Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    'The Character of Editress': Marian Evans at the Westminster Review, 1851-54
    (University of Tulsa, 2011)
    That Marian Evans was a professional journalist familiar with the world of publishing by the time she wrote her first fiction is acknowledged universally in critical and biographical accounts of George Eliot’s life. She was, after all, the first woman editor of a leading intellectual quarterly, the Westminster Review. However, little attention has been paid to the actual details of Evans’s editorial work, carried out a decade before the George Eliot persona was invented. This essay argues that Evans’s editorial career provides revealing evidence of an important intervention in the haphazard processes of the professionalization of Victorian women. The 'Character of Editress,' to use Evans’s own expression, signifies both the performance and the mask that were required of a woman occupying such a public, professional role at a prominent mid-century journal. This “character” emerges from the margins of publication history when the focus of attention shifts from the content of periodicals to their form—to their layout and design. As a case in point, this article discusses Evans’s role in the pioneering redesign of the book review pages of the Westminster Review from 1852, a hugely successful and influential contribution. In the absence of other records, the pages of the periodicals themselves yield significant insights into the guiding hands of women journalists now lost to us.
  • Publication
    Forms of Affect, Relationality and Periodical Encounters or 'Pine-apple for the Million'
    (ESPRit (European Society for Periodical Research), 2016)
    The social, economic, intellectual, cultural, and material relations that comprise periodical encounters have been attended to in analyses that invoke the concept of the network, what Nathan Hensley has described as a 'chain of visible or material interactions among human and nonhuman entities'. The affective dimensions of these relations, however, are neither material nor always visible, yet they are fundamental to all such interactions.This article argues that the periodical’s capacity to communicate, the contours, scope, and effects of that capacity, and in particular its genre traction, are everywhere underscored by a relationality that is charged with affect and emotions, shaped by what Raymond Williams famously described as 'structures of feeling'. My focus on the haptic currents that drive periodical exchanges (taking examples from George Eliot at the Cornhill Magazine, Joseph Conrad in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and James Joyce in the Irish Homestead) follows from important theorizations of the unique affordances of this 'most time-oriented of print forms' (Beetham). Affect, feelings, and emotive responses are messy and cannot be pressed into a discrete methodology, but when considering the open-ended, multi-textured, serial form that is the periodical, there is something to be gained, I suggest, from trying to understand the operations of affect, its openness, its aleatoric potential, and its emotion-based effects.