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Call for Papers Archive

This is not a CFP for the MSA Conference.

Call for Papers:
Women/Gender Minorities in Print/Publishing in the Long 20th Century
A one-day symposium at Stanford University
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

“All publishing was run by many badly-paid women and a few much better-paid men.”
(Diana Athill, Stet: An Editor’s Life, 2002)

In the interest of inclusivity, throughout this CFP we use “women” in the most inclusive sense possible. We are interested in recovering the historically under-recognized labor in 20th century print and publishing culture of all those who identify(ied) as women or any other gender minority. The intent is to diversify accounts of labor history in 20th century print and publishing culture.

Feminist book history and print culture is thriving. Recent books and projects exploring feminist publishers, modernist presses, and women’s work in periodicals and magazines has revealed the variety of ways in which women contributed to the circulation and production of nineteenth and twentieth century print cultures. Academic interest in the value of networks and collaboration and the often overlooked aspect of women’s creative labor (#thanksfortyping) is at the forefront of some of this renewed interest in women’s diverse, deeply embedded work in the circulation of global print cultures. The polemic of the symposium is expanding the definitions of “workers” and examining the stakes for our ongoing scholarly renegotiations of the landscape of 20th century print and periodical culture.

This one-day symposium at Stanford University will engage with the varied nature and roles of women’s work in twentieth and twenty-first century periodical and book publishing. Though high-profile women publishers and editors continue to attract public and scholarly attention, there are many aspects of women’s labor in the print and publishing trades, understood broadly, that are often overlooked. We invite papers exploring the broad and diverse ways in which women have shaped modern print cultures in a variety of roles: as translators, typists, press managers, designers, letterpress workers/artists, illustrators, booksellers, advertisers, patrons, editors, sellers’ agents, office staff, publisher’s readers, and more (please interpret “under-recognized labor” broadly!). We are particularly interested in: book historical approaches, work exploring transnational exchanges, digital archives, digital humanities projects or data visualizations, and archives of women of color.

An opening keynote by members of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (—a digital critical archive of 20th century publishing, including authors, presses, booksellers, editors, and much more—will discuss the Hogarth Press archives and the challenges and rewards of digitally excavating the labor of modernism.

Papers may consider any of the following:
- Women’s work in the book, magazine, newspaper, and publishing trades
- Women publishers, translators, designers, illustrators, editors, author-publishers,
publisher’s readers, booksellers, office staff, printers (and more)
- Sex + gender + literary production and the literary marketplace
- Women as patrons, booksellers, feminist bookshops
- Archives, cataloguing, and women’s labor
- Women in publishing and the gender pay gap
- Politics and methodologies of recovery work
- Women and the suffrage press, feminist presses, lesbian presses
- Intersectional approaches to histories of women in the printing trades
- Networks/collaborations
- Women entrepreneurs and the creative industries
- Women’s trade organizations in publishing and bookselling
- Digital humanities projects or data visualizations related to these topics

Please submit abstracts (up to 200 words) and a short 2-line bio by Tuesday, May 28 to Alice Staveley ( and Anna Mukamal ( Speakers will be notified by the first week of June.

The event will be held at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

Organizing committee: Alice Staveley, Lecturer and Director of Honors in English; and Anna Mukamal, PhD Candidate in English.

Conference Location: Stanford, CA, USA
Conference Starts: July 17, 2019
Conference Ends: July 17, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: May 28, 2019

For more information, contact: Alice Staveley