Research interests: Nineteenth Century, Periodical Studies, Illustrated periodicals and newspapers, Irish Literature, the Victorians, Regionalism, Transnationalism, Illustration and Media, Cultural Transfer, Imagology.

PhD Project
Part of NWO-funded VICI project ‘Redefining the Region: The Transnational Dimensions of Local Colour’, PI: Marguérite Corporaal

The nineteenth-century European illustrated periodical press had a clear fascination with the region at home and elsewhere, and often sought to map out various distinct types of regional character, using engravings to outline specific traits of physiognomy, labour, and dress. The Illustrated London News (1842 -) in Britain, L’Univers Illustré (1858-1900) in France, Illustrirte Zeitung (1843-1944) in Germany, and De Hollandsche Illustratie (1864-1919) in the Netherlands, for instance, all frequently published various illustrations of regional character. These periodicals did not only depict the European region at home and elsewhere, but also frequently directly copied and reprinted illustrations from other periodicals, and edited and translated the original accompanying captions and articles to fit the political perspective of the periodical in which they re-appeared.

Previous studies on the region, however, have thus far primarily studied the region in relation to nationalism, national identity, and nation building, and have as such largely overlooked fundamental transnational representations of the region in the illustrated press and the circulation of local colour imagery. This project, therefore, will move beyond a nationalist framework, and instead examine the transnational dimensions of the region in European illustrated periodicals from 1842, which marked the beginning of the illustrated periodical as a cultural phenomenon with the establishment of the Illustrated London News, until 1900, which signalled the end of the illustrated periodical’s monopoly on visual news culture following several technological innovations.

This study seeks to determine in what ways visual and textual materials in European illustrated periodicals (1842-1900) contributed to the construction of regional identities and the idea of the region, and how these representations of regions/regional identity circulated beyond the nation state. To establish this, both illustrations and their accompanying captions and articles which “create meaning in conjunction with one another” (Sinnema, The Dynamics of the Pictured Page, p. 3) , will be examined. Illustrated periodicals will be treated, not just as carriers, but as active agents in processes of affect and meaning-making. In doing so, this project aims to provide insight into the ways in which regions at home and elsewhere in Europe featured in the periodical press, and, additionally, how visual and textual materials on the region circulated (in reprint) through this mass medium.