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Periodicals in between - Periodicals in the Ecology of Print and Visual Cultures

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The 7th annual conference of the European Society for Periodical Research will explore how periodicals from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century function as mediators of alternative or experimental forms of publication and as springboards for other publishing and cultural activities. Many periodicals gave birth to publishing houses by using their printers’ networks and by treating their issues as experimental or more conventional test cases and economic drivers both in the book and the print industry and in the arts and crafts. Often, the periodical is a vehicle for science enthusiasts, trade or professional organisations, literature and arts connoisseurs: volumes of aggregated materials published over the year, then bound in hard covers to resist time, respond to the needs of such readers. Or the opposite may be the case: publishers or galleries issue a periodical or magazine to underpin their publication list, to foster their artists, to test new formulas or to retain their audience. The phenomenon extends to prints, both as bonuses to subscribers and as original works. The study of such a phenomenon in its international scope would highlight the relations of periodicals with the world of publishing, art galleries, various salons and circles of influence, as well as with several alternate forms of publication, of new ideas, trends, and manifestos.

How is the standard history of book and print publishing extended by more nuanced considerations of media structures – economic and symbolic – that focus on the role of periodicals? What questions emerge when we consider periodicals as key drivers of print and visual cultures, the materiality of publications, their exchange value, and their function as cultural operators? We invite papers, panels, round table proposals that address these issues.

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