Report of Second NAPS symposium

Radical America: Revolutionary, Dissident and Extremist Magazines, 20th May, The Keep, University of Sussex
 
The Radical America symposium was attended by over 50 delegates and guests and successfully launched the University of Sussex’s special collection of the New Masses magazine as well as gathering together scholars and general public interested in radical or dissident magazines in the US. Attendees came from around the UK as well as from Ireland and the US. 
 
The day began with an introduction to the Radical America collections at The Keep, including the New Masses archive and ongoing digitization of that collection, as well as a presentation of the Harvey Matusow papers held at Sussex. 
 
The first panel titled ‘Sexual Dissidence’ covered the sexual politics of the radical Berkeley Barb and the San Francisco Oracle; painting and the revolutionary art of The Masses as well as transatlantic feminist periodical networks of the Women’s Liberation Movement. The second panel examined ‘Spaces of Segregation and Incarceration’ in magazine culture, including the marginalization of Black World staff in the physical work environment of 1970s Johnson Publishing Company; white racial rhetoric in The Citizen Magazine 1961-79, and American women’s prison zines as sites of art and protest. 
 
Over lunch, delegates were invited to view the Keep’s collection of radical magazines and the newly conserved issues of the New Masses as well as to attend a demonstration of the digital version of the magazine under development. 
 
After lunch, panel three examined ‘Writers, Artists and Intellectuals as Editors’ with papers presented on Dennis Cooper’s Little Caesar magazine; Orestes Brownson and The Boston Quarterly Review (1838-42) and Pamela Colman Smith’s The Green Sheaf. The final panel for the day focused on ‘visual radicalism and the avant-guard’ with papers on the influence of French visual culture on American periodicals; the influence of modernism and surrealism in Radical America and the radicalism of underground comix. 
 
A wine reception was then followed by a lively and captivating personal recollection of the ‘The rise and fall of the Chicago Seed and the American underground press in the sixties and seventies’  from former underground magazine editor (and most able raconteur) Abe Peck. Abe Peck’s review essay on the literature of the Underground Press is published here: http://logosjournal.com/2013/peck/
 
There was great enthusiasm for the event and it was notable that no one failed to attend and more people came than were registered. Discussions were lively and engaged and there was much interest from outside of the UK from people who couldn’t attend. Interest in this second of the NAPS network events is also leading to two more themed NAPS events over 2016-17, potentially one on a theme of travel and periodicals (Nottingham Trent) and another on body, race and medicine in magazines (Liverpool/Wellcome).
 
The day was generously sponsored and supported by The School of English, (organization, catering and hosting costs); The Centre for Modernist Studies (Wine reception and student helpers/costs) and the Centre for American Studies at Sussex (speaker’s travel costs and hosting). Travel bursaries and postgraduate rates were subsidized by a small grant from the British Association for American Studies (http://baas.ac.uk). Thanks are also due to colleagues at Sussex who kindly gave their time, expertise and support to present or chair panels.
 
An online review of the day and an online exhibition is also under preparation. More on that soon……

Woman Thinking: Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture

by Cynthia Patterson
Apologies for cross-posting.
Call for Proposals: Panel sponsored by the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP) and the Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS: UK)
As a follow-up to successful panels at the recent American Literature Association (ALA) conference in San Francisco on “Woman Thinking: Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture,” we welcome proposals on the topic “Woman Thinking Deuxième Partie : Border Crossing and Public Intellectualism in U.S. Periodical Culture” for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) 2017 conference, to be held July 5-8, 2017 at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France.
In keeping with the conference theme of “border crossing(s),” we specifically invite papers that examine American women periodical writers involved in cross-cultural exchanges.

From the SSAWW 2017 conference CFP:
“The conference theme invites participants to explore the broad spectrum of possibilities generated by cross-cultural interactions, as well as the challenge consequently posed to literary canons. How has this experience affected women writers’ worldview and conception of language? To what extent do their modes of exploration differ from that of their male counterparts? How important were such contacts in allowing women writers to develop a consciousness of otherness and/or forge a community of feeling and experience transcending national and/or cultural barriers?”
The complete CFP can be found at:
https://ssawwnew.wordpress.com/conferences/ssaww-2017-universite-bordeaux-montaigne/

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, particularly as they used their periodical work to forge cross-cultural exchange.
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 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? What do we have to gain by examining women’s periodical work through a lens of public intellectualism and cross-cultural exchange?
Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief (2-page) research CV to Cynthia Patterson, cpatterson@usf.edu by June 24, 2016.