Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature: "Radical Print Cultures in the Midwest" (East Lansing, June 1-3, 2023)

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Marc Blanc
contact email: 

In recent years, print culture scholars have injected unprecedented focus on print production and circulation in Black, working-class, indigenous, and Latinx reading communities in the U.S. Once a field with a reputation for patrician pursuits, book history has expanded to include previously ignored communities and print forms such as newspapers and popular magazines. However, studies of anticapitalist and antiracist print cultures have tended to focus on urban, northeastern publishing capitals such as New York and Boston at the expense of literary scenes from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains. 

“Radical Print Cultures in the Midwest” seeks to shed light on Midwestern publishers, printers, editors, and readers who dedicated their work to political visions that can be called “radical”—anticapitalist, antiracist, at times utopian, sometimes all of these at once. This panel asks for papers covering radical print cultures in the Midwestern context between the nineteenth century and the present. Possible topics and questions include: How did political and cultural radicals use print to communicate their message, or, a step further, how were their print practices part and parcel of their political vision? Is there such a phenomenon as a distinctly Midwestern radicalism? How does Midwestern radicalism look differently across various printed forms and reading communities? Studies focusing on individual elements of print culture, such as publishing or editing, are welcome, as are papers that examine “print culture” more holistically.

Please send abstracts, 300 words maximum, to Marc Blanc by January 31, 2023 (