The Voices of Literature: Radio, Periodicals, and Cultural Conflict (1922-1939)
This project is situated at the intersection of periodical studies and literary radio studies. With the introduction of sound studies into literary studies, radio has become an important focal point in modernist studies. Modernist authors made use of radiogenic features in their work and engaged in broadcasting. If radio is no longer the forgotten medium it once was, the relationship between the radio and the periodical press has not yet been well understood. Literary scholars focus on either radio or periodicals but rarely study them together. In addition, they privilege fiction over criticism in literary debates about the radio. In my project, I analyse the interactions between the radio and the periodical press and gauge their combined impact on literary culture. I argue that radio continued a 19th-century educational project associated with the periodical press. Radio, like periodicals, informed listeners about cultural tendencies and shaped literary taste. I first explore what new genres and professions emerged under the influence of radio (e.g. the radio periodical and the broadcasting chronicle). Secondly, I examine how authors and editors made use of the two media to create a public identity. Finally, I discuss the influence of radio and periodicals on early 20th-century literature: how did the combination of print and broadcasting contribute to the popularisation of modernist literature?