Ways of Reading: An Interactive Magazines Workshop for PGs and ECRs

Cadbury Research Library
Arts and Law
Thursday 14th June 2018 (11:00-16:30)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

For more information, please contact the workshop organiser, Dr Emma West, at e.west@bham.ac.uk.

On Thursday 14 June 2018, the Centre for Modernist Cultures invites postgraduates and early-career researchers from across the UK to take part in a workshop devoted to developing new ways of reading modern(ist) magazines.

Taking Patrick Collier’s essay ‘What is Modern Periodical Studies?’ as its starting point, the workshop asks how viewing periodicals as ‘strange object[s]’ can affect our teaching and research. In a break from the usual conference or symposium model, the workshop aims to bring together art historians, literary scholars and media or print historians for a day of experimentation, exploration and exchange, as well as networking and community-building.

It will mean attempting, as a heuristic, at least, to withhold judgment and read the contents of a periodical, for as long as possible, in the fashion recommended by Margaret Cohen: as a strange object whose codes exceed the ones we are equipped to see, as a potential source of new critical inquiries and conversations rather than as a window onto preexisting, valued critical categories. We might start with only one assumption: that the periodical is valuable simply because it exists—because it once performed some desirable functions for some number of people—and set as our first conceptual task reaching some hypotheses on what those functions were.

Patrick Collier, ‘What is Modern Periodical Studies?’,

Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 6:2 (2015): 98-106 (109).

In the morning, participants will work intensively with a single magazine, chosen collaboratively from a shortlist including BLAST, Rhythm, Form and Coterie. A PDF of the magazine will be circulated in advance; on the day, there will be opportunities to work with the physical magazine at the Cadbury Research Library. In the afternoon, we will extend our working hypotheses and approaches to other modern(ist) magazines in the Cadbury collection, including The Tyro, The Enemy, Blue Review, English Review, The Owl, Scribner’s and more. The day will conclude with opportunities for discussion and reflections on using magazines in teaching and research.

The workshop is free but places are strictly limited: those wishing to attend should fill in an application form explaining why the workshop is relevant to their research and/or teaching. Places will be allocated according to the relevance of the workshop and to ensure a mix of attendees from different disciplines, locations and stages in their academic careers. The deadline for applications is 17:00 Friday 20 April; participants will be notified by 30 April.

We hope to make a contribution to travel, to be claimed after the event.