Periodicals and Silent Cinema (Special Edition of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies)

deadline for submissions: 
July 24, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Jonathan Cranfield / Liverpool John Moores University
contact email: 

Submissions are solicited for a special edition of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies on the relationship between periodicals and silent cinema. Work is encouraged which treats the topic in its global, as well as Anglophone, context. 

The rise of silent cinema in the early twentieth century changed the business of writing and publishing forever. Editors, journalists, essayists and authors found themselves catering for readers whose cultural expectations had been transformed by their interactions with cinema. Debates raged over which periodical form would first be rendered obsolete: the daily newspaper? The illustrated magazine? The serialised novel? The weekly comic? The compendium of short fiction?

In fact cinema would effectively devour, not destroy, them all and reconstitute a new, globalised culture industry by breaking the established power of nineteenth-century publishing models, by fragmenting readerships and establishing new modes of celebrity and fandom. The scope of these transformations was dramatic and have been as yet underexplored in existing periodicals scholarship.

Articles should be 6-8,000 words in length and might cover (but should by no means be limited to) to the following topics:

  • Film magazine editorial strategies, readerships and style.
  • The establishment of film criticism as a distinct branch of cultural commentary.
  • Coverage of films, the film industry and film actors in non-specialist periodicals:
    • Fashion magazines.
    • Daily newspapers.
    • Monthly reviews.
    • Comics.
  • The impact of cinema’s rise upon short story writing and periodical print culture.
  • Periodical market fragmentation in the early twentieth century.
  • The impact of cinema’s rise upon periodicals.
  • New culture industry business models of the early twentieth century.
  • Periodicals, publicity and reputational management.
  • Silent cinema fan culture.
  • The Americanisation of periodical culture.


Queries, submissions and/or 500 word abstracts should be sent to Dr Jonathan Cranfield ( by Friday 24th July, 2020.

Full CFP available here: