Deadline for Proposals: 1 May 2017
In an early issue of New Left magazine Radical America, (a product of the campus-based 1960s movement Students for a Democratic Society) the editors outlined their aim to educate readers ‘about the radical traditions of this country’, to provide a ‘forum for students of American radicalism’, and to break down the barriers between the ‘activist’ and the ‘intellectual’. In doing so, Radical America refashioned a blueprint for American periodical radicalism that had been passed down by activists and editors for generations. As oppositional outlets for expressions of political, cultural, or social dissent, radical American periodicals have played a vital role as a forum for radical debate, and a challenge to mainstream understandings of American democracy, citizenship, and community. Yet what makes a periodical ‘radical’? And what makes it ‘American’? How has our understanding of these terms been shaped by the complex and constantly shifting nature of radical protest and the nation-state? And in what ways does this definition change depending on the editorial production, financial composition, geographic distribution or visual aesthetic of each ‘radical’ periodical?
This special issue seeks to address these questions through exploring the role and resonance of radical periodicals in America from the 18th to the 21st century. Bringing together scholars from a range of different disciplines and historical periods, we seek to interrogate how the concept of the ‘radical periodical’ in America has varied across time and place. We are not only interested in well-established oppositional periodicals, but also more transient forms of radical print – the hand-printed, mimeographed, photocopied, short-lived, minority, dissident, or extremist periodicals which have offered radical new perspectives on American culture, values and politics. We are also interested in papers which examine the connections between individual ideology and editorial intent, radical social movements and periodicals, the development and composition of radical audiences, and the challenges and opportunities of preserving radical periodical in the digital age.
Topics for papers may include:
• Dissident or banned periodicals.
• Communist,fascist or anarchist periodicals.
• Minority, feminist and queer radical publications.
• Reactionary radicalism, white nationalist and far-right periodicals.
• Radical American periodicals abroad and the circulation of radical foreign periodicals in America. • The illustration, formatting and design of radical periodicals.
• The relationship between radical periodicals, organisations and networks.
• Radical periodicals, conservation and the archive.
• Radical zines and periodical radicalism in the digital age.
We welcome work in a number of different formats, including photo-essays, book reviews, interviews and archival notes. Articles for peer review should be between 4,000 and 12,000 words including footnotes. Book reviews should be no more than 1,000 words. Other pieces should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Please consult the UCL Press house style in advance of submission.
Initial proposals (max 4 pages) should be sent to Dr. Sue Currell (S.CURRELL@) and Dr. James West (E.J.WEST@ ) with ‘Radical Americas’ as the subject by May 1st 2017
Completed essays will need to be submitted to the editors, with permissions, by September 30th 2017