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:
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 ( 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:

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, by June 24, 2016.

Radical America: Revolutionary, Dissident and Extremist Magazines


Reserve a place by booking at Sussex University’s online shop:

Radical America: Revolutionary, Dissident and Extremist Magazines, 20th May, The Keep, University of Sussex

Registration: 9.30 Coffee & Tea

10-10.30: Introduction to radical American collections at The Keep and launch of the New Masses Digital Collection: speakers Sue Currell, Francis Booth and Doug Haynes

Panel 1. 10.35-11.55 Sexual Dissidence (Chair: Luke Walker, University of Sussex).

  • Sex and the radical imagination in the Berkeley Barb and the San Francisco Oracle. Sinead McEneaney (St Mary’s University).
  • ‘The nearest thing to us in all the world’: Naked Bodies as Revolutionary Art for The Masses, John Fagg (University of Birmingham).
  • Transatlantic Feminist Periodical Networks and the Women’s Liberation Movement, Victoria Bazin (Northumbria University).

Panel 2.  12—1.20 Spaces of Segregation and Incarceration (Chair: Doug Haynes, Sussex University)

  • Marginalization and exclusion of Black World staff in the physical work environment of 1970s Johnson Publishing Company. James West (University of Manchester).
  • White Space: Racial Rhetoric in The Citizen Magazine 1961-79, Bradley Phipps, (University of Leicester).
  • ‘We Asked For Life!’: American Women’s Prison Zines as Sites of Art and Protest, Olivia Wright (University of Nottingham).

Lunch 1.20-2.00

Panel 3. 2.05-3.25 Writers, Artists and Intellectuals as Editors (Chair: Nerys Williams, University College Dublin).

  • Anarchy in LA: New York School sociability and Dennis Cooper’s Little Caesar magazine Diarmuid Hester (University of Sussex).
  • The Radical Form of Periodical Poetics: Orestes Brownson and The Boston Quarterly Review (1838-42) Benjamin Pickford (University of Nottingham)
  • “Pamela Colman Smith,The Green Sheaf, and Literary Experimentation” Elizabeth C. O’Connor (Washington College)

Panel 4. 3.30-4.50  Visual Radicals and the Avant-Garde (Chair: Maria Lauret, Sussex University)

  • French visual culture in 1960s American avant-garde periodicals: between Godard and Barbarella, Hugo Frey (University of Chichester)
  • Modernism and the Left, Old and New in Rebel Worker  (1964-7) and Radical America (1970) Jo Pawlik (University of Sussex)
  • Theorising the Radicalism of Underground Comix, Paul Williams (University of Exeter)

5—5.30 Refreshments and wine reception

5.30-7  Plenary talk: ‘The rise and fall of the Chicago Seed and the American Underground Press in the Sixties and Seventies’  Abe Peck (Northwestern University) (Introduced and chaired by Daniel Kane). See Abe’s review essay on the Underground Press here at

Reserve a place by booking at Sussex University’s online shop:

Event to be held Friday May 20, 2016 @The Keep, home of the University of Sussex Special Collections and just slightly outside of the main campus, for directions see

Chicago Seed_0002baaslogo   logo-university-of-sussex

This conference is sponsored by the School of English, the Centre for American Studies`& the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex. Postgraduate bursaries have been sponsored by the British Association for American Studies.

Radical America Guest Speaker Announcement

Announcement: Special Guest Speaker for the 2nd NAPS symposium “Radical America” on May 20th is Abe Peck, the former editor of the Chicago Seed  and author of Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of the Underground Press.

Chicago Seed_0002

Abe will discuss the rise and fall of the Chicago Seed as a proxy for the hundreds and hundreds of radical papers that emerged in the 1960s. His talk will cover a wide sweep of experiences from the paper and its role in key radical movements: from the Yippies and the ’68 Democratic Convention to an obscenity bust to eventual extremism and sectarianism. From owned to collectivised The Seed was involved in numerous movements of the era: one issue celebrated both the gay and Native American revolutions. The Seed was also one of the best-illustrated papers of the era, including underground comix.

Other speakers will discuss: Black World during the 1970s; The New Masses 1926-48Sex and the radical imagination in the Berkeley Barb and the San Francisco Oracle; sex and nudity in The Masses; Dennis Cooper’s Little Caesar ; American Women’s Prison Zines; French visual culture in 1960s American avant-garde periodicalsWhite Space and Racial Rhetoric in The Citizen Magazine; New Left magazines in the 1960s, including Radical America. The day will include a discussion about archives, censorship, conservation and digital preservation. There will also be a wine reception and launch of The Keep’s collection of the New Masses magazines.

The full programme for the day will be published soon, in the meantime you can reserve a place by booking at Sussex University’s online shop:

CFP Radical American Magazines


Radical America: Revolutionary, Dissident and Extremist Magazines

CFP: The Second NAPS Symposium is seeking papers that discuss American magazines’ political radicalism and dissidence; experimentalism; marginality; extremism; avant-gardism. Topics to be addressed might include the hand-printed, mimeographed, photocopied, homemade, short-lived, minority, dissident, banned, objectionable, radical, tasteless, amateur, arty, communist, fascist, sectarian, or religious magazines, usually found discarded in the American basement. Further topics of interest: Illustration and design; Networks; Legality; Persecution; Production and distribution; Access, Conservation; and preservation.

Send short abstracts to Sue Currell at by March 25th, 2016. We hope to make some student travel bursaries available so please indicate in your application if you intend to apply for one 

Event to be held Friday May 20, 2016 @The Keep, home of the University of Sussex Special Collections, see

Sponsored by the School of English and the Centre for Modernist Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

The Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS) is a research initiative that aims to bring together scholars working on American periodicals (magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications) from any historical period.

Call For Papers: “Across Borders: Print and Periodical Studies in Motion”

Call For Papers: “Across Borders: Print and Periodical Studies in Motion”
at New York City College of Technology-CUNY  (Brooklyn, June 9 – 10, 2016)

Periodical content (texts and pictorial material), periodical actors (writers, illustrators, editors), and periodicals themselves have always crossed local, regional, and national borders with comparative ease, yet scholars of periodical studies have often confined themselves to specific locales such as urban print centers or nations, largely ignoring the dynamic, circulatory aspects of magazine cultures. A growing body of scholarship dedicated to understanding border crossings and to recovering the transnational and hemispheric dimensions of print cultural history models promising new theoretical and historical approaches.

This symposium welcomes scholars in periodical studies (art history, history, literature, journalism, media and communications), transnational studies, and hemispheric studies to contribute to a more widespread consideration of transnational circulation and of understudied communities of print within the United States. We invite papers that explicitly go beyond local, regional, and national frameworks to discuss the circulatory and network aspects of magazine and print culture from the beginnings of the periodical press to the digital age. The 2-day symposium will include five panels, a keynote address, and a guided tour of Printing House Square.

Possible topics include:

  • The circulation patterns of magazines within the nation and abroad
  • The culture of reprinting textual and visual material across periodicals
  • The spread of printing and distribution technologies
  • The evolution and diffusion of business models
  • Periodicals as catalysts in cultural dissemination, alternative identities/communities, and social movements
  • Theorizing trans- Periodical Studies
  • The use of digital tools and “deep mapping” to track periodical circulations and networks
  • Relationships between different periodical/print centers
  • Texts, topics, and visuals across periodicals
  • Interrelationships between periodical publishing and book publishing
  • Textual trajectories: transregional, transurban, translocal, and transnational
  • A history of periodical studies across national, disciplinary, and institutional borders
  • Reading and writing practices “on the go” (roving reporters, characters, readers)
  • Travel and migration in periodicals
  • Immigrant periodicals
  • Periodical texts in translation
  • The logistics of moving raw material (ink, paper, manuscripts, visuals)
  • Tour-ism/flaneurism as methodology in periodical studies
  • Seriality: circulations and movements across time
  • Media change and periodical innovation
  • Print cultures vs. print culture

Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio. (max. 100 words) to both and by March 1st, 2015. Notification by March 15th. Submissions by junior scholars are highly welcome; travel stipends are available.

Organized by Florian Freitag (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany) & Mark Noonan (New York City College of Technology – CUNY)