HomeExploring Transnational Dimensions of Activism in Contemporary Book Culture

HomeExploring Transnational Dimensions of Activism in Contemporary Book Culture

Exploring Transnational Dimensions of Activism in Contemporary Book Culture

Les dimensions transnationales de l’activisme dans la culture contemporaine du livre

Mémoires du livre/Studies in Book Culture, vol. 26-2, Fall 2022

Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture, vol. 26-2, automne 2022

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, November 02, 2021 by Lucie Choupaut

Summary

“A is for Activist” is the title of a best‑selling children’s board book, published in 2013 by Innosanto Nagara. This small book amplifies a large message: books can catalyze change. Publishing has both supported and hampered progressive political and social change, in a variety of international contexts. Activism in publishing is also transnational because national contexts and identities matter, but they exist within a transnational network with unequal power dynamics and “literary capital” (Casanova 2004). Building on ideas of “print activism” in the long twentieth century (Schreiber 2013), this special issue is dedicated to furthering our understanding of activism in the contemporary publishing industry – and in the research thereof.

Announcement

Argument

“A is for Activist” is the title of a best‑selling children’s board book, published in 2013 by Innosanto Nagara. This small book amplifies a large message: books can catalyze change. Publishing has both supported and hampered progressive political and social change, in a variety of international contexts. Activism in publishing is also transnational because national contexts and identities matter, but they exist within a transnational network with unequal power dynamics and “literary capital” (Casanova 2004). Building on ideas of “print activism” in the long twentieth century (Schreiber 2013), this special issue is dedicated to furthering our understanding of activism in the contemporary publishing industry – and in the research thereof. This issue aims to take activism and power dynamics as an organizing theme, looking at cultures of authorship, reading, publishing, and bookselling through an activist lens. In the footsteps of researchers who have recently examined topics of diversity and activism, such as libraries and global activism (Frances 2020), race and young adult literature (Ramdarshan Bold 2019), queer blogging and archiving (Rak 2005; Przybylo 2014), sexual harassment at international book fairs (Squires and Driscoll 2018), fan activism (Wang and Zhang 2017), and itinerant bookselling in developing economies (Opoku‑Amankwa, Kande Mahama and Ry‑Kottoh 2012), this issue seeks scholarship that explores and interrogates power dynamics in twenty‑first century book studies, with a particular emphasis on transnational contexts and connections. We are soliciting submissions that examine activism “as a form of power that structures and delimits experience” (Travis 2008), and we encourage contributors to think about forms of transnational protest and global activism (della Porta/Tarrow 2005).

This thematic issue seeks essays on the following themes:

  • Theoretical engagement:

Which theoretical work lends itself to activist publishing studies and how can we rethink traditional book studies models through an activist lens (e.g. collapsing the communications circuit, cf. Levy 2014)? How can we push the field of book studies to listen, re‑think disciplinary assumptions, and engage in new ways?

  • Progressive political and social movements:

How does publishing operate in contexts of repression? In what ways have publishing platforms been used to promote (or hinder) progressive causes?

  • Diversity and bibliodiversity:

What are the obstacles and drivers (institutional, political, economic, cultural) which contribute to publishing’s diversity deficit? Which forms of activism can or do support bibliodiversity in the industry (Audet/Jeannotte 2011; Noël 2021)?

  • Activism and identity:

How is contemporary book culture used as a platform for identity‑based activism (Indigenous, LGBTIQA+, elders, ethnicity, disability, migrants, refugees, youth, students, gender, language, etc.)? How do authors, translators, publishers, booksellers and cultural intermediaries such as reviewers, bloggers, bookstagrammers, as well as readers, contribute to making under‑represented groups visible and heard? What are best‑practice examples of gatekeepers amplifying the voices of marginalized people, and to what effect?

  • Media forms:

How does the media form (audiobook, ebook, print, blog, wiki, shared document, etc.) impact activism? Which digital and nontraditional forms of publishing (zines, collaborative, self‑publishing etc.) lend themselves to activist publishing activities and why?

  • Transnationalism:

Which national, transnational or global contexts play into bibliodiversity (and/or the lack thereof)? How and when do we move beyond a narrow focus on national contexts, to transnational communities and support? What aspects of international power dynamics continue to affect the publishing industries in developing economies?

In line with the broad understanding of twenty‑first century book studies set out by Stevie Marsden and Rachel Noorda in Book History (2019), we welcome viewpoints that incorporate new methodologies, engage with theories from other disciplines, and widen the scope of traditional book‑related research. We are interested particularly in hearing from scholars from underrepresented groups and countries as its own piece of twenty‑first century book studies activism to amplify the voices of scholars who are not always heard within the book history community.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts for papers in either French or English of approximately 250 words and a short biographical note should be sent to Beth le Roux, Rachel Noorda and Corinna Norrick‑Rühl (via Birgit Hötker‑Bolte, hotkerb@uni‑muenster.de) by December 1st, 2021.

The editorial committee will inform authors of its decision by December 15, 2021. Selected contributors will be required to submit their full article (circa 8000 words) before May 1st, 2022 for peer review. Final versions are to be submitted by September 15, 2022 at the latest.

Scientific committee

  • Beth le Roux (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
  • Rachel Noorda (Portland State University, USA)
  • Corinna Norrick Rühl (University of Muenster, Germany)

Bibliography

Audet, René, and Marie‑Hélène Jeannotte. Mémoires du livre/Studies in Book Culture 3, no. 1 (2011), special issue Le livre et l’imprimé engages/Committed Books and Publications. https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/memoires/2011‑v3‑n1‑memoires1830163/.

Casanova, Pascale. The World Republic of Letters. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

della Porta, Donatella, and Sidney G. Tarrow, eds. Transnational Protest and Global Activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

Frances, Sherrin. Libraries Amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2020.

Levy, Michelle. “Do Women Have a Book History?” SiR 53, no. 3 (2014): 297-317.

Nagara, Innosanto. A is for Activist. New York: Seven Stories Press/Triangle Square, 2013.

Noël, Sophie (coord.). Les alternatives. Écologie, économie sociale et solidaire : l’avenir du livre?, Paris: Double ponctuation and Alliance internationale des éditeurs indépendants, 2021.

Noorda, Rachel, and Stevie Marsden. “Twenty‑First Century Book Studies. The State of the Discipline.” Book History 22 (2019): 370‑397.

Opoku‑Amankwa, Kwasi, Anatu Kande Mahama, and Lucy Ry‑Kottoh. “Itinerant Booksellers: Necessary Evils to the Book Trade in Ghana?” Publishing research quarterly 28, no. 3 (2012): 250‑258.

Ozment, Kate. “Book History, Women, and the Canon: Theorizing Feminist Bibliography.” Textual Cultures, forthcoming.

Przybylo, Ela, and Danielle Cooper. “Asexual resonances: Tracing a queerly asexual archive.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 20, no. 3 (2014): 297‑318.

Radway, Janice A. Reading the romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Rak, Julie. “The digital queer: Weblogs and internet identity.” Biography 28, no. 1 (2005): 166‑182.

Schreiber, Rachael, ed. Modern Print Activism in the United States. Abingdon: Ashgate, 2013.

Squires, Claire, and Beth Driscoll. “The Sleaze‑O‑Meter: Sexual Harassment in the Publishing Industry.” Interscript, 2018.

Travis, Trysh. “The women in print movement: History and implications.” Book History 11, no. 1 (2008): 275‑300.

Wang, Dingkun, and Xiaochun Zhang. “Fansubbing in China: Technology‑facilitated activism in translation.” Target. International Journal of Translation Studies 29, no. 2 (2017): 301‑318.

Werner, Sarah. “Working towards a Feminist Printing History.” Printing History (2020).


Date(s)

  • Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Attached files

Keywords

  • theoretical engagement, progressive political, social movement, activism, transnationalism, book culture, media form, diversity, bibliodiversity

Contact(s)

  • Judith Haviernick
    courriel : mdl-sbc [at] usherbrooke [dot] ca

Information source

  • Anthony Glinoer
    courriel : mdl-sbc [at] usherbrooke [dot] ca

To cite this announcement

« Exploring Transnational Dimensions of Activism in Contemporary Book Culture », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, November 02, 2021, https://calenda.org/927547

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search