The call for papers is now open for Editing the Twentieth Century, to be held at the British Library on September 5.
What do editors actually do? What makes a good editor? And more importantly, what makes a successful editor? From the Times Literary Supplement to Les Temps Modernes and Novyi Mir, from The Criterion to Die neue Rundschau and Spare Rib, there can be no doubting the influence of literary-intellectual magazines in selecting and shaping our cultural knowledge, our beliefs and values. But we still know surprisingly little about how these crucial cultural institutions were led and managed and even how day-to-day editorial duties were undertaken in practice. Above all, we lack any kind of comparative perspective on the role of the periodical editor, both across national and historical boundaries and across different types of publications. How does the role of editor compare between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for example, or between the French and British intellectual fields? How does it vary across literary reviews, newspapers, academic journals and commercial magazines? And in all these cases, how can we reconcile the reality of editorial practice – so often mundane and resolutely collective –with the stubbornly persistent myth of the singular charismatic editor?
As part of the British Academy funded project, Editing the Twentieth Century, we invite papers and workshop contributions addressing these issues for a one-day event to be held at the British Library on 5 September 2017 exploring the key role played by the editors of periodical publications throughout the long twentieth century. As well as specific studies of individual editors and publications, we particularly welcome comparative analyses (both chronological and geographical), theoretical approaches, and reflections from practitioners. Contributors may choose to address one or more of the following issues:
- Editorial success and failure
- Editorial responsibilities, competences and dispositions
- Editorial foundations, programmes, and manifestos
- Editorial succession
- Editorial leadership and administration
- Editorial creativity and sociability
- Editorship as authorship
- Collective and uncredited editorship
- Comparative studies across periodical genres, national contexts, and historical periods
Proposals of around 250 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 March 2017. We also welcome proposals for joint panels of three or four related papers or other forms of presentation and discussion.
Professor Matthew Philpotts
University of Liverpool