As a former magazine editor and writer with a doctorate in English literature, I find myself at home in research that focuses on studies in print culture and the history of the book. I’m also interested in alternative and radical publications, feminist media studies, and all things having to do with magazine and book publishing.
Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading (University of Massachusetts Press, Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book, Feb. 2019)
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Hear an interview about the book (“a summer read about summer reading”) on The Public’s Radio, NPR/Providence, here.
DESCRIPTION: Books for Idle Hours focuses on the birth of the publishing phenomenon we today call the “beach read” in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Drawing on book reviews, readers’ diaries, and publishing records, it traces the ways in which nineteenth-century readers, authors, and publishing houses came to frame summer reading not as a disreputable indulgence, but as a respectable pastime and a welcome respite, especially for women readers. It also examines the development of a new genre—the American summer novel—which uses summer resorts as settings for the action and which was adopted by some of the most popular authors of the period, including William Dean Howells and Stephen Crane.
The book is part of the series Studies on Print Culture and the History of the Book from the University of Massachusetts Press.
“So many of the practices we engage in as summer reading today—checking the lists of the best summer reads that come out in June or indulging in a paperback potboiler we wouldn’t read otherwise—have their roots in the nineteenth century,” Harrington-Lueker says. “This project is a kind of back-to-the-future. Some of the same conversations about escapist fiction vs. serious summer reading are still going on today.”
“Fiction for Idle Summer Days: Nineteenth-Century Periodicals and the Marketing of Summer Reading,” Nineteenth Century Studies, vol. 26 (Feb. 2017), pp. 219-244.
“Finding a Market for Suffrage: Advertising and ‘The Revolution,’ 1868-70,” Journalism History, vol. 33, issue 3, (Fall 2007), pp.
“Imagination versus Introspection: ‘The Cenci’ and ‘Macbeth,'” Keats-Shelley Journal, vol 32 (1983), pp. 172-189. JStor.
Making Feminist Media: Third Wave Magazines on the Cusp of the Digital Age, J-History (December 2018)
(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work, by Brooke Erin Duffy, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95 (4), 1189-1190.
On Company Time: American Modernism in the Big Magazines, by Donal Harris, J-History (July 2017).
This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics. Ed. by Jaime Harker & Cecilia Konchar Farr, J-History, 2016.
Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age, in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2015.
Lifestyle Journalism (Routledge), in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2014
Reading the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine: American Literature and Culture, 1870-1893, in SHARPNews, Autumn 2011.
Dress Culture in Late Victorian Women’s Fiction: Literacy, Textiles, and Activism,” in SHARPNews
Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown, in American Periodicals (Spring 2010)
Journalism in a Culture of Grief, in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 85.3 (Autumn 2008): 695-97.
The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine, J-History (Spring 2008)