Congratulations to the Winners of the PROQUEST RSAP Article Prize

The Research Society for American Periodicals is delighted to announce the winners of the annual PROQUEST RSAP Article Prize for 2011. Our thanks to the judges, William J. Hardwig, Ellen Gruber Garvey, and Eric Gardner, who read the submissions carefully to identify essays that represent some of the most innovative and exciting periodical research work of the past year.

First Prize Winner: Benjamin Fagan, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Honorable Mention Winners: Nikhil Bilwakesh, University of Alabama, and Sara Lindey, St. Vincent College

Fagan, Bilwakesh, and Sara Lindey will take part in a roundtable discussion of their scholarship and methodology upcoming 23rd annual Conference of the American Literature Association, May 24-27, 2012, in San Francisco. For more information about the conference, please refer to the ALA’s website. All three authors will receive financial support to cover some of their travel expenses. Congratulations to all three winners.

About Their Work

1. “‘Americans As They Really Are’: The Colored American and the Illustration of National Identity,” Benjamin Fagan, American Academy of Arts and Sciences – American Periodicals 21.2

Judges lauded the innovative archival work in Benjamin Fagan’s essay. That such work focused not simply on periodical content but also modes of production, questions of materiality and illustration, and the interpersonal networks tied to periodical publication make his piece a model for work with nineteenth-century periodicals.

2. “Boys Write Back: Self-Education and Periodical Authorship in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Story Papers,” Sara Lindey, St. Vincent College – American Periodicals 21.1

Judges were excited by Sara Lindey’s close work with story papers and “boy culture” in the nineteenth century. They praised her essay’s archival components and especially her deep attention to questions of readers and communities.

3. “‘Their faces were like so many of the same sort at home’: American Responses to the Indian Rebellion of 1857,” Nikhil Bilwakesh, University of Alabama – American Periodicals 21.1

Judges praised Nikhil Bilwakesh’s essay as a broad, nuanced picture of US responses to Sepoy rebellion—especially responses in the New York Times—and asserted that it points scholars in useful, new directions for using periodical resources.


The Research Society for American Periodicals solicits proposals for papers on American periodicals and working class cultures to be delivered at the American Literature Association’s 23rd Annual Conference, 24-27 May 2012 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in Embarcadero Center.

Consider periodicals such as The Messenger (founded as the official organ for the Pullman Porter’s Union) to the Worker’s Daily – What role have periodicals played in forming and re-forming class consciousness among the working classes in the U.S.? What unique methodological challenges do working-class periodicals pose? How do working-class periodicals expand our understanding of readership and activism, labor and literary culture? How does literature or literary criticism in The Partisan Review or The New York Review of Books shape our understanding of the high-brow or low-brow audiences?  What brow is the New Yorker, anyway?  What are the challenges & possibilities for teaching material that concerns working class issues from highbrow sources?  Conversely, what in various working class periodicals was designed explicitly or implicitly to teach?  We seek submissions concerning any aspect of American working-class magazines, newspapers, or periodicals in any form.

Please send a one-page abstract submissions to Susanna Ashton at sashton [at] by *January 16th 2012. *

Please put “RSAP panel submission” in the subject line, thanks.

Announcing the ProQuest and RSAP $1000 Article Prize

Submission Deadline: December 16, 2011

For the best article on American periodicals by a pre-tenure or independent scholar published in (or accepted for publication in) a peer-reviewed academic journal.

The third annual ProQuest-RSAP Article Prize will be awarded at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in San Francisco, CA.  May 24-27, 2012.  Articles will be judged by a committee of three scholars appointed by the RSAP Advisory Board.  The winner and two runners up will be notified by the end of January 2012 and will be featured as panelists on an RSAP-sponsored distinguished papers panel at ALA. Articles are judged by a blind peer review of three scholars chosen by the RSAP Advisory Board.

Applicants are invited to submit an electronic copy of their articles together with our downloadable registration form. Send in .doc, .docx, or PDF format to the committee’s chair, Eric Gardner <gardner at> (please substitute @ for at).

All copies should be formatted for blind review and thus without identifying references or title.  Applicants for the ProQuest-RSAP Article Prize must be current members of RSAP when they submit their work.

Questions & Submissions? Contact Prize Committee Chair, Eric Gardner, at

Dr. Eric Gardner
Department of English
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Road
University Center, Michigan 48710
<gardner at> (please substitute @ for at)

Download the informational flyer.