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Tag: Newspapers

Eric Gardner. Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture

Eric Gardner. Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 329p. ISBN 9780190237080. US$ 29.95.

With Black Print Unbound, Eric Gardner has significantly advanced the study of African American culture and history while at the same time giving a master class in working across the various methods of inquiry and styles of research gathered under the big tent of print culture studies. Black Print Unbound is a study of the Christian Recorder, the weekly newspaper of the AME Church, as a publication “conceived by African Americans, edited by African Americans, written primarily by African Americans, and largely distributed by African Americans to an almost completely African American audience” (4).

Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press

Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press. University of Illinois Press, 2015. 304 p. ISBN 9780252039096. US $60.

In 1936, Pawel Maloposki published a letter in the “Corner for Everybody” section of his local Polish-language newspaper, writing: “if you once drop by this ‘Corner,’ it is not easy to leave it—so it is not surprising that I too made my home here, and since I did, I want to contribute to its benefit” (151). These lines illustrate Maloposki’s sense of loyalty to a discourse community located within the pages of the newspaper Ameryka-Echo, which is the primary focus of Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann’s groundbreaking book, The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press.

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2013. 218p, ill. ISBN 9780674072794. US $24.95 (hardback).

Can we really ignore a man whose face keeps appearing on every banknote printed in the Republic of India during the last 69 years? More importantly, given Gandhi’s known hostility to the Western ideals of politics and technological progress, can we ignore the nature of contradictions inherent in his use of the printing press as an experimental device for political and spiritual communication?

If printing, according to McLuhan, was a ditto device which first outlined the contours of the West-European idea of ‘nationalism,’ the ubiquitous Gandhi face on the Indian banknote is an important reminder of the fact as how that idea was appropriated, reinterpreted, and powerfully reinforced by the medium of print in non-Western societies.

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing

Sari Edelstein. Between the Novel and the News: The Emergence of American Women’s Writing. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014. 226p., 7 ill. ISBN 9780813935904. US $29.50.

Sari Edelstein’s Between the Novel and the News offers a bold corrective. While scholars and teachers have often connected male realist writers to journalism – the opening of Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham in which the eponymous character is being interviewed for a newspaper series is a quintessentially realist moment – critics have not given similar attention to how women writers in the long nineteenth century struggled to use and counter journalistic depictions of women and journalistic modes of narration. As Edelstein writes, “women writers have long regarded the press an ideological problem whose social and political influence had serious repercussions for lived experience” (148).

Mary L. Shannon, Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street

Mary L. Shannon. Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015. xviii, 261p. ill. ISBN 9781472442048. £65.00 (hardcover).

As someone who designs guidebooks for different UK cities (in the Art Researchers’ Guide series), and who studies Victorian book illustration, I appreciate this well-researched volume by Mary L. Shannon on different levels. Shannon writes a social history of a specific part of London and Melbourne told through key figures of nineteenth-century literature and publishing. She not only records where the likes of Charles Dickens, G.W.M Reynolds, and Henry Mayhew worked, socialised, and went to be entertained, but she also maps a typography of invisible networks that encompass Britain’s print culture intersecting a greater Empire.

Richard Kirwan and Sophie Mullins, eds. Specialist Markets in the Early Modern Book World

Richard Kirwan and Sophie Mullins, eds. Specialist Markets in the Early Modern Book World. (Library of the Written Word: Vol. 40; The Handpress World: Vol. 31.) Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015. xix, 414 p., ill. ISBN 9789004288102. €145.00 / US $188.00 (hardcover).

When we think of printers in early modern Europe, we assume they all printed just about anything. This informative volume of essays for the specialist academic audience sheds light on those printers who focused on smaller, specialized markets throughout Europe. The authors presented their papers at the 2012 conference “Specialist Markets in the Early Modern Book World” held at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Jesús A. Martínez Martín, ed. Historia de la edición en España 1939-1975

Jesús A. Martínez Martín (ed.). Historia de la edición en España 1939-1975. Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2015. 997p., ill. ISBN 9788415963554. EUR 42.00 (hardback).

Historia de la edición en España 1939-1975 is the second volume of the history of publishing in Spain edited by Jesús A. Martínez Martín. The first volume was published in 2001 by the same publisher, and covered the period from 1836 to just before when the Spanish Civil War began in 1936. However, as the editor notes in his introduction, the scope of this second volume is much more ambitious than that of the first, despite sharing the same methods and covering a much shorter period, the 36 years of Franco’s dictatorship.

James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen and James P. Danky, eds. Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent Since 1865

James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen and James P. Danky, eds. Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent Since 1865. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. 278p., ill. ISBN 9780299302849. US $39.95.

Like the conference from which these papers were collected, Protest on the Page brings together voices and perspectives that rarely converge. Indeed, the book features essays by more traditional book historians (scholars whose work focuses on questions of publishing, circulation, and/or the materiality of the book) alongside essays by scholars whose work is first and foremost concerned with the investigation of past and present social movements.