Recent media history scholarship by Friedrich Kittler, Jussi Parikka, Wolfgang Ernst, and Lisa Gitelman has focused on investigating the “new media moment.” While these discussions range across time periods, the “new media moment” as an organizing concept offers new impetus for those interested in studying key moments in the history of Victorian media. The editors seek contributions that can further recover the mutable and multidimensional nature of the periodical press: its material processes of production, its physical product, its corporate and legal infrastructure, its distribution networks, its archived existence, and its digital afterlife.
As Gitleman explains in New Media 1740-1915 (2003), media historians and archeologists are particularly interested in moments “before the material means and the conceptual modes of … media have become fixed, when such media are not yet accepted as natural, when their own meanings are in flux” (xii). Research on Victorian journalism has already accounted for some complex moments of change in the nineteenth century, such as the 1855 repeal of the stamp duty, the arrival of New Journalism (1890s), and the development of half-tone process engraving (1830s-40s). At the same time, there is room for a more expansive excavation of the moments and technologies that shaped the nineteenth-century periodical press as well as those that are shaping the present-day remediation of print.
Possible topics include:
- Modifications in machinery, technologies, and methods of print production.
- (Re)organisations of legal and corporate infrastructure.
- Changes in typography, illustration, paper, ink, binding, colour, wrappings, advertising, or physical size.
- Methods of reprocessing printed text: rebinding, indexing, digitization, library collection development.
- Challenges and opportunities in reprocessing printed text: missing issues or ephemera, deterioration of the material text, content that cannot be digitized, the place of short-run periodicals in the digitization marketplace, the added value of digitization, academic/corporate partnerships.
- Approaches to the remediation of Victorian journalism in the twenty-first century and visions of the future.
Special Issue Co-Editors Shannon R. Smith, BISC, Queen’s University (Canada) Ann M. Hale, University of Greenwich
Special Issue Website http://vprw2016.queensu.ac.uk
The editors invite essays of 5,000-9,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography) for the Winter 2016 special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify co-editors of intention to contribute by September 1, 2015. Please prepare contributions according to the Chicago Manual of Style. Email final file to email@example.com before February 1, 2016.