Essays of 6,000-7,000 words are sought for a special number of Victorian Periodicals Review on the theme of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals.
Much of the Victorian Press was built on an interdependency of work and leisure. But what was the “leisure” that the press promoted and how different was it from work? Reading the press itself is obviously an insufficient answer: reading could be work for teachers, reviewers or those trying to entertain children or colleagues. To what extent, indeed, was leisure but a ruse? How far did the Victorian press inscribe women’s domestic labour as a form of leisure, or male work as pleasurable? More generally, how did the press fit into the wider context of the entertainment industry: the theatre, travel, music, exhibitions, sport - and shopping?
Not all of the press was devoted to leisure and its limits. What of that enormous sector that unashamedly named their focus as work-related: the trade and professional press, newspaper pages devoted to the stock market and commodity prices, articles worrying over women in the workplace, over the masculinity of the civil servant, or over the demands of labourers on strike?
Finally, what of the “cultural work” of the Victorian press? What was the function of the press in and on society? How might that cultural work relate to the pleasures of leisure?
Please submit completed manuscripts by 30 June 2012 (for publication in 2013) in Word (no PDFs please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, informal queries or expressions of interest are welcome.
With best wishes,