MagMods Questionnaire 2

The Magazine Modernisms Questionnaire is reviving a fascinating but largely neglected feature of modern and modernists magazines (see Lori Cole’s post).  Every few months we will feature a prominent scholar in periodical studies and pose the same three questions to them.

1.  How did periodicals become a part of your research and/or teaching?
2.  Why is it important to study and/or teach periodicals?
3.  What is the next step in periodical studies?

The first respondent to the questionnaire was Robert Scholes.  Our second respondent is Adam McKible, Associate Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), where he teaches American and African American literature.  He edited and introduced a previously lost novel of the Harlem Renaissance, When Washington Was In Vogue, by Edward Christopher Williams and is the author of The Space and Place of Modernism:  The Russian Revolution, Little Magazines, and New York (2002) and co-editor, with Suzanne W. Churchill, of the collection Little Magazines and Modernism:  New Approaches (2007).

1.  How did periodicals become a part of your research and/or teaching?

I blame Robert Scholes entirely for my interest in periodicals. Before I met with him to discuss some possible directions for my dissertation, I was just going along, minding my own business, studying modernism the way I always had. But then Bob suggested that I might want to poke around in something called “little magazines,” and before you can say “paratext,” I’m knee-deep in Bolsheviks, Dadaists, New Negroes, and Bohemians–and having the time of my intellectual life. Suddenly, I’m making all kinds of new connections about literature that I thought I understood, and my limited conceptualization of modernism unfolded (and still unfolds) in myriad new directions.

2.  Why is it important to study and/or teach periodicals?

My high-minded answer to this question would say something about how modernist periodicals were one of the most important aspects of a print culture that, in the digital age, is speedily going the way of cave paintings and papyrus scrolls. We need to study printed-on-paper magazines because they ground us–as scholars, teachers, and students–in the material practices and visual culture of an earlier moment in time. But a more truthful answer is that this stuff is a lot of fun, and I like looking at the pictures.

3.  What is the next step in periodical studies?

I like the collaborative work that David Earle and Suzanne Churchill are doing with their students, and I hope to incorporate some of their strategies into my own teaching. Magazines have a lot to teach us about the benefits of collaboration, and they can help move us away from the solitary writing practices of isolated authors and toward the richer fields of collaboration and intellectual exchange.

2 responses to “MagMods Questionnaire 2

  1. Pingback: MagMods Questionnaire 3 | Magazine Modernisms

  2. Interesting posts you post here, i have shared this
    article on my twitter

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