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British Association for American Studies


Call for Papers: Radical Print Cultures in the US South - British Association for American Studies


Call for Papers: Radical Print Cultures in the US South


Call for Papers: Radical Print Cultures in the US South
University of Leeds, 15th February 2024

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Professor Sharon Monteith (Nottingham Trent University), author of SNCC’s Stories: The African American Freedom Movement in the Civil Rights South (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2020).

In 2017, Jonathan Daniel Wells argued that the future of Southern intellectual history should focus on periodicals. While American print culture studies has firmly cemented itself in academia, with recent surveys of the field including New Directions in Print Culture Studies (2022) and Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print (2019), as well as studies of individual publications and movements such as E. James West’s A House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago (2022), print culture in the South continues to be understudied in spite of the production of a variety of culturally significant and high profile journals, book publishers, and magazines in the region. We are witnessing a growing interest in Southern print culture studies, largely from the University of Georgia Press’s ‘Print Culture in the South’ book series. This conference on ‘Radical Print Cultures in the US South’ seeks to explore what kinds of protest and activist cultures existed in the South, how print culture was used as a means of engaging in political struggle in a region so often associated with backwardness and conservatism, and to centre the role of countercultural movements in landmark events in US history and culture.

Researchers such as Sharon Monteith and Jaime Harker have uncovered the print culture histories of the SNCC and of lesbian activism in the South respectively. We hope to build on the work of these scholars by bringing together papers with varied approaches to radical print culture in the South, across different movements and countermovements, time periods, and regions. This conference aims to bring together print culture scholars from literature, history, communications, politics and other disciplines to give a platform to understudied texts and to widen our understanding of radicalism in the South from a cross-temporal, interdisciplinary perspective. Another focus of the conference will be on accessing understudied print culture from organisations that have often been suppressed.

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
– Protest movements e.g. the Anti-War Movement, labour movements, Black Lives Matter
– Civil Rights activism and anti-racism
– The Scott Newspaper Syndicate
– LGBTQ+ rights
– The Women in Print Movement in the South
– Digital Print Cultures in the South
– Print culture and the New Southern Studies
– Global networks of the American South

We accept abstract proposals for individual 20-minute presentations or full panels of 3-4 participants. This conference will be hybrid.

We particularly encourage applications from postgraduates and early career researchers. We are hoping to develop an edited collection or journal special issue with interested presenters, so please do let us know if this is something that interests you when applying to present at the conference.
Interested presenters should submit a 300 word abstract of their proposed paper to, detailing the paper’s coverage, argument, and contribution to the wider conference themes. Please also include a brief bio and contact information.

Deadline for submissions: 31st October 2023

Please direct any questions to the conference organisers Siân Round and Amanda Stafford at