Print Culture, Agency, and Regional Identity in the Handpress Period

deadline for submissions: 
June 4, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Stenner, Kaley Kramer, Adam J. Smith



Print Culture, Agency, and Regional Identity in the Handpress Period


We warmly invite proposals for an edited collection on print culture’s shaping of, or contribution to, the regional and national identities of the British Isles in the handpress period. We are particularly keen to encourage dialogue between media history, book history, literary studies, cultural geography, and gender studies. By drawing on these approaches, we aim to extend book history’s engagement with the spatial turn. This collection will deepen understanding of the development of regional print cultures, highlight the agency of print personnel within that development, and interrogate the contribution that print cultures made to the formation of regional identities. 


Guiding questions:


  • Where were the key nodes of regional or national printing in the British Isles? What were the relationships between them: how are these imagined and articulated? How did they compete or collaborate? How did print cultures differ between them?
  • Which theoretical models offer effective routes for the analysis of regional print trades?
  • Regional and national news: how do the regions understand themselves in relation to local and national events? How do we characterise (e.g.) ‘Scottish News’, ‘Northern News’?
  • What are the communicative norms that regional print cultures perpetuate or undermine? To what extent are communicative norms gendered in this context?
  • What are the international dimensions to regional print cultures?
  • How and where do print cultures contribute to the formation and negotiation of national, regional, and local identity?
  • How did regional printers progress the industry technically? What were the unique features of the regional trade and its methods?
  • How did print contribute to the material development of different locations?
  • How do various positions intersect for print personnel in the regions: gender, ethnicity, class, religion?
  • Who were the key individuals in regional print cultures?
  • How do print personnel articulate and exercise their agency within place and space (geographical regions, architectural spaces)? How does this differ according to gender?
  • What were the positions and responsibilities available to women in the regional print trade? How do these compare with the metropolis?
  • What kind of agencies do print workers have and how does this differ according to location or to status within the trade?
  • How do particular printed forms (e.g. newspapers, periodicals, printers’ letters, print trade autobiography, advertisements) construct relationships between regions? And how do they articulate or demonstrate the agency of the print trade?
  • What are the relationships between different printed forms in regional print culture?



300-500 word proposals due Monday 4th June 2018

Contributors will be notified by Monday 2nd July 2018

Completed 6,000-7,500 word chapter submissions will be due Monday 3rd December 2018

Revised chapter submissions will be due Monday 4th March 2019


The book will be edited by Dr Rachel Stenner, Dr Adam Smith, and Dr Kaley Kramer. If you have queries, or a nascent idea that you would like to discuss, please contact Rachel Stenner (