Radical Print Summer School 2023 (16-19 May)

The Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG) is delighted to present an exciting programme of talks, activities, workshops, book launches, and interactive demonstrations as part of a Radical Print Summer School which will take place across different venues in Nottingham between Tuesday 16 May and Friday 19 May 2023.

Our programme brings together regional activist groups, media professionals, education communities, and the general public to engage with a range of topics, including the study of periodicals, bookshops, archives, zine-making, and activist histories represented in the periodical press (both past and present). The following speakers are confirmed:

*** Sara Ahmed (feminist writer and independent scholar) ***

Matt Gill (NTU and Raw Print)

Khaya Job (Femme Fatale Gals)

Tony Simpson (Spokesman Books)

Philipp Koellen (The Sparrows’ Nest Library and Archive)

Neelam Srivastava (Newcastle University)

Ross Bradshaw (Five Leaves Bookshop)

Feminist Archive East Midlands (FME)

Liberating Histories project (Northumbria University)

The programme also includes workshops on ‘Studying Print Culture’ and ‘Feminism in Print’ (led by PPCRG co-directors Andrew Thacker and Catherine Clay, respectively), as well as a postgraduate ‘Work in Progress’ session related to periodicals and print culture. See below for our Programme of Events.

Prices: admission is £10 per day (£5 for Friday), or a special rate of £30 for all four days.

To purchase your ticket, please visit:

*** Please note, the event ‘Being a Feminist Killjoy with Sara Ahmed’ is now fully booked. Please contact if you would like to be added to the cancellation list. ***

Programme of Events:

Day 1: Tuesday 16 May 2023

WORKSHOP: ‘Studying Print Culture’ with Andrew Thacker

This session will introduce the topic of periodicals and print culture and outline some of the diverse ways in which we can approach this kind of material. We will look in detail at different styles of magazine from the twentieth century, along with other kinds of print culture material, exploring ways in which to analyse their content, format, and layout.

11.00am – 1.00pm

VENUE: NEWN51 (Newton Building, NTU City Campus)

WORKSHOP: Zine-Making with Matt Gill and Khaya Job

Come and experience the power and immediacy of print through a zine-making workshop with Khaya Job of Femme Fatale Gals and Matt Gill of Raw Print. We’ll be learning some fun and easy ways to make quick zines so please join us!

2.30pm – 4.30pm

VENUE: BW005a and BW005b (Barnes Wallis Building, NTU City Campus)

Day 2: Wednesday 17 May 2023

TALKS: ‘Che’s Nottingham Impression’ (Tony Simpson, Spokesman Books) and ‘The Sparrows’ Nest: An Introduction’ (Philipp Koellen, The Sparrows’ Nest Library and Archive)

‘Che’s Nottingham Impression’ (Tony Simpson)

Ernesto Che Guevara was killed in Bolivia in October 1967. His brutal and untimely death drew global attention. Within a year, his hand-written Bolivian diaries had been retrieved and translated into English. In 1968, they were printed and published in Nottingham in an early edition. How did this pioneering publishing venture arise and who did the work?

‘The Sparrows’ Nest: An Introduction’ (Philipp Koellen)

Holding tens of thousands of books, journals, pamphlets, zines, leaflets, posters and unpublished archival materials, Nottingham’s Sparrows’ Nest Library and Archive is focussed on the history of Anarchism and local radical history. The Nest’s archivist will introduce the project, outline the collections and showcase some local materials.

10.00am – 11.00am

VENUE: NEWN54 (Newton Building, NTU City Campus)

GUIDED WALK: ‘Agitating the Lawless Rabble’ (Philipp Koellen, Sparrows’ Nest)

In this guided walk around Nottingham City Centre, we will be exploring some episodes related to our proud tradition of independent bookshops and radical publishing.

Utilising primary sources, we will listen to the echoes of incredible people’s voices and remember some of their courageous struggles, from Susannah Wright defending her bookshop against riled up bigots in the 1820s to the community papers which fuelled grassroots resistance to the Poll Tax in the late 1980s and 1990s.

11.00am – 12.00pm

VENUE: Departing from Newton Building, NTU City Campus

WORKSHOP: Liberating Histories project (Victoria Bazin, Melanie Waters and Eleanor Careless)

Liberating Histories examines Women’s Movement magazines from 1968 to the present, and the influence these magazines had on readers’ lives (for more information, please visit our website here: The project is building an archive of readers’ testimonies that records the role feminist periodicals played in creating activist communities and identities and that captures the voices of those who remember the experience of reading these magazines. But we are also interested in the legacies of Liberation, how the Women’s Movement has been mediated and remembered and how it continues to influence feminist debate. This session invites participants to reflect on feminist periodicals of the 1970s and 1980s in order to create a collective readers’ testimony that explores feminism now and then. Participants may well have first-hand memories of these magazines or may be encountering them for the first time; either way, the workshop is primarily concerned with exploring how feminist periodicals affected readers and whether they continue to have an affective resonance.

The workshop will start with an introduction to the Liberating Histories project and some discussion of the different ways in which the Women’s Liberation Movement has been remembered. Participants will then be invited to look through a range of magazines on loan from the Feminist Library, including Spare Rib, Sappho, Red Rag, Trouble and Strife, Mukti and Scarlet Women and to think about key feminist campaigns, issues and debates as well as the distinct visual styles, the look and the feel of different magazines. To what extent do these feminist periodicals evoke the atmosphere of the time? What are the signal emotions of the Women’s Liberation Movement? Do these magazines still stimulate particular feelings in readers? How do they reinforce and/or challenge participants’ ideas about the Women’s Liberation Movement? The discussion will conclude with a consideration of the legacies of Liberation in relation to contemporary feminist campaigns. To what extent have feminist issues changed or stayed the same and what impact does digital media have on feminist debate?

2.30pm – 4.30pm

VENUE: BW005a and BW005b (Barnes Wallis Building, NTU City Campus)

*** BOOK LAUNCH: ‘Being a Feminist Killjoy, with Sara Ahmed’ (organised by Five Leaves Bookshop) ***

*** Please note, the event ‘Being a Feminist Killjoy, with Sara Ahmed’ is now fully booked. Please contact if you would like to be added to the cancellation list. ***

We have to keep saying it because they keep doing it.

Do colleagues roll their eyes in a meeting when you use words like sexism or racism? Do you refuse to laugh at jokes that aren’t funny? Have you been called divisive for pointing out a division? Then you are a feminist killjoy, and this event is for you.

The term killjoy has been used to dismiss feminism by claiming that it causes misery. But by naming ourselves feminist killjoys, we recover a feminist history, turning it into a source of strength as well as an inspiration.

Drawing on her own stories and those of others, especially Black and brown feminists and queer thinkers, Sara Ahmed combines depth of thought with honesty and intimacy. The Feminist Killjoy Handbook unpicks the lies our culture tells us and provides a form of solidarity and companionship that can be returned to over a lifetime.

‘Ahmed’s insight that being a feminist is being a killjoy is as consoling as it is revelatory. It makes sense of the bad atmosphere, the uncomfortable feelings that swirl around feminism; it gives you ballast in the storm.’ Hannah Dawson.

7.00pm – 8.30pm

VENUE: Antenna (9a Beck Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EQ)

Tickets for this event can be booked at:

Day 3: Thursday 18 May 2023

WORKSHOP: ‘Radical Print: Work in Progress’

This workshop will provide postgraduate students with an opportunity to share their current research on themes of radical print culture and/or activist histories represented in the periodical press (past or present).

KEYNOTE: Neelam Srivastava (Professor of Postcolonial and World Literature at Newcastle University, and co-founder of the Postcolonial Print Cultures international research network)

Publishing the Resistance: Third-Worldist Writing in Cold War Italy

Recent scholarship on Third-Worldism has sought to recuperate its alternative geographies of knowledge exchange that connect 1960s Tricontinentalism to contemporary theorizations of the postcolonial and the Global South (Mahler 2018; Young 2018). This paper examines the influential role of Italian print culture in the construction of Third-Worldism for militant audiences during the Cold War. But such transnational solidarity did not lead to a corresponding embrace of “Third-World” aesthetics. Italian publishers remained resistant to creative work emerging from the (post)colonial world.

Publishing and translating the work of Frantz Fanon, Ernesto Che Guevara, Mao Tse-Tung, and others responded to a hunger for new political alternatives among younger readers. When The Wretched of the Earth came out in Italian in 1962, it became an immediate bestseller. Tricontinental journal, which provided the theoretical foundations of postcolonialism (Young 2001), also featured an Italian edition.  

At the same time, while publishers privileged the political writing coming out of Third World movements, they did not give literature the same attention, and though the former was promoted and published, the latter was often seen to fall short of European aesthetic paradigms. The paper examines the complex relationship between European Third-Worldism and “Third-World literature” during the Cold War.

10.00am – 4.30pm

VENUE: NEWN57a and NEWN57b (Newton Building, NTU City Campus)

TALK: ‘Changing the World, One Book at a Time: A Short History of Radical Bookselling’ (Ross Bradshaw, Five Leaves)

6.30pm – 8pm

VENUE: Five Leaves Bookshop (14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2DH)

Day 4: Friday 19 May 2023

WORKSHOP: ‘Feminism in Print’: Workshop with Catherine Clay (NTU) & Ursula Ackrill (Feminist Publications Collection)

Join us to explore an exciting array of magazines in FME’s Feminist Publications Collection, from trailblazing Spare Rib to lesser-known feminist magazines produced in Nottingham. Introducing tools from periodical studies for How to Research Feminist Magazines, this workshop will also invite reflection on how historical examples of feminism in print connect with feminist agendas today.

10.00am – 1.30pm

VENUE: The Reading Room, Manuscripts and Special Collections (University of Nottingham, King’s Meadow Campus, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2NR)


Invited Talk: C. K. Ogden’s The Cambridge Magazine, 1912-1923 (30 November 2022)

C. K. Ogden’s The Cambridge Magazine (1912-1923)

Dr Matthew Chambers (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Reading)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 4.30pm on Weds, 30 November 2022

Venue: Mary Ann Evans, Clifton Campus, Nottingham. MAE008

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk; 20 mins – Q&A)

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Dr Matthew Chambers (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Reading) as the second speaker in our 2022/23 New Directions seminar series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print culture research.

This occasional series of talks is free and open to all.


Run by C.K. Ogden between 1912 and 1923, The Cambridge Magazine started out as a university paper printing synopses of lectures, announcements of university events, and advertisements for local businesses. Over time, the magazine began publishing poetry by Siegfried Sassoon, John Drinkwater, and Claude McKay; opinion pieces by Bertrand Russell, Mary Sargant Florence, and Edward Garnett; and most controversially, summaries of news reports on the First World War from other countries, including from the German press. While The Cambridge Magazine published its last issue in 1923, Ogden had opened several bookshops in its name which outlasted the magazine, and the magazine itself had become a space for Ogden and I.A. Richards to publish their collaborations, notably the texts which formed The Foundations of Aesthetics (1922). This talk will provide a history of Ogden’s magazine, including a previously under-considered connection to the women’s suffrage movement, in an attempt to answer the question: what was The Cambridge Magazine? In doing so, I will set the magazine in context with other bookshop-affiliated periodicals like Coterie (1919-1921) and The Chapbook (1919-1925). Ultimately, in unpacking the complex history of The Cambridge Magazine, this talk will ask how we might think more expansively on the interrelationship between editors, periodicals, and bookselling in the production of early twentieth-century literature.

About the Speaker:

I am a visiting research fellow at the University of Reading where I am developing a database of early-twentieth century bookselling. I have written on literary networks and publishing history in Modernism, Periodicals, and Cultural Poetics (Palgrave 2015) and in London and the Modernist Bookshop (Cambridge 2020). My most recent research looks to build out from my last monograph to explore the social, political, and literary roles bookshops played in the first decades of the twentieth century. I am a member of the Bookselling Research Network, and editor of the peer-reviewed journal The New Americanist, which will soon be available from Edinburgh University Press.

Invited Talk: Digital Feminist Media Today (26 October 2022)

Digital Feminist Media Today: The Tension Between Feminism and Capitalism

Dr Claire Sedgwick (University of Derby)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 4.30pm on Weds, 26 October 2022

Venue: Mary Ann Evans, Clifton Campus, Nottingham. MAE008

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk; 20 mins – Q&A)

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Dr Claire Sedgwick (University of Derby) as the first speaker in our 2022-23 New Directions series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print culture research. This occasional series of talks is free and open to all. Chaired by Dr Catherine Clay, co-director of the PPCRG, this will be our first Speaker Series event to be held in person.


Drawing on work published in my book Feminist Media: From the Second Wave to the Digital Age, this talk will discuss how contemporary feminists utilise the internet to communicate with each other and communicate feminism to others. The talk will discuss three case studies which explore the complex tensions between feminism and contemporary capitalism. The first case study will explore the way that xoJane used the confessional essay. I argue that on the one hand, the confessional essay is an important genre for feminists (Felski, 1998), whilst on the other, the reliance of it within feminist blogging also speaks to an economics of emotion that often commodifies trauma. In the second case study, I look at the way that Teen Vogue became increasingly feminist in its rhetoric, especially in the wake of the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Utilising the work of Sarah Banet Weiser (2018) I contextualise Teen Vogue in relation to popular feminism and argue that it exemplifies a popular feminist sensibility. Whilst Teen Vogue has increasingly utilised feminist discourse, this is also situated within a capitalist publishing industry. Gesturing towards the history of feminist media production, I argue that this reflects an ongoing tension for feminist media producers. In the final case study, I analyse how gal-dem, a British magazine and website for women of colour and non-binary people of colour represents an alternative way of producing feminist media today.

About the Speaker:

Dr Claire Sedgwick was awarded her PhD in Feminist Media Studies from De Montfort University in 2017. Her thesis on second wave feminist magazines Spare Rib and Ms. was the basis for her first monograph Feminist Media: From the Second Wave to the Digital Age which was published by Rowman and Littlefield International in 2020. Her current research is a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant-funded project on stand- up comedy in the East Midlands, with a focus on precarity, gender, race and class. She is an Impact Officer and Researcher at the University of Derby.

Invited Talk: Happy Sisyphus: A Few Interdisciplinary Proposals on Periodical Research (11 May 2022)

Happy Sisyphus: A Few Interdisciplinary Proposals on Periodical Research

Professor Evanghelia Stead (UVSQ Paris-Saclay)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.00 (BST) on Weds, 11 May 2022

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk; 20 mins – Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Professor Evanghelia Stead (UVSQ Paris-Saclay) as the third guest speaker in our 2022 New Directions series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print culture research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all.


Supported by individual investigation and collaborative work, this presentation offers a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to periodicals. It broaches the beneficial effects of collective exchange, and flags up some of the counter-productive effects and burdens. It embraces not-so-strict methodologies as tactics and ploys to approach a varied and complex field. The talk first discusses visual studies and interdisciplinarity. There follows an overview of group work on periodical networks, stressing the importance of relational dynamics. It further shows the preconceptions and limitations behind such expressions as “little magazine” and the recurrent split separating big mags from small reviews. Its conclusion reasons why periodicals are so fascinating and invites further discussion.

About the Speaker:

Evanghelia Stead is Professor of Comparative Literature and Print Culture at UVSQ Paris-Saclay, a linguist and literary translator. She has published extensively on fin-de-siècle culture, Greek and Latin myths in modern literature, literature and iconography, books as cultural objects, periodicals, and ‘the Thousand and Second Night’. She has run the TIGRE seminar on print culture at the École Normale Supérieure since 2004 and has been Visiting Professor at Marburg and Verona Universities, EURIAS senior research fellow (2014–2015), and Institut Universitaire de France fellow (2016–2021). Her books on periodicals and/or print culture include the two volumes of L’Europe des revues she co-edited with Hélène Védrine (2008 and 2018), several special issues of journals guest- or co-guest-edited (La Lecture littéraire, Romantisme, Word & Image, JEPS, RHLF), the collection Reading Books and Prints as Cultural Objects (2018), as well as the monographs La Chair du livre: matérialité, imaginaire et poétique du livre fin-de-siècle (2012) and Sisyphe heureux: Les revues littéraires et artistiques (2020). She is currently working on a book about Goethe’s Faust I and print circulation.

Panel: Illustrated Women’s Magazines (27 April 2022)

Illustrated Women’s Magazines (Panel)

Dr Alice Wood (De Montfort University) & Dr Alice Morin (University of Marburg)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.00 (BST) on Weds, 27 April 2022

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 90 mins (incl. talks and Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Dr Alice Wood (De Montfort University) and Dr Alice Morin (University of Marburg) for the second event in our 2022 New Directions series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print culture research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all. Chaired by PPCRG member, Dr Hui-Ying Kerr (Senior Lecturer in Product Design at NTU), this event marks Good Housekeeping’s centenary year with a panel on women’s illustrated magazines, which will include discussions of Good Housekeeping (UK), Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.


Dr Alice Wood

‘An all-round magazine edited for your use’: Good Housekeeping (UK) in 1922

A hundred years after the launch of Good Housekeeping (UK), this paper offers a close examination of the magazine’s outlook and focus in its first year of publication. Addressing a broader female audience than we might expect, including housewives and mothers, workers and single ‘Batchelor girls’, this middle-class domestic magazine engaged with a diverse array of topical issues, from divorce reform to extending the franchise, as well as printing high-quality fiction and domestic and consumer advice on how to equip, furnish and manage a home. Early issues of British Good Housekeeping emphasised the magazine’s utility, claiming ‘it can be made to yield endless service, if you will use it’ (May 1922, p. 74). Marketed as a practical aid to the industrious homemaker citizen, Good Housekeeping called on its readers to apply themselves in the home and beyond, viewing politics as ‘an essential part of every woman’s life’ and arguing ‘an interest in politics simply means “doing for one’s country what one has always done for one’s home”’ (Sep 1911, p. 46). This paper explores tensions between labour and leisure, utility and enjoyment, across Good Housekeeping issues from 1922, considering what these can tell us about changing class and gender relations and the commercialisation of women’s domestic work in the wake of the First World War.

Dr Alice Morin

Shaping a Brand, Shaping a Genre. Vogue‘s and Harper’s Bazaar‘s Anniversaries in Print and Beyond, from Self-Referentiality to Intermediality to Intericonicity

This intervention will examine the ways in which women’s magazines strove to write their own history(ies) on the printed page, and beyond. Anniversaries have provided ideal occasions for such selective reminiscing and intentional staging. We will look at these using Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar as examples: two well-established, authoritative, high-end fashion magazines very much hinged on building distinctive brands since at least the 1920s — the period when they started to celebrate anniversaries, subsequently gaining traction up until today.

We will focus on three main strategies. First, we will diachronically observe intramedial commemorations (under the form of articles and portfolios, special issues, supplements and the like), as the longest standing practice of anniversary celebration. We will then turn to intermedial manifestations, first and foremost through the adjacent print media of the retrospective book, characteristically bound to greater durability compared to magazine — but accomplishing also a range of other more complex purposes, as we will explore. Finally, we will also turn our attention to special events, in particular exhibitions which, starting from the 1970s, proved to be a privileged medium for memorialization, legitimation, canonization and more generally to weave fashion magazine titles and production into the cultural fabric — a stake still very relevant today.

Using an approach attuned to magazine issues (as an archive), and to their materiality, yet also supplemented by historical documents (e.g. correspondence, exhibition photographs and promotional material, etc.), we will contrast and compare the functions performed by these media, as well as their convergences in defining altogether singular brands, and a magazine genre.

About the Speakers:

Dr Alice Wood is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at De Montfort University. Her research explores the reception and dissemination of modernism through commercial women’s magazines of the interwar era, such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and the framing of women as modern subjects in these and other fashion and domestic magazines, including Good Housekeeping and Modern Home. She is the author of Virginia Woolf’s Late Cultural Criticism (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Modernism and Modernity in British Women’s Magazines (Routledge, 2020).

Dr Alice Morin is postdoctoral research associate to the »Fragmentwanderungen« (A Media-Based Comparison of Fragment Migration: Photographs in Periodicals and Books in the Twentieth Century) project, as part of the interdisciplinary unit Journalliteratur, based in Germany. She holds a PhD in American Studies by the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (2018), where she also taught American political and cultural history. Her research focuses on the mediatic uses of editorial photographs, and their production and circulation in a transnational context. She was also scientific advisor to the French Vogue centennial exhibition at the Palais Galliera-Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris (2021).

A recording of the talk is now available:

Invited Talk: 1970s Britain and the ‘Native Art-Historical Journal’ (09 March 2022)

‘It was, like any other period, a time of transition’: 1970s Britain and the ‘native art-historical journal’

Samuel Bibby (Managing Editor, Art History)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.00 (GMT) on Weds, 9 March 2022

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk; 20 mins – Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Samuel Bibby (Managing Editor, Art History) as the first speaker in our 2022 New Directions series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print culture research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all.


Beyond their own intrinsic visual and material qualities, how do periodicals convey the nature of print? What might such subject matter tell us about the objects in which they are replicated, the broader discipline from which such journals hail, as well as the ways in which its histories have subsequently been produced?

This paper addresses the prominence of the social history of art in Britain by considering the contexts in which it was published. Focusing in particular on the 1970s, I contend that such disciplinary developments went hand in hand with the emergence of – and thus opportunity to disseminate one’s work in – various art-historical periodicals in Britain. The remarkable spate of titles to have appeared at the end of the decade, including Art HistoryBLOCK, and the Oxford Art Journal, is a phenomenon that itself begs historical analysis alongside, or rather as part of, any historiographical treatment of the radical intellectual space that they facilitated. By examining such journals and their content in terms of the visual and material politics of periodical publishing, I argue that the strength of the distinctive mode of social history of art in 1970s Britain can be accounted for by a collective reaction to the parameters of scholarship and economic mechanisms manifested in the pages of established magazines such as Apollo, the Burlington, and The Connoisseur.

The dissatisfaction with, and critique of, prevailing structures of publishing implicit in so much of the so-called ‘new art history’ directly mirrors, I propose, the various challenges to such institutional frameworks made, for example, by conceptual art from the late 1960s onwards, not least through its re-evaluation of the medium of the magazine. My approach shows the specific cultural field constituted by periodicals to be integral to narratives of art-historical practice in Britain, both past and present.

About the Speaker:

Samuel Bibby is Managing Editor of Art History, the journal of the Association for Art History. His current book project, provisionally entitled Art History Works in Print: Producing Periodicals in 1970s Britain, looks at art magazines and art-historical journals including: Studio International and The ConnoisseurArt-Language and Artscribe; the Oxford Art Journal and ApolloArt MonthlyBlack PhoenixCameraworkArt History and The Burlington Magazine; and BLOCK. Parts of it have already appeared in both print (Art History) and digital journals (British Art Studies).

A recording of the talk is now available:

Invited Talk: Moving Pictures: Serial Revolutions in 1848 (25 May 2021)

Moving Pictures: Serial Revolutions in 1848

Professor Clare Pettitt (King’s College London)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.00 (BST) on Tues, 25 May 2021

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 75 mins (incl. 30 mins Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link.

Painting of the 1848 revolution in Berlin. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Our New Directions series 2020-21 of invited guest speakers focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research. Hosted online, it is free and open to all.

In this talk, Clare will discuss the visual print culture that emerged alongside the 1848 revolutions in Europe and its effect on identity, connectivity and historiography.


The technologies that made illustrations cheap and fast to produce were only just becoming readily available in 1848, so that the sweep of revolutions was among the first news to offer itself to the new visual media techniques. The result was a new visual praxis which this chapter argues was key to creating a sense of connectivity and identity across Europe.  Because of the sharing of ‘stereotypes’ or printing plates, identical illustrations of barricades, insurgent fighting, and newly constituted parliaments and assemblies appeared in illustrated

‘Prague, Barricades during the revolution of 1848, June 1848’, in
Joseph Rudl, Die Barrikaden Prag’s in der verhängnißvollen Pfingstwoche 1848 […]. (Prague: Landau, 1848).

journals in Britain, Germany and France, copying themselves across Europe to very different readerships. This chapter tracks newspaper illustrations of revolution through France and onwards into Italy, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. It suggests that the mistaken nineteenth-century idea that the 1848 revolutions started in Paris and radiated out from the French capital survives in our history books partly because of the very strong press links between Paris and London so that the Paris revolution of February 1848 was rapidly and extensively reported in the Anglophone press, and then exported from London to other European cities.

About the Speaker:

Clare Pettitt has taught at the universities of Oxford, Leeds and Cambridge and is now Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at King’s College London.  She has written and published widely on periodical and print culture and media history, including articles on scrapbooks, annuals and miscellanies.  Her second monograph, ‘Dr Livingstone, I Presume?’  Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers and Empire (2007) focused on the media history of the famous meeting between Livingstone and Stanley, and from 2012-2016, she was a Research Director on an interdisciplinary AHRC Project, Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900. Last summer, she published Serial Forms: The Unfinished Project of Modernity, 1815-1848 with Oxford University Press. This is the first volume of a three-volume reassessment of the impact of the media on political and literary culture from 1815-1918. The second part, entitled Serial Revolutions 1848: Writing, Politics, Form is due out with Oxford later this year.  A third and final part will track the emergence of the digital and its effects on literary culture and imperial and racial identities.  

George Orwell and Popular Print Culture

Dr Chris Mourant (University of Birmingham)

English Research Seminar Series

Time: 13.00-14.00 (BST)

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk, 20 mins – Q&A)

How to Join: Email to request a joining link

Copyright @ 2012 Condé Nast

A prolific essayist on topics as eclectic as seaside postcards, the perfect cup of tea, detective fiction, and the ‘virtues’ of the ideal pub, George Orwell has long been seen as a writer who anticipated many of the central themes and preoccupations of ‘cultural studies’ as an academic discipline. What has not received sustained attention, however, is the particular interest Orwell paid throughout his writing career to the print artefacts of popular culture, to the magazines, periodicals and newspapers of a ‘mass’ reading public. Orwell was not only an active participant in the periodical culture of his time, writing extensively for a wide range of publications; in many of his essays he also actively promoted the idea that the ‘mentality’ of a society or group could be ‘studied’ in its ‘weekly and monthly papers’ (‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, 1940). This research paper will position Orwell as an important precursor to our current study of early twentieth-century print culture, before examining the place boys’ weeklies, popular illustrated magazines and mass-circulation newspapers occupy in his novels.

Invited Talk: Nottingham Black Archive (11 Mar 2021)

Nottingham Black Archive as Activism

Panya Banjoko (Nottingham Black Archive / NTU)

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.30 (GMT) on Thursday, 11 March 2021

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 60 mins (including 20 mins Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link.

We are delighted to welcome Panya Banjoko, founder of Nottingham Black Archive and PhD candidate at NTU, for the second event this semester in our New Directions series.

Our New Directions series of invited guest speakers focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all.

In this talk, Panya will discuss her role in founding and developing Nottingham Black Archive as a case study through which to consider the motivations and methodologies informing print cultural heritage. The talk will be chaired by her PhD supervisor and PPCRG member, Sharon Monteith, Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Cultural History at NTU whose most recent book on print culture is SNCC’s Stories (2020) and who holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

A recording of the talk is now available:

Panya Banjoko, ‘Nottingham Black Archive as Activism’, PPCRG New Directions (11 March 2021)

Overview:   When members of the Windrush generation settled in Nottingham, individuals like George Powe became increasingly aware of racial discrimination, and an organised voice began to emerge.  In an edition of the Black Peoples’ Freedom Movement Weekly Newsletter in 1971, George Powe urged Nottingham’s Black community to ‘organise as never before… for organisations decide everything’. Nottingham Black Archive (NBA) is one example of community organisation in Nottingham. It traces what has taken place since the late 1940s but also pays attention to Black people in Nottingham who have a longer history.

NBA has pioneered a range of initiatives to promote the Black presence in Nottingham, including Read a Black Author which is gaining national recognition, and multiple community projects. It has recovered narratives of World War I soldiers in an AHRC-funded project, documented the experiences of World War II veterans, and the Windrush generation’s contribution to the city. It has a growing collection of oral history testimonies, books, political literature, and photographs. This talk will explain the impetus that led me to begin to create the archive, the driving forces behind it, and some of its major achievements to date.

About the Speaker:

Panya Banjoko is a British poet, archivist, and PhD researcher in Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University, with a Vice Chancellor awarded scholarship. She is writing a creative-critical PhD rooted in Nottingham Black Archive, the archive she founded in 2009.

Please circulate our event poster widely:

Webinar: Transatlantic Footholds (4 Mar 2021)

Transatlantic Footholds: Turn-of-the-Century US Women Writers and their British Readers

Dr Stephanie Palmer (NTU)

Hosted by Inspire, Nottingham

A special event to mark International Women’s Day

Time: 18.00-19.30 (GMT) on Thursday, 4 March 2021

Join PPCRG member Dr Stephanie Palmer (NTU) in this online webinar to hear a fascinating account of transatlantic literary influence in Britain generally and Nottingham in particular, shedding light upon cultural and social attitudes of the time. The presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A.

Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton and Emily Dickinson are still widely read, but they were part of a much larger cohort of American women whose writing was popular in Britain a hundred years ago. Stephanie Palmer’s extensive research into the reviews of these writers took her to the Nottingham Free Library’s collection (now kept at Bromley House) where studies of library catalogues led to the rediscovery of a group of American women writers who were, at the time, household names.

About the Speaker:

Stephanie Palmer is a Senior Lecturer of Nineteenth-Century American Literature at Nottingham Trent University, and she has formerly taught literature at the University of Michigan and Bilkent University in Turkey. She is the author of many articles and two books, Transatlantic Footholds: Turn-of-the-Century American Women Writers and British Reviewers (Routledge, 2020) and Together by Accident: American Local Color Literature and the Middle Class (Lexington Books, 2009).

For further details and to book a place, visit the Inspire website.

Panel: Poetry Magazine Editing (25 Feb 2021)

Poetry Magazine Editing (Panel)

Naush Sabah, Andrew Taylor & Rory Waterman

PPCRG New Directions Series

Time: 16.00 (GMT) on Thursday, 25 February 2021

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 90 mins (incl. interview & Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link.

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome poetry magazine editors Naush Sabah, Andrew Taylor and Rory Waterman to the first event of 2021 in our New Directions Series.

Our New Directions series of invited guest speakers for 2020-21 focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all.

Chaired by Professor Andrew Thacker (co-director of the PPCRG), this panel will consider the practice of poetry magazine editing and how it relates to theories of editing in periodicals research.

A recording of the panel is now available:

Panel of Naush Sabah, Andrew Taylor and Rory Waterman on ‘Poetry Magazine Editing’, chaired by Prof. Andrew Thacker.


This panel draws on the editorial experience of Naush Sabah (Co-founder and Editor of Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal (PBLJ)), Andrew Taylor (Co-editor of erbacce and Editor of the blogzine M58) and Rory Waterman (Co-editor of the former poetry magazine New Walk, now New Walk Editions) to discuss their editorial practices and policies.

Chaired by Professor Andrew Thacker (co-director of the PPCRG), who will act as a first respondent, the panel seeks to stimulate conversation about editing poetry periodicals in theory and in practice, with a focus on the particularities of editing in the magazine medium.

About the Speakers: Naush Sabah recently completed an MA in Creative Writing, with Distinction, and now works as a freelance writer and editor. In 2019, she co-founded Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal (PBLJ) with Suna Afshan, which was shortlisted in the Best Magazine category of the 2020 Saboteur Awards. Her short play, Coins, was staged at The Rep and longlisted for the Pint Sized Plays competition (2019). Heredity/ASTYNOME, a double micro-pamphlet box set, was published by Legitimate Snack last year. She is a trustee at Poetry London, and Co-founder and Editor at Pallina Press.

Andrew Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and English at NTU. His two collections of poetry are published by Shearsman, and he has written the first critical book about the poetry of Adrian Henri, published by Greenwich Exchange in 2019. He is the co-editor of erbacce and co-editor and co-publisher at erbacce-Press. He is editor of the blogzine, M58.

Rory Waterman is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at NTU. His three collections of poetry are published by Carcanet, and he has also written three monographs on twentieth-century and contemporary poetry and edited several anthologies and a book of essays on W. H. Davies. He is the co-editor of New Walk Editions, which grew out of New Walk magazine, which he founded in 2010.

Please circulate our event poster widely:

Invited Talk: Woman’s Weekly & Working Women (20 Jan 2021)

Keeping up appearances in the workplace: Woman’s Weekly and working women, 1918-1919

Dr Eleanor Reed (NTU)

English Research Seminar Series

Time: 13.00-14.00 (GMT)

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 60 mins (40 mins – talk, 20 mins – Q&A)

How to Join: Email to request a joining link

This talk shares material from Dr Ellie Reed’s forthcoming monograph, Making Homemakers: how Woman’s Weekly shaped lower-middle-class domestic culture in Britain, 1918-1958. Based on her 2018 PhD thesis, this book – the first ever depth study of a single UK domestic magazine – will map the distinctively lower-middle-class domestic culture produced by the publication during a period of turbulence within Britain’s class system, and showcase a new methodology for surveying periodicals of this kind within the wider literary field. Close reading samples of Woman’s Weekly taken at ten-year intervals alongside other domestic titles and fiction, this methodology positions the publication within wider public-sphere discourses surrounding femininity, which evolved throughout the period.  

Between 1918 and 1958, Woman’s Weekly targeted full-time housewives and clerical workers, who, it assumed, were unmarried and aspired towards full-time housewifery. The magazine’s treatment of these working readers during the year immediately following the end of the First World War is the focus of this talk. Surveying careers advice columns, office conduct features, and workplace romance fiction from issues of Woman’s Weekly published between November 1918 and November 1919, alongside novels by Dot Allan and E. M. Delafield, Ellie will explore how the publication engaged with contemporary concerns about typists, and addressed a working readership anxious to preserve middle-class standards of conduct. Underpinning the magazine’s construction of lower-middle-class lifestyles and identities for its working readers are broader issues of class: the lower middle classes’ distinctive anxiousness to distance themselves from working-class culture, and upper-middle-class concerns that their own position was under threat from the ambitious, upwardly mobile lower middle classes.

Invited Talk: ‘Yearning for unity’… (10 Dec 2020)

‘Yearning for unity’: The Idealist Visual Culture of Modernist Magazines

Dr Tim Satterthwaite (University of Brighton)

Time: 16.30 (GMT) on Thurs, 10 December 2020

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 75 mins (including 30 mins Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link.

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Dr Tim Satterthwaite (University of Brighton) as the second invited speaker this term in our 2020-21 New Directions Series. The series focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research.

Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is free and open to all.

For this second talk in the series, Tim will discuss pattern theory as a means of understanding the cultural symbolism of the regularity and repetition of images in interwar magazines. The talk will be chaired by PPCRG member, Dr Hui-ying Kerr, a design practitioner turned design historian and Senior Lecturer in Product Design at NTU.

A recording of the talk is now available:

Dr Tim Satterthwaite, PPCRG New Directions (10 December 2020)


The new popular magazines of the 1920s traded in images of an idealised modernity, promising motorised leisure, scientific progress, and social and sexual emancipation. Whilst the components of this modernist ideal varied from title to title, its common principle was one of tolerance: the reconciliation, or mutual co-existence, of opposing forces, ideologies, and traditions. The defining question, captured in photo-stories on technology, architecture and the natural world, and in images of youthful, sunlit bodies, concerned the nature of modern society: how could individuals, and nations, learn to live together, and avoid a return to civil unrest and the catastrophe of war.

Tim Satterthwaite’s newly published book, Modernist Magazines and the Social Ideal (Bloomsbury, 2020) is a pioneering history of these periodicals, focusing on two of the leading European titles: the German monthly UHU, and the French news weekly VU, taken as representative of the broad class of popular titles launched in the 1920s. The book explores, in particular, the striking use of regularity and repetition in photographs of modernity, reading these repetitious images as symbolic of ideals of social order in the aftermath of the First World War. Introducing a novel methodology, pattern theory, the book argues for a critical return to the Gestalt tradition in visual studies. Interwar visual culture, in this reading, employed pattern as a cultural signifier: the spectacular and submerged pattern forms of magazine images reveal ‘a symbolic resonance, an impress of their cultural intention’.

This talk will outline the principles of pattern theory, and describe how these are applied, in Modernist Magazines, to the critical reading of photographs and page layouts.

Capturing repetitious and regular forms in both the manmade and natural world, the visual symbolism of interwar magazines embodied the contrasting ideals of technological and organic modernism.

About the Speaker:

After completing a BA in English at the University of Oxford, Tim Satterthwaite had a first career as a theatre practitioner and editor. In 2009, he enrolled on an MA History of Art at University of Sussex, graduating with distinction. He took his doctorate, on an AHRC scholarship, at The Courtauld Institute of Art, completing in 2016. Since then he has taught on History of Art and Design programmes at the University of Brighton, as associate lecturer at Middlesex University, and as summer school tutor for Courtauld Public Programmes. He was the organiser and co-director of Future States (University of Brighton, March-April 2020), a pioneering nearly carbon-neutral conference (NCNC) on the history of magazines. Modernist Magazines and the Social Ideal, based on his doctoral study of interwar periodicals, is his first book. Current projects include a special issue of the Journal of European Periodical Studies for which he is guest editor; a proposed edited volume, Magazines and Modern Identities, is currently under peer review.

Please circulate our event poster widely:

Invited Talk: Print, Plastic, Panorama (25 Nov 2020)

Print, Plastic, Panorama: The Empress of Britain Fashion Story, 1956

Professor Faye Hammill (University of Glasgow)

Time: 16.00 (GMT)

Date: Weds, 25 November 2020.

Duration: 60 mins (30 min talk, 30 min Q&A)

Venue: Microsoft Teams

How to Join: Email to request a joining link.

The PPCRG is delighted to welcome Professor Faye Hammill (University of Glasgow) as the first speaker in our 2020-21 New Directions Series.

Our New Directions series of invited guest speakers for 2020-21 will focus on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research. Hosted online, this occasional series of talks is open to all.

For this first talk in the series, Faye will discuss print mobilities on ocean liners and plastic in print as a method for interpreting the relationship between   domesticity and mobility in mid-twentieth century magazines.

A recording of the talk is now available:

Professor Faye Hammill, PPCRG New Directions (25 November 2020)


The Canadian Home Journal was a successful women’s monthly published from 1905 until 1958. As the title suggests, its content was domestic in two senses: the focus was on home and nation. Yet the magazine consistently engaged with themes of mobility. During the final decade of its run, the jet age had arrived, but the age of the ocean liner was not yet past. Car ownership was on the increase, though railway trips were still heavily promoted. These forms of transport compete for attention in the pages of the Journal. This talk presents a case study of the May 1956 issue, which documents a fashion event set on Canadian Pacific’s new transatlantic liner. “The Empress of Britain Fashion Story” is about design and commerce, glamour and novelty – and above all, it is about plastic. From synthetic fibres to camera film, from cellophane wrapping to laminated panels, plastics feature on almost every page of the issue. Presented as the ultimate domestic product, plastic is simultaneously used to evoke panoramas of travel. This talk explores plastic in print, as a way to understand the larger dynamic between home and mobility in mid-century magazine culture.

About the Speaker

Faye Hammill is a Professor in the School of Critical Studies at Glasgow University. She works on early and mid-twentieth century literature and print culture in a transatlantic frame. Faye is the author of six books, most recently Modernism’s Print Cultures, with Mark Hussey (2016) and Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture, with Michelle Smith (2015). In 2008, she set up the AHRC Middlebrow Network, which now has over 400 members. Her current project is on ‘Ocean Liners and Modern Literature’.

Please circulate our event poster widely:

Invited Talk: Eaton Family (24 Jun 2020)

‘The Eaton Family in Geographic, Print Cultural and Digital Space: Sui Sin Far, Onoto Watanna, and more’

Dr Mary Chapman (University of British Columbia, Canada)

PPCRG Online Research Seminar

Time: 17.00 (BST) on Weds, 24 June 2020

Venue: Microsoft Teams

How to join: This event is free and open to everyone. To sign up, email

We are delighted to host Dr Mary Chapman (University of British Columbia) as the first speaker in the Periodical and Print Culture Research Group’s (PPCRG) occasional seminar series at Nottingham Trent University. This seminar is a live online event.

A recording of the talk is now available:


In the first half of this presentation, Dr Chapman will outline her current research: a microhistory of the Eaton family, one of North America’s first Chinese families. Deploying Lisa Lowe’s concept of the ‘Intimacies of 4 Continents’, she will acknowledge their participation in the work of the British Empire in Asia, North America and the Caribbean. Her project hopes to trace the circuits of print culture in which daughters Edith Eaton (who wrote under the Chinese pseudonym ‘Sui Sin Far’) and Winnifred Eaton (who wrote under the faux-Japanese pseudonym ‘Onoto Watanna’) participated. She will explore how these print cultural networks mirror, in interesting ways, the global circuits of migration that their parents—mui tsai and travelling acrobat Grace Achuen Amoy Eaton and British silk-merchant-turned-human-trafficker Edward Eaton—participated in.

Dr Chapman will discuss how her biographic research informs bibliographic/recovery work and vice versa. The talk will survey the periodicals and print culture in which Edith and Winnifred participated, in terms of subgenre, nation, aesthetic, and politics to consider how these two racialized authors positioned themselves variously within the imagined communities of these periodicals: as white, as Chinese, as Japanese, and as unspecified ‘other’.

The second half of the presentation will focus on the Winnifred Eaton Archive website, which interested participants are invited to peruse in advance. Dr Chapman will address the technical challenges both of DH more broadly (sustainability, infrastructure, expertise) and of the WEA project more specifically (how to organize texts given her diverse oeuvre, the variety of her author positions, pseudonyms, geographies, genres, aesthetics, and politics). She will conclude by looking at some topical texts from the site.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

About the Speaker:

Dr Mary Chapman is Professor of English and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at the University of British Columbia. She specializes in American literature and transnational American Studies, suffrage literature and activism, women’s poetry, periodicals, digital humanities, and public humanities.

About the PPCRG:

The Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG) is located in the English department at Nottingham Trent University and co-directed by Dr Catherine Clay and Professor Andrew Thacker. The group aims to develop work on the study of periodicals and print culture, from the nineteenth century to the present. It is concerned with the material culture of periodicals alongside books, newspapers, pamphlets, comics, zines, and other forms of print ephemera, along with the digital manifestations of these objects.

Please share the poster for the event with anyone who may be interested.

Talk: Modernist Bookshops (13 May 2020)

Professor Andrew Thacker, ‘”This owner, that”: Shakespeare and Company and the Rebuilding of the Modernist Bookshop’

Colleagues are warmly invited to the second of NTU’s spring series of English Research Seminars (ERSS) on Wednesday 13th May at 1pm.

This week’s format is slightly different in that colleagues have access to a paper beforehand, and chance to listen to the paper and reflect before a 30-40 minute online discussion on Wednesday at 1pm. In the ERSS 2020 Teams room, files section, you will find a PowerPoint presentation and transcript of a new paper by Professor Andrew Thacker, titled ‘”This owner, that”: Shakespeare and Company and the Rebuilding of the Modernist Bookshop’. Please note that to hear the audio commentary you will need to download the PowerPoint presentation. You can access the seminar at 1pm on Wednesday by entering the ERSS 2020 room. Please feel to share the invitation with colleagues outside of the department who might be interested, and your research students.

PPCRG Project Launch (4 March 2020)

The Project Launch Event of the Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG) will take place on Wednesday, 4th March from 4.30-6.30pm on the ground floor of the Mary Ann Evans building (MAE007 and MAE008) on NTU’s Clifton campus.

Following an opening address, the launch will provide an informal opportunity to engage with colleagues’ shared research interests in periodical culture. It will be followed by a wine reception.

We invite interested parties who work in related areas to bring an object that reflects their research interests. Potential items may include, but are not limited to:

  • periodicals
  • books
  • newspapers
  • pamphlets
  • comics
  • zines
  • pamphlets
  • miscellaneous print ephemera
  • digital manifestations of these objects 

The aim is to produce an impromptu exhibition of periodicals and related ephemera (or digital/photographic representations thereof) and to use this as a ‘talking point’, through which we can begin to have meaningful conversations about colleagues’ shared or overlapping research interests. You’ll be invited to draw up a museum label in situ that introduces your item for display.

If you are interested in joining us, please email by Monday, 24th February for catering purposes.

We aim to recruit members on the basis of shared research interests, regardless of disciplinary perspective, career or project stage. Those new the field, but interested in developing research in this area, are also welcome. Please share this invitation further to colleagues working in related fields of whom we may not already be aware.

Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG),

Dept. of English, Communications and Philosophy,

Nottingham Trent University.