Sarah Salter: Toward Periodicals Canon(s)

Hello! I am Sarah Salter, and I am an Assistant Professor of 19th-Century Multiethnic US literatures at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. This week at the Western History Association Conference, I will be sharing some collaborative work with historical periodicals. For the past few years, I have been working with colleagues across the US on related events, panels, and digitization projects that seek to build conversation across fields and areas in periodical studies. Last spring, the American Antiquarian Society helped us digitize a selection of periodicals from migrant, indigenous, and colonized communities as part of their GIGI digital database. Through the process of curating these examples and contributing them to the wider newspaper database of the AAS, my colleagues and I have begun to explore the practical and theoretical considerations of creating a teaching canon of 19th-Century periodicals. At the conference’s Six-Shooter presentation, I will offer a brief overview of the digitization process and some preliminary suggestions for thinking through a “canon” drawn from, and intended to highlight, a wide diversity of formal, historical, political, and linguistic perspectives. This project asks us to consider the purposes and limitations of the canon’s presumption of commonality.

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