Women in Magazines:

Research, Representation, Production and Consumption

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The CfP deadline has now passed.  We received an avalanche of great abstracts over the last few days and look forward to working our way through them.  If you’ve submitted one to us then we’ll be in touch over the coming weeks.

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Ten days to go…

Only ten days to go until the CfP deadline for Women in Magazines and the stream of abstracts being submitted is growing daily! Don’t forget to submit yours to womeninmagazines@gmail.com by Friday 9th March. If you need a reminder about the CfP details, follow the link to the CfP page at the bottom right of this page. We look forward to seeing your submission soon!

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Hello to our new followers!

Hello there to all our new followers! Thanks for stopping by and reblogging our CfP. We really want to publicise the conference as widely as possible and encourage attendance from both academics and magazine practitioners. If you’d like more information about the event or to submit an abstract for consideration, drop us a line at womeninmagazines@gmail.com.

Many thanks again, from Sue, Nicola, Jay and Rae, co-convenors of Women in Magazines.

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Our Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce that the two keynote speakers for Women in Magazines are Noliwe Rooks (Princeton University) and Penny Tinkler (University of Manchester). Both have produced pioneering work in this field & we are so pleased that they are able to come and share this with us.

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From the old to the new…

Some great new partners look set to be coming on board with the conference and we’re also pleased to say that we should be having representatives talking about some of the pioneering digitisation projects that have taken place in the last twelve months or so. Between them, they’ll cover the old to the new in terms of women’s magazine publishing!

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We’ve had confirmation from one of our keynote speakers and will be making an announcement about who it soon - stay tuned!

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Staying at the conference

Summer 2012 is a popular time to be visiting London.  As well as the ‘Women in Magazines’ conference, there are also the Olympic and Para-Olympic games (you may have heard about them too!).  As a result, we recommend that conference attendees reserve their accommodation as soon as possible.  Kingston University has a number of recommended options, listed here:


It is also possible to stay in central London and travel out to Kingston.

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amandaregan008 asked: Will there be any support/grants for graduate student travel?

Thanks for getting in touch.  Unfortunately we are unable to offer any travel grants due to our own limited budget.  However, we will be offering all students and those not in employment a concessionary conference fee, which we hope will be helpful. 

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Call for Papers

In November 2011, Woman’s Weekly celebrated its 100 year birthday by including a reproduction of the first issue inside the centenary edition.  A month later, US Vogue launched a digital archive containing every page published since 1892. These events remind us of the rich history which lies behind  titles that continue to grace the shelves marked ‘women’s magazines’ on both sides of the Atlantic.  Academics, especially feminist scholars, have long explored this history and the relationship between women and the journals that target them, but in recent years this interest appears to have declined. ‘Women in Magazines’ seeks to reassert the importance of magazines, in Britain and America, as a significant source for women’s and gender historians, by showcasing their latest research.

The conference is broad in scope, reflecting the interests of its supporting organisations:  the Centre for the Historical Record (Kingston University), the Centre for American, Transatlantic and Caribbean History (Brunel University), the Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW), the Women’s History Network and The Women’s Library.  It will offer a platform for examining the role of women as producers, subjects and consumers of magazines; it will also explore magazines as important historical records which are being made more accessible by digital technology.  The remit is neither bound by time period nor genre: women’s relationships with specialist journals, trade magazines and non-gender specific lifestyle publications such as Ebony are of equal interest to traditional ‘women’s magazines’. The aim is to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue alongside discussion between scholars and representatives of the contemporary magazine industry. An edited collection based on papers presented is planned. 

The conference will be hosted by Kingston University, London, on 22-23 June 2012. Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to womeninmagazines@gmail.com by 9 March.  Key themes for the event are consumption, lifecycles and age, race and ethnicity, social class, geography and location. Suggested topics could include, but are not limited to:

Advertising and marketing                                           Advice and education

Archives and digitization                                               Beauty and fashion

Celebrity culture                                                              Editors and journalists

Entertainment and gossip                                            Gender ideology

Methodology and literature                                        Notions of public and private

Politics and citizenship                                                   Readers, reading and reception studies

Relationships and the family                                       The home

The magazine industry                                                  Work and careers

As well as thematic papers, we encourage reflections upon how we use magazines as a historic record.  We also encourage papers that look at the 19th century or earlier and particularly welcome submissions that are transnational or comparative in scope.