CRP: Small Presses/Little Magazines (11/20/06; SHARP, 7/11/07-7/15/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Christopher Harter

CFP: "Small Presses/Little Magazines of the Mimeograph Revolution: Their
Audiences and the Role of Printing Technologies"
Proposed Panel for The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and
Publishing (SHARP) Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 11-15, 2007

The readership for twentieth century little magazines and small presses has
often been considered a narrow one, with the majority of readers being those
interested in experimental or avant-garde literature. The Mimeograph
Revolution of the 1960s resulted in an explosion in the number of little
magazines and small presses, particularly in the United States, Canada and
the UK. While the focus continued to be on "new writing," the community of
publishers and writers of this movement brought a grassroots ethos to
literary publishing in opposition to what was perceived to be the domination
of academic criticism and the commercialization of mainstream publishing.
As Curt Johnson and Diane Kruchkow have stated, the 1960s small press
"provided an environment…in which one could discover literature first-hand."

In recognition of SHARP's 2007 theme, "Open the Book, Open the Mind," this
panel seeks to explore how this discovery took place for readers of these
publications by examining the role of different printing technologies and
production methods employed during this "revolution" and how they affected
the target audience for these publications. Exactly what were the production
methods used under the banner of the Mimeo Revolution and how did they
differ from each other and from publications of earlier eras? What, if any,
divergences were seen in the traditional audience for literary work produced
by little magazines and small presses? How did this grassroots effort
differentiate itself from the more conservative academic quarterlies and
commercial publishers? The panel encourages papers that take a historical
look at literary publishing with a focus on the publication and production
of these works, rather than a critique of the work within, or how the styles
of writing originating during this time affected the publication of that
work. Papers may examine individual presses or magazines or take a wider
view of the era.
Send a one page abstract and brief CV by November 20, 2006, to Christopher
Harter (

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Received on Wed Nov 08 2006 - 12:14:38 EST