C19, J19 and the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists

The University of Pennsylvania Press is a place where you can lose your soul. They publish journals like the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, the Journal of the Early Republic, Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Early American Studies, The Eighteenth Century, Hispanic Review, and . . .  J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.

J19 is a new journal, its maiden issue lists from 2013 and is the organ of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, the “first academic organization dedicated to nineteenth-century American literary studies.” The journal is co-edited by Chris Catiglia and Dana Nelson and appears twice a year from UPenn Press. The Journal advertises that it “provides a forum for disseminating, debating, and implementing methodologies for the intra- and inter-disciplinary study of the long American nineteenth century (1789–1914).”

C19 is initiating what it calls the “C19 Circuit” a series of short conferences and workshops “in the spirit of the nineteenth-century lyceum circuit” where students, teachers, scholars and others can discuss topics related to the long nineteenth century in America. For more information see the C19 website.

But J19 is really the focus of this post. It stakes out an interesting territory, accepting what it calls “State of the Field” polemics, reproductions of new archival materials, roundtables, special issues, and more. If you’re interested (and Mormon scholars take note) they accept manuscripts up to 35 pages (double spaced, Word documents) and claim peer-review in a timely manner (if they can pull this off, it will be unusual in my experience). Submit your manuscripts to J19@pennpress.org and remember, they hope of submissions from “all disciplines.”

Let’s be frank: every Mormon has some interest in nineteenth-century America. J19 is really a great way to dip your toes into the context of early Mormonism, a way to understand the cultural, political, literary, and religious forces in which Mormonism was born and grew into traditions that continued to manifest in its twentieth century life. Some examples: the Spring 2014 issue has a “Forum” titled, Evidence and the Archive. Under that moniker are the following short articles: The Aesthetics of Archival Evidence, Falsifiability, Confirmation Bias, and Textual Promiscuity, Against Accumulation, Accounting for Textual Remains, Where Evidence Is: or, Willie Sutton Visits the Library. All of this was excellent stuff.

Finally the point: one of the features of J19 is a “Pleasure Reading” section. This, so far, has been the home of really fun reads. As a sample, may I suggest you pursue the University of Utah’s Stacey Margolis’s piece Trollope for Americanists from the second issue of J19. It’s available online here. Beautiful stuff, if I say so.

Now, get out there and subscribe! It’s cheap. Subscriptions run from January to December and you become part of C19 in the process. A worthy goal. Students, part-time faculty, independent scholars, and emeriti: $35.
Full-time faculty: $65. Institutions: $85.

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