Working Group: The Cultural Study of Periodicals
Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in periodicals as an object of study. New research has pioneered new methods of investigation that bring intellectual history, media studies, and the history of knowledge and science into a productive dialogue. The working group The Cultural Study of Periodicals offers researchers from various disciplines a forum to exchange ideas about different research methodologies. By ‘periodical’ (Zeitschrift), we understand a generic concept that encompasses elements of seriality and intellectual community, or sociability (sociabilité intellectuelle). As an organizing category, ‘periodical’ can include widely distributed cultural and theoretical magazines, as well as privately printed and circulated publications, scholarly journals, and digital platforms.
We aim to analyze the periodical as a specific medium that builds its own set of cultural, political, and epistemological horizons. Thus, instead of taking what appears in periodicals for granted—topics, themes, debates—we want to inquire into the particular ways in which periodicals frame objects and represent them. This touches upon the question of circulation and how knowledge traverses different intellectual and aesthetic fields. It also asks for a new definition of the roles of producers and consumers in relation to periodical literature, since these are subjects of constant negotiation: Who is writing? Who are the publishers and what do they aim to accomplish? Who is the audience? And how does the relationship between producer and consumer constitute itself? In contradistinction to nationally focused histories of periodicals, or to media theoretical approaches to periodical literature, we aim to investigate the journal as a central arena within the field of intellectual history. This includes understanding them as ‘site of encounter’ (François Dosse), ‘conceptual laboratories’ (François Cusset) or as zones that can be characterized by the production of consensus or dissent, by rigorously defined programs or by intentional eclecticism.
The group’s current emphasis lies in research projects concentrating on the second half of the twentieth century (particularly in relation to the history of theory), as well as on the era around 1800 (journals and literature), and in the first half of the nineteenth century (the German Vormärz and early socialism). Potential topics of future research include studies of the early twentieth century (the so-called crisis of science, or Wissenschaftskrise, as well as the political and artistic avant-gardes), or the world of bourgeois periodicals in the late 19th century.
The events and the mailing list of the working group are open to all interested parties. The members meet once a year for a working conference, previous meetings have taken place at the Leibniz Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, the institute for cultural studies in Essen, and the German literature archive in Marbach. The group is an associate member of the network of European cultural journals Eurozine. In 2018, the working group curated the dossier Worlds of Cultural Journals in Eurozine’s online magazine.
Fig. above: Dirk Naguschewski
Speaker at the ZfL:
A joint working group of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI) and the ZfL.
Beiträge zur kulturwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenforschung (II)
Fortsetzung des Themenschwerpunkts in: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur
Beiträge zur kulturwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenforschung (I)
Themenschwerpunkt in: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur
- Stefanie Retzlaff/Christian Wimplinger: Die Theoriearbeit der Zeitschrift alternative. Interview with Moritz Neuffer, in: Undercurrents. Forum für linke Literaturwissenschaft 17 (2022), 20–29
- Moritz Neuffer/Morten Paul: Periodische Formgebung. Zeitschriften und Öffentlichkeit in der frühen Bundesrepublik, in: ZfL Blog, 9 Jun 2022
- Patrick Eiden-Offe/Moritz Neuffer: Was ist und was will kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschriftenforschung?, in: ZfL Blog, 19 Nov 2018
- Katharina Lux: Against the violence of positivity. The magazine “Die Schwarze Botin,” in: Eurozine, 19 May 2018
- Matthew Philpotts: What makes a great magazine editor? Seven theses on editorial plurality, in: Euorzine, 4 May 2018
- Worlds of Cultural Journals (consecutive dossier of the working group)
Moritz Neuffer: The Movement and the Model. Forms of Compression in Theory Journals
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin, Room 2249a
Wandlungszonen: Zeitschriften und Öffentlichkeit 1945 bis 1969
Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, Schillerhöhe 8–10, 71672 Marbach am Neckar, Tagungsraum 2-3
Moritz Neuffer: From Chronopoetics to Anachronisms: Economies of Timeliness in Modern Intellectual Journals
online via Zoom
Annual Meeting of the Working Group “The Cultural Study of Periodicals”
online via Zoom
Moritz Neuffer: Worlds of Cultural Journals: What is ›Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschriftenforschung‹?
online via zoom
The Cultural Study of Periodicals
Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Goethestr. 31, 45128 Essen
Vom Aus- und Wiedereinlesen. Zeitschriftenforschung heute
ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Et., Trajekteraum
The Cultural Study of Periodicals
ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Et., Seminarraum 303
Was macht einen Chefredakteur erfolgreich? Der Literaturwissenschaftler Matthew Philpott sucht im Webmagazin „Eurozine“ eine Antwort. Zeitschriftenkolumne, by Gregor Dotzauer, in: Der Tagesspiegel (22 May 2018)
|Bücher im Gespräch
Episode 7: Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschriftenforschung
For our podcast, Moritz Neuffer and Barbara Picht talked about the cultural study of periodicals.