It appears that the moderns are catching up to the Victorians at last. Ann Ardis and Patrick Collier’s edited volume, Transatlantic Print Culture, 1880–1940, represents the most forceful statement to date about the possibilities and opportunities for print culture studies in the modernist period. While the study of print culture has flourished in Victorian studies for decades, particularly through the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and its journal, Victorian Periodicals Review, modernist studies has been slower to embrace print culture studies. There are many historical and theoretical reasons for this, but even field nomenclature may make a difference. “Victorian studies” indicates interest in a period and was therefore primed to embrace the period’s extra-literary products and cultural artifacts. In contrast, from the time modernist texts were canonized in the academy, “modernist studies” referred not to the modern period and the sum of its cultural and signifying practices, but rather to the modernist artistic response to the period. The name still seems stubbornly attached to aesthetic objects in spite of the massive cultural and material turns of the field in recent decades.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Rando, D. (2011). [Review of the book Transatlantic Print Culture, 1880–1940: Emerging Media, Emerging Modernisms, A. Ardis & P. Collier (Eds.)]. Modernism/Modernity, 18, 470-472. doi: 10.1353/mod.2011.0022