The Unsettling Politics of Nineteenth-Century Print, Abstract Deadline August 20

full name / name of organization: 
C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
contact email: 

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.
Link to Conference website: http://c19conference.org