chapter  4
21 Pages

Magazines as Historical Study Subjects

Reflecting the Sociocultural Reality
WithCynthia Lee Patterson

This chapter suggests future directions in a number of areas: additions to the cumulative historiography of American and international magazines; ethnological enrichment and expansion; and chronological expansion beyond the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also includes reconsiderations of the magazine as a genre; the magazine’s engagement with other cultural forms; and moving beyond magazine feature and columns to other structural elements such as departments and the material qualities of the published and circulated magazine. The explosion of women’s history as a disciplinary field paralleled and contributed to a similar expansion in periodical studies focused on women’s magazines. A selection of primarily journal-length studies of magazines have been published about magazines originating in more than a dozen countries around the world. Newer work acknowledges that magazines not only reflect, but also shape the wider culture and in relationship with other cultural products and contexts.