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.

American Periodicals seeking new editorial team

The Research Society for American Periodicals seeks proposals from individuals or teams who wish to serve as the next editors of our semiannual journal, American Periodicals.
About American Periodicals
 American Periodicals is devoted exclusively to scholarship and criticism relating to American magazines and newspapers. It includes essays, notes, reviews, bibliographies, and histories concerning all aspects of American periodicals, from the earliest 18th-century magazines to 21st-century ’zines and e-journals. It is available in leading electronic journal databases and is indexed with Modern Language Association International Bibliography, Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory, Communications Abstracts, and Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life.
About the Positions
 We wish to fill two editor positions and a book review editor position. The primary responsibilities of the editorial staff will be to edit two issues of American Periodicals per year, specifically:
  • Solicit submissions and guide them through peer review
  • Commission book reviews
  • Work closely with Ohio State University Press to prepare the journal for publication
  •  Provide leadership and vision for the journal
  • Explore ways to expand the reach of the journal and pool of submissions
We welcome proposals from teams or individuals interested in the positions of editor or book review editor. The successful applicants will be offered a contract to edit the journal for three years, renewable for up to five. We will offer funding to subsidize two course releases per year, for up to $3,000 each (one for two editors or two for one editor) for the first three years, with the expectation that we will continue that support through five years if the editors seek an extension and income from the journal allows it.
To apply, please send a CV (or CVs, if submitting as a team) and a narrative describing your qualifications and your vision for the journal, including plans for expanding the pool of submissions, as well as an indication of your institution’s support.
Please submit your application in .doc or .pdf format to the chair of our search team, Amanda Gailey, at, by December 2, 2014.

CFP: ALA 2015, Visual Culture and Ethnic American Periodicals

Call for Papers: Visual Culture and Ethnic American Periodicals
The Research Society for American Periodicals invites submissions on “Visual Culture and Ethnic American Periodicals” for the American Literature Association conference, May 21-24, 2015 in Boston, MA. This panel considers how African American, Asian and Pacific American, Latino/a, and Native American periodicals engage visual culture, including by publishing comics, cartoons, illustrations, and photographs. Papers that focus on the history or production of periodical art or illustrated periodicals are especially welcome. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the relationship between text and image; collaborations between editors or writers and visual artists; staff and contributing artists; comic strips, cartoon series, or cover art; periodical layout and visual design; and art criticism in ethnic American periodicals. Papers may focus on any US historical period.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 1- to 2-page c.v. by December 10, 2014 to Andreá Williams (Ohio State University) at Please use the subject line “RSAP/ALA proposal.”

Call for papers, SSAWW 2015: Ethnic American Women and Illustrated Periodicals

The Research Society for American Periodicals invites submissions on Ethnic American Women and Illustrated Periodicals for a conference session of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW), November 4-8, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In keeping with the conference theme “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” the panel considers periodicals as the “liminal” or threshold sites of engagement between ethnic American cultural producers and their audiences. Papers may especially focus on how the hybridized forms of illustrated periodicals, as both visual and textual forms, enable self-expression for African American, Asian and Pacific American, Latina, and Native American women as authors and artists.
Possible topics may include:
  • -the dual or “hybrid lives” of ethnic American women as writers and visual artists in periodicals
  • -collaborations between periodical editors or authors and visual artists
  • -women cartoonists, illustrators, photographers and graphic designers
  • -the relationship between text and image in ethnic American magazines, newspapers, and newsletters
  • -women of color as art critics in American periodical culture
Papers may address any U.S. historical era. Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 1- to 2-page c.v. by December 5, 2014 to Andreá Williams (Ohio State University) at andrea.williams.osu [at] Please use the subject line “RSAP/SSAWW proposal.”

Announcing the 2014 RSAP Book Prize

Submission Deadline: December 1, 2014

For the author of the best monograph on American periodicals published by an academic press between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

The prize will be awarded at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in Boston, MA, May 21-24, 2015.

Books will be judged by a peer review of three scholars chosen by the RSAP Advisory Board.

Applicants should download and submit a completed registration form and THREE hard copies of their work to:

Timothy Helwig
010 Simpkins Hall
Department of English
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455

The winner and up to two honorable mentions will be notified by March 1, 2015 and will be recognized at an RSAP-sponsored reception at ALA.

Applicants to the RSAP Book Prize must be current members of RSAP when they submit their books.

Ryan Cordell wins ProQuest/RSAP Article Prize

The ProQuest/RSAP Article Prize is awarded for the best article on American periodicals published in a peer-reviewed journal during 2013 by a pre-tenure or independent scholar. The prize was awarded on Friday, May 23, 2014, at the American Literature Association conference.

Winner: Ryan Cordell (Assistant Professor, English, Northeastern University), for “‘Taken Possession of’: The Reprinting and Reauthorship of Hawthorne’s ‘Celestial Railroad’ in the Antebellum Religious Press,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 7.1 (2013).

The committee praised the article’s stunningly lucid and accessible prose. The essay was valued not only for its use of periodicals as sources, but its contribution of a new model of how to read periodicals. Mining the archive of reprinted versions of Hawthorne’s “The Celestial Railroad” gives readers new insights into the popularity of this text and its circulation among and reception by nineteenth-century readers. The use of digital collation tools to uncover Hawthorne’s “social text” provides a fresh perspective, an innovative methodology, and, ultimately, a fascinating untold story.

Honorable Mention: Melissa Renn (Senior Curatorial Research Associate, Harvard Art Museums), for “Beyond the ‘Shingle Factory’: The Armory Show in the Popular Press after 1913,” Journal of Curatorial Studies 2.3 (2013): 384-404.

This essay is noteworthy for its fresh take on a well-known story.  In historicizing the reception of the 1913 Armory Show in the popular press over several decades, this article is able to question the predominant notions about Marcel Duchamp being the central artist of the show.  It also deftly charts how the narratives within popular periodicals about the initial reaction to, and “meaning” of, the artwork shifted over time.  The article too makes an important contribution to periodical studies by reminding us to consider not just how texts and events are discussed in their immediate aftermath, but to consider how the reception of major events such as the Armory Show unfolds over the course of decades.

Honorable Mention: Charlton Yingling (PhD Candidate, History, University of South Carolina), for “No One Who Reads the History of Hayti Can Doubt the Capacity of Colored Men: Racial Formation and Atlantic Rehabilitation in New York City’s Early Black Press, 1827–1841,” Early American Studies (11.2) 2013: 314-348.

The committee commented that, in tracing out the strategic and symbolic use of Haiti within the African American press, this essay offers a model of the way that periodical research can help expand our understanding of the complex dynamics of race and representation as they are shaped over time.  The article identifies an important (and understudied) shift from racial formations that drew on rhetorics of Pan-African or Negro identity to one framed as “colored,” a shift the author links to New York City’s early black press.  In so doing, it makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of the role played by the African American press in nineteenth-century American culture.

The finalists also participated in a roundtable discussion at ALA earlier in the day.

ProQuest/RSAP Article Prize winners’ roundtable

Ryan Cordell (Winner), Charlton Yingling (Hon. Mention), and Melissa Renn (Hon. Mention), along with prize chair Bill Hardwig led a spirited and wide-ranging discussion on issues confronting periodicals researchers at an ALA roundtable session Fri., 5/23. Ryan, Chaz, and Melissa were later honored at the RSAP reception in the Hyatt’s Article One Lounge.

Ryan Cordell
Ryan Cordell (Northeastern University) discusses the use of digital mapping of reprinted texts.
Chaz Yingling and Melissa Renn
Chaz Yingling (Ph.D. candidate, University of South Carolina) and Melissa Renn (Harvard Art Museums) engage the audience.
Chaz Yingling discusses the representation of the Haitian revolution in New York African American periodicals.