholars. Please contact us if you are presenting a paper that we should include in this list!

And be sure to check out RSAP-sponsored panels and events here.

Session 2-B      Reimagining Young Willa Cather: New Evidence, New Approaches 

1.         “Cather’s 1897 ‘Prize Question’ Contest for the National Stockman and Farmer: or, What ‘Our Young Folks’ Need to Know,” Timothy Bintrim, St. Francis University

Session 3-A      The Citizen Poets of Boston, 1789–1820 

1.         “Recovering the Citizen Poets of Boston: Pedagogy, Research, and Findings,” Paul Lewis, Boston College

2.         “Feminist Voices in the Citizen Poets Anthology,” Alexandra Mitropoulos, Boston College School of Law

3.         “Reprinting as Revision: The Version of Joseph Fawcett’s ‘Contrast’ (1798) that Appeared in

        the Christian Disciple in 1816,” Nicholas Volpe, Boston College

4.         “Local Forms, National Concerns: Populist Archives of Boston’s Early Republic,” Kristin Canfield, University of Texas at Austin


Session 4-D      Defining Genres in Early African American Literature 

1.         “Circulating the Black Rapist: Sketches of the Life of Joseph Mountain and Early American Networks of Print,” Brian Baaki, CUNY Graduate Center

2.         “At War with Genre: The Context and Construction of the Civil War in Julia C. Collins’s The Curse of Caste or; The Slave Bride,” Eric Van Hoose, University of Cincinnati

3.         “Anonymous Circulations: Unnamed Southern Correspondents for Freedom’s Journal and The Rights of All,” Gordon Fraser, University of Connecticut

4.         “The Place of the Conjurer: Genre, William Wells Brown, and the Conjure Tale,” Sarah Ingle, University of Virginia

Session 4-F      Issues of Celebrity 

3.         “Paul Gray, Time Magazine, and American Literary Culture in the Late Twentieth Century,” Frank Novak, Pepperdine University

Session 5-B      Emergence and Influence of Literary Criticism in Antebellum America 

1.         “Prison Reform and Interiority in Reviews of Antebellum American Fiction,” Carl Ostrowski, Middle Tennessee State University

2.         “Critical Fictions: Melville’s Pierre and Antebellum Critical Culture,” Adam Gordon, Whitman College

3.         “Cross-Racial Labor Reform: Literary Notices of Cheap Fiction in Frederick Douglass’ Paper,” Timothy Helwig, Western Illinois University

Session 5-O     Literary Business and Finance 

3.         “Advertising Black Entrepreneurial Uplift in The Crisis,” Adam Coombs, Indiana University


Session 7-E      Print Cultures within the Nation 

1.         “‘[C]haracteristic of the American Mind’: 19th Century Humor, Satire, and National Identity,” Todd Nathan Thompson, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

2.         “‘The Honest, Home-Write Page’: The Search for the Early American Comic Strip,” Alex J. Beringer, University of Montevallo

3.         “Forming Community through Print: Bill Nye in the Pittsburg Dispatch,” Brianne Jaquette, University of Missouri

Session 8-C      Celebrating Twenty Years of the Woolson Society with New Perspectives on Her Life and Work 

2.         “Trial by Newspaper: Murder and Invention in Woolson’s Anne,” Kathleen Diffley, University of Iowa


Session 8-H      Ezra Pound Society, Session 2: New Trends in Ezra Pound Studies 

1.         “Ezra and Gino in the Indice, 1930-31,” Wayne Pounds, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan


Session 9-G      Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore 

3.         “Marianne Moore in Transatlantic Modernist Magazines,” Celena E. Kusch, University of South Carolina Upstate


Session 10-B    Roundtable on Dreiser and Gender 2015: Flash Talks

3.         “‘The Realist and his/her Sources’: Gendered Authorship and Readership in Dreiser’s Late Literary Criticism,” Carol Smith, University of Winchester


Session 11-F    Comics and Modernism 

1.         “Cartoonists Greet the Future: Comics, the Armory Show, and the Shock of Recognition,” Peter R. Sattler, Lakeland College

2.         “The Invisibility of Influence: The Poetics of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and the Comicity of E.E. Cummings,” Ben Novotny Owen, Ohio State University

3.         “Beyond Black: Abstraction and Expression in the Comics and Canvases of Ad Reinhardt,” David M. Ball, Princeton University

Session 11-G    Issues of Social Justice 

1.         “Shadow Mayors of Harlem: Umbra’s New York Avant-Garde,” Keith D. Leonard, American University

2.         “Re-Viewing Chinatown: Countering Anti-Chinese Stereotypes in the 1880s Illustrated Press,” Amanda Frisken, SUNY College at Old Westbury

4.         “Upton Sinclair’s Pulp Didacticism,” Andrew Smart, The Ohio State University


Session 15-A    Mark Twain’s Audiences: Reception Histories and Reconstructed Reading Communities 

1.         “Reconstructing the Reading Community of the Century: The Pre-Published Chapters of Huckleberry Finn,” Barbara Hochman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

3.         “The Reception of The Prince and the Pauper in the Early 1880s,” James L. Machor, Kansas State University


Session 15-F    Crime, Mystery, and Detective Fiction 

1.         “‘Not Being A Female’: Singular Images of Female Criminals in the Antebellum Press,” Nicole C. Livengood, Marietta College

Session 16-A    Melville’s Money

2.         “‘The Universal Confounding and Distorting of Things’: Money and Poverty in Melville’s Magazine Pieces,” Madison Furrh, Colorado State University-Pueblo

3.         “Dead Letters Circulated: ‘Bartleby’ in an Age of Communications Revolution,” Yoshiaki Furui, Emory University


Session 17-G    Roundtable on Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins’ Of One Blood 

4.         “Distributed Agency among Pauline Hopkins, the Colored American Magazine, and Of One Blood,” Michelle N. Huang, The Pennsylvania State University

Session 18-E    Form and Expectation in Early American Literature 

5.         “Expectation and Plebeian Blindness in Late Eighteenth-Century Newspapers and Jestbooks,” Jennifer Thorn, St. Anselm College


Session 18-G    Depictions of Women in the 19th Century Press 

2.         “Deferring for the Ladies: Narrative Beginnings and Sarah Hale’s the Ladies’ Magazine,” Lydia G. Fash, Boston University

Session 21-H    Women’s Roles Revisited 

3.         “‘And why should not four women make up a party to go and learn from the lips of the sages?’: The Woman’s Journal and Women’s Pilgrimage to Concord, Massachusetts,” Todd Richardson, University of Texas of the Permian Basin


RSAP at ALA 2015

Please come to one or all of our sponsored sessions, and don’t miss our 2nd annual reception on Thursday (food, cash bar, prize announcements, periodicals-related nerdiness) immediately preceding the ALA opening reception!

See you in Boston!

THURSDAY 5/21, 9:00 – 10:20 AM
Session 1-C: Roundtable: Digital Approaches to American Periodicals (Essex North West 3rd Floor), Organized by RSAP and the Digital Americanists, featuring:
Moderator: Benjamin Fagan, University of Arkansas; respondent: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University; and participants Jeff Drouin, University of Tulsa; Kim Gallon, Purdue University; Elizabeth Hopwood, Northeastern University; and Elizabeth Lorang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

THURSDAY 5/21, 3:00 – 4:20 PM
Session 5-D: Visual Culture and African American Periodicals (Essex North West 3rd Floor)
1. “The Black Artist as Celebrity in the Indianapolis Freeman,” Andreá Williams, Ohio State University
2. “Lynching Photographs in the NAACP’s Crisis,” Fumiko Sakashita, Ritsumeikan University
3. “On the Brighter Side: African-American Cultural Identity in Ebony Magazine, 1945-1963,” Dalia Linssen, Rhode Island School of Design

RSAP RECEPTION: Thursday May 21, 2015, 4:30-5:50 pm, Essex South 3rd Floor

SATURDAY 5/23, 11:10 AM – 12:30 PM
Session 16-C American Periodicals at 25: Looking Back, Looking Forward (Essex North West 3rd Floor)
1. “Stirred, Not Shaken: Periodical Elixirs for Tyros and Pros,” Kathleen Diffley, University of Iowa
2. “New Developments and Next Steps in Black Periodical Studies,” Eric Gardner, Saginaw Valley State University
3. “Considering the Visual Culture of American Periodicals,” Janice Simon, University of Georgia
4. “The American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Bringing the Resource to You,” Richa Tiwary, Director of Product Management & Archives Collections at EBSCO Information Services

SATURDAY 5/23, 12:40 – 2:00 PM
Session 17-M RSAP Business Meeting, Essex Center 3rd Floor

New Resources interface!

RSAP’s indispensable list of periodicals resources is back online with a dynamic new interface and advanced searching capabilities. Find digitized archives, periodicals-related websites, online scholarship, and more by clicking on the “Resources” link in the navigation bar at the top of the page, or clicking here:

RSAP announces new editorial team for American Periodicals

The Research Society for American Periodicals is pleased to announce the new editorial team for its sponsored journal, American Periodicals:

  • Co-editors: Cynthia Patterson and Jean Lee Cole
  • Book Review Editor: Eric Gardner

Many thanks to the outgoing editorial team members, Karen Roggenkamp and Craig Monk, for their exemplary service to the journal and the organization.

The journal is currently accepting submissions for issue 26.1 (Spring 2016). A description of the journal and submission guidelines is available at the American Periodicals website.