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.

Come to our reception at ALA!

This year, RSAP inaugurates what we hope will become an annual tradition at ALA: a reception featuring the winner and finalists for the ProQuest/RSAP Article Prize. Save the date: Friday, May 23, 6:45-8pm at the Hyatt-Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

Call for Papers for a special issue of American Periodicals: Black Periodical Studies

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 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, and more information on the latter can be found at  Scholars interested in this possibility should email Readex’s Marketing Director David Loiterstein at dloiterstein[at] requesting temporary access.

Panels sponsored or co-sponsored by RSAP at ALA 2014 (and other panels of interest)

Thursday, May 22, 3:00 – 4:20 p.m

Session 5-E War in American Periodicals After 1914

Organized by the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP)

Chair: James Berkey, Duke University

1. “Teaching Little Girls about War: Depiction of Wartime Life in Magazine Paper Dolls and Toys of the First World War,” Rachel Cohen, Samford University

2. “Frost at Midnight: WWI Poetry in the Magazines,” Mark Noonan, New York City College of Technology-CUNY

3. “Politics and Dissent in Winning Hearts and Minds and the GI Underground Press,” Cristina Alsina Risquez, Universitat de Barcelona (Spain)


Friday, May 23, 11:10 am – 12:30 pm

Session 9-D ProQuest and RSAP Article Prize Winners Roundtable

Organized by the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP)

Chair: Bill Hardwig, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1. “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,” Charlton Yingling, University of South Carolina

2. “Beyond the ‘Shingle Factory’: The Armory Show in the Popular Press after 1913,” Melissa Renn, Harvard Art Museums

3. “‘Taken Possession of’: The Reprinting and Reauthorship of Hawthorne’s ‘Celestial Railroad’ in the Antebellum Religious Press,” Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University


Saturday, May 24, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm

Session 17-A Graphic Humor in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical

Organized by the American Humor Studies Association and Research Society for American Periodicals

Chair: Judith Yaross Lee, Ohio University

1. “Approaching the Study of Graphic Art in 19th Century Periodicals: Gauging Questions of Authorship, Intent, and Reception,” Bonnie M. Miller, UMass Boston

2. “Racism, Bohemianism, and the Dark Face of American Political Humor: The Case of New York’s Vanity Fair, 1859-1863,” Robert J. Scholnick. Coll. of William and Mary

3. “A Different Type of Humor: Francis Hopkinson & Typographical Play in Early American Periodicals,” Kevin A. Wisniewski, University of Maryland Baltimore County


Other panels with one or more papers that may be of interest:


Thursday, May 22, 12:00 – 1:20 pm

Session 3-F Identification as Negotiation in the Works of Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

Organized by: Katherine Adams, University of South Carolina

Chair: Paul Lauter, Trinity College

1. “Locating Identity in Alice Moore Dunbar’s New Orleans,” Sandra Zagarell, Oberlin College

2. “Masculinity, Race, and History: Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s Creole Boy Stories,” Caroline Gebhard, Tuskegee University

3. “Alice Moore Dunbar’s Suffrage Persona,” Ellen Gruber Garvey, New Jersey City University

4. “Human Things: Commodity Anxiety in Dunbar-Nelson’s New Orleans,” Katherine Adams, University of South Carolina


Thursday, May 22, 2014 1:30 – 2:50 pm

Session 4-D Digital American Women Writers

Organized by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers

Co-Chairs: Kristin Allukian, University of Florida and Kristin Jacobson, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

1. “Digital Writers/Digital Readers: Teaching and Learning With Student-Authored Digital Posters,” Stephanie A. Tingley, Youngstown State University

2. “Digital Resources and the Magazine Context of Edith Wharton’s Short Stories,” Paul J. Ohler, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

3. “Story Paper (AntHeroines: Reading Alcott’s Potboilers in the Digital Archives,” Michael D’Alessandro, Boston University


Thursday, May 22, 3:00 – 4:20 pm

Session 5-A Reevaluating Hemingway’s Nonfiction

Organized by the Ernest Hemingway Society

Chair: Ross K. Tangedal, Kent State University

1. “Hemingway and Authorial Conception: The Hunter and the Hunted in Africa,” Michael DuBose, The University of South Carolina-Beaufort

2. “Hemingway’s Journalism, Journalistic Voices, and Journalistic Philosophy During and in the Wake of Fascism in the 1930’s,” Jean Jespersen Bartholomew, The Carlbrook School

3. “Reconsidering Hemingway on Film: Race, Politics and the Specter of the Cold War,” Peter Lancelot Mallios, The University of Maryland


Thursday, May 22, 3:00 – 4:20 pm

Session 5-H Rebecca Harding Davis, Peterson’s Magazine, and Reform

Sponsored by: The Society for the Study of Rebecca Harding Davis and Her World

Chair: Robin Cadwallader, Saint Francis University

1. “‛I am Awkward in My New Vocation’: Davis’s Resistance to the ‘Disease of Money Getting,’” Arielle Zibrak, Case Western Reserve University

2. “The Sympathetic ‘I’: The Gothic and Civil Commitment in Rebecca Harding Davis’s ‘Put Out of the Way,’” Sarah Gray-Panesi, Middle Tennessee State University

3. “The Gender Politics of Marital Pursuit in Rebecca Harding Davis’s A Wife, Yet Not a Wife,” Jane E. Rose, Purdue University North Central


Friday, May 23, 8:10 – 9:30 am

Session 7-E Mark Twain’s Readers: Explorations in Reception

Organized by the Reception Study Society

Chair: Ellen Gruber Garvey, New Jersey City University

1. “Readers Write Back: Mark Twain’s Fan Mail and Eccentric Receptions,” James L. Machor, Kansas State University

2. “The Pistol and the Press: The Reception of Mark Twain, Sensational Reporter,” Jarrod Roark, University of Missouri-Kansas City

3. “Reading Twain’s Mysteries: From Pudd’nhead Wilson to a Double Barrelled Detective Story,” Philip Goldstein, University of Delaware-Wilmington


Friday, May 23, 9:40 – 11:00 am

Session 8-A Catharine Maria Sedgwick in/and Washington D.C.: A Roundtable Organized by the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

Moderator: Jenifer Elmore, Palm Beach Atlantic University

1. “The Personal Becomes Political: Sedgwick’s Early Letters,” Patricia Larson Kalayjian, California State University, Dominguez Hills

2. “Catharine Sedgwick’s Emancipation Proclamations: In the Parlor, the Pulpit, and the Press, 1827-1836,” Lucinda Damon-Bach, Salem State University

3. “Agrarian Law and the Problem of ‘Unsubdued Land’ in Sedgwick’s Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home (1841), ” Matthew Wynn Sivils, Iowa State University

4. “‘Wider abuses make rebels’: Sedgwick’s Shifting Stance on Slavery in the 1850s,” Deborah Gussman, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey


Friday, May 23, 2:10 – 3:30 pm

Session 11-H Culture and Context in Stephen Crane’s Work

Organized by the Stephen Crane Society

Chair: Benjamin F. Fisher, University of Mississippi

1. “’A Spector of Reproach’: Revisiting Figures of Shame in The Red Badge of Courage,” Keiko Nitta, Rikkyo University/Yale University

2. “Stephen Crane’s Literary Journalism and the Limits of Liberalism in the Progressive Era,” Clemens Spahr, Mainz University

3. “Structures of Feeling within Stephen Crane’s ‘The Blue Hotel,’” Robert Welch, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


Friday, May 23, 3:40 – 5:00 pm

Session 12-C Online in the Old Classroom

Organized by the Society of Early Americanists

Chair: Edward Whitley, Lehigh University

1. “Teaching T(homas) Paine through Rap Genius: Early American Literature and Collaborative Literacy,” Kacey Tillman, University of Tampa & Jeremy Dean, PhD,

2. “ ‘The simple, compact, well join’d scheme’: Creating Multimodal Experiences for Students of Early American Literature Using Webbased Resources,” Jeff Everhart, Longwood University

3. “The New Leviathan: How I Implemented the AAS’s Periodicals Database in My Traditional American Literature Survey Class, and Lived to Tell the Tale,” Joshua Matthews, Dordt College


Saturday, May 24, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm

Session 17-E Publishing Matters in the American Renaissance.

1. “Conversation and Editorial Authority in Transcendentalist Periodicals,” Todd H. Richardson University of Texas of the Permian Basin

2. “Emerson, Greeley, and the Digital Archive,” Lloyd Willis, Lander University

3. “‘A paint mixed by another person’: Hawthorne, Poe, Dickinson, Spofford, and the Plagiarism Issue in Nineteenth-Century American Literature,” David Cody, Hartwick College

4. “Antebellum School Readers, Slavery, and Market Censorship,” Joe Lockard, Arizona State University


Saturday, May 24, 12:30 – 1:50 pm

Session 18-B Melville and the Politics of Print

Organized by the Melville Society

Chair: Anne Baker, North Carolina State University

1. “Teasing the Whale: ‘The Town Ho’s Story’ as Told in Harper’s,” Jarad Krywicki, University of Colorado

2. “‘Quite an Original’: The Reproducibility of Print and the Aesthetics of The Confidence Man,” Katie McGettigan, University of Keele

3. “Whale 2.0: Situating Melville in the Online Reading Renaissance,” David O. Dowling, University of Iowa


Saturday, May 24, 2:00 – 3:20 pm

Session 19-J African American Short Fiction in the 1890s

Organized by the Paul Laurence Dunbar Society

Chair: William Hardwig, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1. “Charles Chesnutt and the Place of Race in the Regionalist Atlantic Story,” Jill Spivey Caddell, Cornell University

2. “Charles Chesnutt’s Animal Metaphors,” Thomas Morgan, University of Dayton

3. “Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Communities of Debt,” Christine A. Wooley, St. Mary’s College of Maryland


Saturday, May 24, 5:00 – 6:20 pm

Session 21-B American Editorial Platforms: From Print to Performance

Organizers: Dr. Cecily Swanson, New York University and Dr. Jane Carr, New York University

Chair: Dr. Allison Wright, Virginia Quarterly Review and University of Virginia

1. “Social Psychology in American Modernist Magazines,” Cecily Swanson, New York University

2. “Mapping the Editorial Networks of Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s The Provincial Freeman,” Jim Casey, University of Delaware

3. “Editorial Failures and Radical Clerks in American Literary History,” Dr. Jane Carr, New York University

CFP: American Literature Association, May 22-25, 2014

RSAP seeks proposals for the American Literature Association’s 25th Annual Conference, 22-25 May 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. Proposals are requested for the following:

1. War and/in American Periodicals after 1914

As spaces of dialogue and dissent, American periodicals have played a formative role in the negotiation of war’s meaning in American culture. This panel seeks 15-20–minute papers that might address any aspect of this topic, including but not limited to: seriality and war; soldier newspapers; trench journalism; periodicals and the home front; fictional representations of war in periodicals; periodicals as spaces for dialogue and dissent about war; anti-war publications; responses to war in black periodicals; war in visual culture; the imagined communities of wartime America; literary style and war correspondence; etc. Please email 300-word abstract and C.V. to Amanda Gailey at gailey [at] by December 15, 2013; please put “RSAP panel submission” in the subject line.

2. “Graphic Humor in American Periodicals”

Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on subjects addressing “graphic humor” in American periodicals.  Subjects could range from cartoon strips to political cartoons to illustrations, and may include alternative interpretations of the term “graphic.”  Papers should focus on the periodical context of the subject, as well as broader concerns of interpreting humor. This panel is co-sponsored by the American Humor Studies Association and the Research Society for American Periodicals. Please e-mail abstracts no later than January 10, 2013 to Tracy Wuster (wustert [at] with the subject line: “AHSA/RSAP session, 2013 ALA.”


Notifications will go out no later than January 20, 2013.

Announcing the Fifth Annual Proquest/RSAP Essay Prize

Deadline: December 13, 2013

Proquest and the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP) proudly announce the 5th annual $1000 article prize.

The prize will be awarded for the best article on American periodicals by a pre-tenure or independent scholar published in a peer-reviewed academic journal with a publication date during 2013. Two runners up will receive $500 each. Articles will be judged by a committee of three scholars appointed by the RSAP Advisory Board.

The fifth annual ProQuest-RSAP Article Prize will be awarded at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in Washington, DC, May 22-25, 2014. The winner and two runners up will be notified by the end of January 2014. They will be featured as panelists on an RSAP-sponsored distinguished papers panel at ALA, and will receive their awards at a reception hosted by the organization.

Applicants are invited to submit electronic copies of their articles with a contest registration form for download here. Please send the article and registration form to the committee’s chair, Bill Hardwig at whardwig [at] Documents should be sent in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.

All copies must be formatted for blind review and thus without identifying references or title.

Deadline: December 13, 2013

Questions & Submissions? Contact Prize Committee Chair, Bill Hardwig, at whardwig [at]

Additionally, please feel free to download and share the prize poster.