This symposium provided a forum for literary scholars, historians, media historians and art historians to share works–in–progress on the transformations of print media and transatlantic public spheres at the turn of the 20th century. Presentations focused on: advancing understanding of print culture's role in the period's movements for racial, class, and gender equality; identifying and theorizing the relationship between print culture, empire, and cross-cultural (transatlantic, transnational) writing, reading, and publishing; bringing the theories and methods of material culture studies to bear on the analysis of print artifacts as "objects" or "things"; grasping the increasing textual hybridity of the period's print artifacts, by examining such phenomena as the interactions between illustration and text and the complex collage effects created by advances and experiments in typography and image reproduction; and analyzing and theorizing the relationship between transformations in print culture and evolving notions of authorship, especially as related to the professionalization of academic disciplines such as English. A special issue of Modernism/modernity on this topic will be published in September 2012 in conjunction with a special issue of The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies.
Hosted by the IHRC, this symposium was also supported by: the Center for Material Culture Studies, the Departments of Black American Studies, English, and Women’s Studies, the University of Delaware Library, the Institute for Global Studies, the University Faculty Senate Committee on Cultural Activities and Public Events (CAPE), and the Delaware Humanities Forum.
Ann Ardis is director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center and co-editor of Modernism/modernity.
Patrick Collier, program committee chair for "Mediamorphosis," is associate professor of English at Ball State University, and author of Modernism on Fleet Street (Ashgate, 2006), a literary history of how modernist writing took shape in relation to historical debates about the state and future of journalism. With Ann Ardis, he edited the essay collection Transatlantic Print Culture 1880-1940: Emerging Media, Emerging Modernisms (Palgrave 2008), and he has published a number of articles on the relations between literature and journalism. As a secondary specialty, he studies and teaches film and is particularly interested in connections between the ideological force of Hollywood films and the structural ways in which they tell their stories.
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