This special issue of Radical Americas marks a continuation of our discussions into these themes – on the experimental, dissident, objectional, and otherwise marginal organs which often slip between the cracks of scholarly analysis, even as our interrogation of American periodicals and print culture continues to gather steam.
In an early issue of New Left magazine Radical America, the editors outlined their aim to educate readers ‘about the radical traditions of this country’, to provide a ‘forum for students of American radicalism’, and to break down the barriers between the ‘activist’ and the ‘intellectual’. In doing so, Radical America refashioned a blueprint for American periodical radicalism that had been passed down by activists and editors for generations. As oppositional outlets for expressions of political, cultural, or social dissent, radical American periodicals have played a vital role as a forum for radical debate, and a challenge to mainstream understandings of American democracy, citizenship, and community. Yet what makes a periodical ‘radical’? And what makes it ‘American’? How has our understanding of these terms been shaped by the complex and constantly shifting nature of radical protest and the nation-state? And in what ways does this definition change depending on the editorial production, financial composition, geographic distribution or visual aesthetic of each ‘radical’ periodical?
This special issue seeks to address these questions through exploring the role and resonance of radical periodicals in America. Bringing together scholars from a range of different disciplines and historical periods, this special issue seeks to interrogate how the concept of the ‘radical periodical’ in America has varied across time and place.
Dr. E. James West, Northumbria University, UK
Dr. Sue Currell, University of Sussex, UK
Dr. Victoria Bazin, Northumbria University, UK
Victoria Bazin, Sue Currell, E. James West
John S. Huntington
E. James West