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The Unsettling Politics of 19th Century 2016 : The Unsettling Politics of Nineteenth-Century Print


When Mar 17, 2016 - Mar 20, 2016
Where State College, Pennsylvania
Submission Deadline Aug 20, 2015
Notification Due Aug 27, 2015
Final Version Due Aug 30, 2015
Categories    print culture   political history   newspapers   nineteenth century

Call For Papers

While earlier centuries had witnessed the global spread of print, the nineteenth century contributed a new major chapter to the history of print in the Atlantic world, a chapter full of unsettling ironies. In this century, print became more accessible, since printing offices, owing to improved printing technologies, effective dissemination channels, and low-cost formats, were able to produce more efficiently. With print more accessible and affordable, printed material soon developed into a product of mass consumption that formed an integral part of everyday culture in the nineteenth century. Consequently, nineteenth-century print generated new audiences throughout the Atlantic world, such as working-class, black, and female readers. Similarly, a whole generation of black editors, printers, and writers attests to the opening of the print market throughout the century. In a transnational century like the nineteenth century, print, in addition to crossing social, racial, and gender boundaries, also traversed geographical, physical, and material demarcations. Nonetheless, print culture also reiterated cultural hegemonies and fostered racism, misogyny, classism, nationalism, and eurocentrism.
In this panel, we set out to unsettle dominant histories of nineteenth-century print by looking into print’s political potential. Accordingly, we seek to explore to what extent print did in fact unsettle but also reinforce racial/ethnic, gender, and national boundaries. We welcome contributions that explore how print functioned as a major site of struggle in the socially and politically unsettling nineteenth century.

Conference details:
The conference will be held in State College, Pennsylvania March 17-20, 2016.
Submissions are due August 20, 2015.
Link to conference website:

Please send your 250-word proposals and a short bio to Johanna Seibert at or to Melike Sayoglu at
Please note that this is a proposed panel. The chairs of the panel will accept paper proposals first and then submit a full panel proposal with the name of each accepted panelist. The panel will convene during the annual meeting of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists in March 2016.

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