Guest editors Laurel Brake, Fionnuala Dillane, and Mark Turner invite essays of 5,000-7,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography) for Victorian Periodical Review‘s next special issue, “The Book Review in the Long Nineteenth Century,” to be published Summer 2022.
Book reviews, reviewing, and reviewers pervade the nineteenth-century press, but scholarly attention to the genre, the practice, and to reviewer networks is disproportionately sparse. The genre of reviews filled the early nineteenth-century quarterlies to the extent that they were known generically as Reviews. While retaining their name, Reviews transformed their frequency and contents, surviving as monthly miscellanies, without losing their claim to superior status among magazines, newspapers, and weeklies that also published reviews in profusion and in diverse forms. Although unheralded as a form, they occupied a significant space in weeklies such as the Athenaeum, Spectator, Literary Gazette, and Saturday Review and monthlies such as the Review of Reviews. Many dailies developed literary supplements that functioned as review spaces. The book review, this defining feature of our objects of study, has yet to receive sustained critical attention.
Topics To Consider
This special issue seeks to invite scrutiny of reviews across the press in the long nineteenth century as cultural objects and cultural practices, alive to questions of class, gender, race, and nationality. Submissions might address any of the following:
- The Review and book reviews
- Taxonomies, forms, and genres (e.g., occasional notes; causeries; notices; essays-like-review; review-like-essay)
- Exclusions and/or inclusions
- Hierarchies of print
- Critical language of book reviews
- Conventions of book reviewing
- Book review as dialogue
- Cultural value of the book review
- Repurposing, remediating, recycling book reviews
- Uses of anonymity and/or signature (including pseudonyms)
- Affects of the book review
- The book review in regional, national, and/or transnational contexts
- Economics of the book review
- Book review networks/Networks of print
- The book review in relation to other reviewing practices/forms (e.g., of performances; art exhibitions; concerts)
- Editing review pages
- Politics of the book review
- The book review and the development of disciplines
Submit Your Abstract by 15 January 2021
Please signal your interest by 15 January 2021 with a 200-word abstract and brief (50-word) biography. Responses will be sent by 15 February 2021.
Submission deadline for final draft of selected articles of 5,000-7,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography) is 15 August 2021 for publication in 2022.