Guest Editors Eric Gardner and Joycelyn Moody
The Fall 2015 issue of American Periodicals will be devoted to texts exploring the field of Black periodical studies and/or exploring issues in/of Black periodicals across the centuries, from Freedom’s Journal to Vibe and beyond. We seek scholarship that considers the nexus of African Americanist inquiry and periodical studies—including, but not limited to, approaches that engage book history studies or center on print culture. We aim to give a glimpse into the “state of the field” by bringing together samples of diverse work that show clear engagement with key questions in Black periodical studies while simultaneously sharing exciting new subjects and methods. We hope for diverse approaches—from works that explore specific “cases” that illustrate what scholarship on Black periodicals might be, do, and become, to essays that explore waves, trends, or movements through broad-based approaches that survey wide groups of texts.
In addition to the content and/or “look and feel” of texts, we are interested in manuscripts that explore topics tied to editorial practice and policy, authorship, financing, production, design, illustration, circulation, readership, reception, cultural position, collection/preservation, and a rich range of other subjects tied to Black periodicals. Strong interdisciplinary work will be welcomed. Questions explored might include (but certainly need not be limited to):
- What is a “Black periodical”?
- What methods, questions, problems, and duties might “Black periodical studies” engage?
- How might we (re)consider the archive(s) of Black periodicals?
- What historical questions must students of Black periodicals strive to answer about texts, editors and editorial practice, periodical exchange, processes of reprinting, and other issues?
- What areas of consonance and dissonance exist between Black periodical studies and current conceptions of Black literary periods (e.g., the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement) and/or Black literary history?
- How have such issues as gender, class, sexuality, region, religion, ideology, and standpoint figured into Black periodicals and/or Black periodical studies?
- How have print media and other technologies—from broadsides to social media, for example—shaped our sense of Black periodicals?
- How do Black periodicals engage with various forms of visual culture? What intersections between visual culture studies and periodical studies prove especially useful in considering Black periodicals?
- What form(s) can we expect Black periodicals to take in the near or distant future?
- How do seriality and periodicity shape representations of Blackness?
As our goal is that scholars will use the issue’s discussion of the (various) state(s) of the field of Black periodical studies to chart possible next steps, we expect that some essays will be more speculative than definitive. We encourage participation representing a wide range of voices, disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, periods, locations, and subjects. To this end, we seek short essays (4,000-5,000 words including notes, bibliographic and otherwise) that follow the guidelines in the current Chicago Manual of Style. Authors’ names should not appear in manuscripts. Figures and illustrations must be provided in black/white or gray scale as high quality .pdfs. Submissions should be made to Eric Gardner via email@example.com by 30 August 2014.
Scholars who plan to submit to this special issue may be eligible for temporary access to two exciting Readex databases of interest to scholars of African American print, African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, and African American Periodicals, 1825-1895. More information on the former can be found at http://www.readex.com/content/