New Journal Launch: J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists

J19Though chronologically speaking only half of their content is relevant to The Junto, we are thrilled to welcome a new journal into the fray: J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. What originated as an email list and loosely-based organization emerged to host two fabulous (from what I hear) conferences, and now what promises to be a solid journal.

Paul J. Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at the American Antiquarian Society, just sent around the following notice on various  listservs:

C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists is delighted to announce the publication of the first issue of its journal, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, edited by Christopher Castiglia and Dana D. Nelson.  Published twice annually by the University of Pennsylvania Press and available online via Project Muse, J19 is dedicated to innovative research on and analysis of the long nineteenth century.

Pick up the first issue, and enjoy “Pleasure Reading”-a regular feature of J19, where contributors write brief essays on books, images, or other artifacts that gave them pleasure and that they think others might enjoy as well. The issue features essays by Gregory Laski on Stephen Crane’s “The Monster,” Erica Fretwell on Emily Dickinson, Robin Bernstein on John Newton Hyde’s illustrations of African American children, and Jennifer Greiman on form, Tocqueville, and Melville.

The issue also includes two forums:  “In the Spirit of the Thing: Critique as Enchantment,” organized by Nancy Bentley, and “New Sitings and Soundings for Transnational Poetics,” organized by Max Cavitch.

The journal boasts an impressive masthead, and the first issue sets a high standard for quality. Please join us in welcoming what should be a significant player in an important field!

C19 has also released a CFP for their third conference, held next year in Chapel Hill, which you can find below.




Chapel Hill, North Carolina

March 13-16, 2014

Hosted by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists seeks paper and session submissions to its third biennial conference, which will take place March 13-16, 2014 at the Carolina Inn and the beautiful University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus. The conference website contains complete details about submitting paper or panel proposals.

We invite individual paper or group proposals on any aspect of U.S. literary culture—broadly conceived—during the long nineteenth century, including those that bring insights from visual, sound, or performance studies into conversation with literary and textual studies. Our conference theme is “Commons.” The Commons has a contested history in nineteenth-century America. At its simplest, “Commons” constitutes a mutually held resource (lands, goods, communal labor, intellectual property, civic values). It refers to shared political, economic, social, and cultural practices that may seem at odds with the period’s investment in individualism and privatization. Still, the nineteenth century worked to establish a variety of institutions, practices, and spaces committed to commonality. These range from Brook Farm to Hull House, from the National Mall to Central Park, from the Smithsonian Institution to local history museums and lending libraries. Commons customs include everything from commonplace books and the practice of reprinting to worker cooperatives and utopian communities. In selecting the theme of Commons, we seek papers and sessions that identify collective sites of mutuality and contestation, whether literary, historical, material, methodological, disciplinary, or conceptual. Inspired by new work in digital humanities, by collaborations across disciplines, and by increasing scholarly engagement with social and environmental questions, the organizers of C19 wish to put into practice a value expressed by Bruno Latour: “The critic is … the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather.” We also wish to acknowledge the challenges and limits of the Commons addressed by nineteenth-century thinkers—conformity, intolerance to dissent, unacknowledged exclusions, and mob mentality.

Topics and approaches might include but are not limited to: nature, landscape, and the built environment; the ethics of land-sharing and resource management; public spaces and parks; theories of democracy and democratic life; literary collaborations and collectivities; collective forms of labor, including unions, syndicates, parties, and interest groups; utopias; information networks and their protocols; distributed, flat, or other “open” systems of communication; imagined alternatives to intellectual property and copyright; new conceptions of authorship; the politics of access and archiving; communitarian legacies and new media practices (the “digital commons”); pre-capitalist or non-capitalist economies or modes of value; common law; common sense; commonwealths; common tongues and the vernacular; the commonplace and everyday; local, regional, or transnational knowledge; non-Anglophone publics; destruction and reconstitution of indigenous commons; pedagogical practices; beliefs and values that we, as a field, hold in common; why Commons now?

As common ground in all its meanings seems more elusive than ever, with the privatization of once-public places, the dismantling of public education and social programs, and the degradation of the environment, C19 affirms the idea of the Commons as a vital occasion for retrieving an American tradition rooted in collective imaginings. We particularly welcome presentations that address the rich cultural, political, and literary history of our conference location in North Carolina and that draw on the unique resources of the campus: the Wilson Rare Book Library (with the largest collection of Civil War novels in the world), the Southern Historical Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, the American Indian Center, the Ackland Art Museum, and the digital resource Documenting the American South.

3 responses

  1. This is great news! But one question. Is C19 for 19th Century Americanist Literary scholars, or both historians and literary scholars? The CFP says literary studies but the journal announcement says nothing about literature. I would be interested to hear what we think about this elision. Thanks!

  2. As with all things, I’m sure there’s a range of opinion within the organization. C19’s primary concern is literary and textual studies–and in the perspectives that can be brought to bear on that area of inquiry by people from other fields. So I think that both the conference and the journal would welcome contributions from scholars in other disciplines: history, music, political science, art history and visual culture, religion, etc. (While I’m the chair of the C19 communications committee, I’m only speaking for myself here.)

    • Great Paul, Thanks! It looks fascinating and I will definitely submit a paper. I know of course at SHEAR and thee WHA literature scholars often present, so this makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

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