Workshop CFP

Call for Papers

 Decoding the Periodical:

A Workshop in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Periodical Studies

 Princeton University, March 27th, 2015

In the depths of archives and special collections, scholars of Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies have long scoured the pages of periodicals – journals, magazines, and newspapers – to better understand literary, artistic, social, and political culture. Today, digital initiatives are restoring many of these rare and ephemeral texts to wider audiences and enabling new directions in research and teaching. This digital shift in humanistic studies has been instrumental in shaping a new community of practice that reorients the conventional readings of periodicals “merely as containers of concrete bits of information” to an approach that treats them as “autonomous objects of study ” (Sean Latham and Robert Scholes, “The Rise of Periodical Studies,” PMLA 2/2006).

Periodical studies is an interdisciplinary framework that foregrounds the journal, magazine or newspaper as a cultural form. It poses questions such as: how does editorial practice, serialization, or publication in a multi-authored journal impact the production of art and literature? How do periodicals create intellectual networks that generate new ideas and a unique frame for reception? What insights can we draw from studying the distinct paratext created by periodicals: their layout, illustrations, indices, editorial columns, and letters to the editor?

This workshop will bring together Slavists from various disciplinary backgrounds to engage with periodical studies methodologies and discuss issues including:

  • How can new approaches to periodicals enrich or problematize conventional narratives of cultural development in the Slavic, East European and Eurasian space?
  • How can the distinct traditions of periodical literature in Eastern Europe and Eurasia expand existing periodical studies inquiry? Points of interest include: politicization, conformity and disagreement, alternative models of circulation, production, and symbolic or economic capital.
  • What methodological approaches are particularly productive with regard to our fields, or how can we adapt them more effectively to our objects of study?
  • How do the proliferation of digital archives and digital editions, as well as the emergence of digital humanities, impact how we read, interpret and analyze periodical literature?
  • What opportunities can periodicals afford for innovative teaching practices?

The keynote address will be delivered by Nicholas Sawicki, the Frank Hook Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Art History Department of Art, Architecture and Design at Lehigh University.

Scholars of Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies working in any discipline or inter-disciplinary field are invited to present current research. Submissions should include a short academic CV and a 300-word abstract for a 20-minute paper.

Please email submission to by January 15, 2015.

This event is organized by the Princeton University Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the Blue Mountain Project of the Princeton University Library. Contact conference organizers with further questions: Natalia Ermolaev (, Philip Gleissner (, or Katherine Hill Reischl (

Please visit our blog – – for updates about the workshop, and for news about related events, publications, works-in-progress, and affiliated initiatives. Our resource page contains useful references to digital projects, critical literature, and other related scholarly resources.

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