Exploring the language of the popular in American and British newspapers 1833-1988
There is much work currently being undertaken in the history of the newspaper in both the USA and the UK and it is the purpose of this network to bring leading scholars in the field together to discuss how their research interrelates and how it can be enhanced by broader disciplinary dialogue drawing on the traditions and methodologies of history, language studies, literary studies, and journalism studies. This interdisciplinary project is made more urgent by the growing number of digitally available archives of newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries from the USA and the UK. As we move from a research economy of archive scarcity to one of plenty, we need to be able to set out a new, more integrated set of methodologies which enable the wealth and diversity of these resources to be more appropriately mined.
The dates 1833-1988 frame the research network project as they are key dates in the development of popular discourse within the Anglo-American newspaper. 1833 sees the first development of the Penny Press and 1988 witnesses the peak in circulation of Murdoch´s British-based Sun. This long view will reinforce how important historical context is to the understanding of contemporary newspapers. Although this project will certainly seek to address some of the wider implications of the discourse of newspaper language it will proceed from a thorough textual exploration in the first instance.
Each of the seminars will be advertised from September with a view to attracting high quality, publishable research which contributes to the themes of the research network. The seminars, located as they are in the UK, the USA and Switzerland will aim to bring together leading researchers and emerging scholars so as to enhance the international and interdisciplinary ambitions of the project.
The project website can be found here.
Aims and Objectives
- To bring together scholars, researchers and news media researchers to develop interdisciplinary approaches to the study of digital newspaper archives in Britain and North America.
- To investigate representations of popular culture in Anglo-American newspapers over the period 1833 to 1988.
- To develop with colleagues from a range of cognate disciplines a set of agreed principles for a consistent methodology for the investigation of the increasing number of digital archives of newspapers which would extend computer-assisted research in the humanities.
- To establish a network of scholars and researchers which can sustain such dialogues beyond the scope of the project by setting up a clear set of publishing outcomes and future collaborations.
- To provide a forum for dissemination of best practice in historical and linguistic research approaches to digital newspaper archives.
- To develop the general area of Historical Pragmatics by a series of sustained and focused investigations into a particular area of media language and social representation; representation of popular culture in newspapers.
By means of the seminars, electronic discussions and projected publications to:
- explore the development of popular journalism in the USA and Britain from 1833 to 1988.
- to compare and contrast the implications of popular journalism for the changing political and social conditions of these two countries.
- to further understand the influences between these two traditions of popular journalism.
- to explore how modern varieties of popular journalism developed over time as a distinct set of linguistic practices.
- to map the ways in which appeals to a ‘feminized’ audience became part of popular journalism’s market appeal.
- to understand the inclusive and exclusive cultural dynamics inscribed within the readerships of popular newspapers over this period.
Adrian Bingham, University of Sheffield
Kevin Barnhurst, University of Illinois at Chicago
Martin Conboy, University of Sheffield
David Copeland, Elon University
Bob Franklin, University of Cardiff
Jane Hodson, University of Sheffield
Andreas H. Jucker, University of Zurich
Chandrika Kaul, St Andrews
Ed King, Head of Collections, British Newspaper Library
Elliot King, Loyola University Maryland
David Machin, University of Cardiff
Michael Schudson, Columbia University
Terry Threadgold, University of Cardiff
Joel Wiener, CUNY
John Nerone, University of Illinois
14 January 2011 Sheffield
Exploring digital newspaper archives
12 March 2011 New York
The long popularization process: Anglo-American perspectives
18 January 2012 Zurich
Historical pragmatics and the language of popular newspapers
28 March 2012 Cardiff
The social semiotics of popular journalism: a long view
8 July 2012 Sheffield
Research methodology and digital newspapers: feasibility and sustainability