MLA 2017 Roundtable Description: “Periodicals, Editorship, Race and Ethnicity”

611. “Periodicals, Editorship, Race and Ethnicity”

Organized by Dr. Sarah Salter and Jim Casey

Saturday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 111B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

#MLA16 #s611

Session Description

This session promotes conversations about editorship, authorship, and collaboration across historical periodicals and the boundaries of race and ethnicity. Panelists respond to important recent work on immigrant, Latin@, and African American print cultures that intersect in their attention to periodicals and the centrality of editorship and collaboration in our literary histories.


Janet Casey will expand the scope of “collaborative practice” to include readers’ “plaintive missives” to the Bintel Briv (1906-1950), a Yiddish advice column in the Jewish Daily Forward.

Jim Casey will trace the editorial networks of The Aliened American, (c. 1853-55) an African American newspaper conducted by a trio of translocal editors and their formal and political experiments in rivalry with Frederick Douglass’ Paper.

Brooks E. Hefner’s study of the Illustrated Feature Section (1928-1931) expands on conceptions about periodical content and editorial practice in the Modernist period; attention to popular genres thus expands our current senses of African American literary history and of US popular fiction.  

Kelley Kreitz will consider two New York-based publications edited by Nicanor Bolet Peraza, La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York and Las Trés Américas, to explore editorship as a window on the production history of the Spanish-language press in New York at the end of the nineteenth century.

Zita Nunes will engage the archives of letters-to-the-editor collected by José Soares Martins (José Capela), a renowned journalist, historian and editor of the Mozambique Voz Africana (1950s-60s).

Sarah H. Salter will take up questions of translation and editorship through the example of Il Monitore del Sud/Le Moniteur du Sud, a bilingual New Orleans paper published in 1849. Discussing this failed venture, Salter will explore the historical limits of collaboration.

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