MTM7 the final day: “A prolific time for magazine studies”

By Charlotte Albutt and Mary Hogarth

The final day kicked off with a debate among our talking circle with experts and academics from across the globe ready to talk about their favourite topic – magazines.

“Today is a prolific time for magazine studies,” said conference founder Tim Holmes, who started the talking circle with a few special announcements.

He congratulated those committee members and delegates who have published books during the past two years.

Texts included Transforming Magazines, edited by Tim and Dr Carla Rodrigues Cardsos, a curation of papers presented at the previous conference.

“It really is the year of magazine studies,” echoed Carla, who announced opening the first-ever research lab dedicated to magazine studies, The Mag Lab.

The new lab will form a significant research centre with transnational input and link to the conference.

Last but not least was the big question where will Mapping the Magazine 8 be held? Carla was also delighted to reveal that she will host the next event in 2024 at the University of Lisbon in Portugal.

A round-up from magazines and content

Panel four kicked off with Nur Zeynep Kuruk Ercetin from Boğaziçi University in Turkey, who explored A moment of transformation: Tracing the ‘modern’ Turkish family in Aile magazine through its translated content. This was followed by Rita Gracio Lusofona, from Lusófona University, who discussed peripheral poetry periodicals.

Rita presented insights into poet editors and contributors using magazines to showcase their work, which prompted a discussion on collaboration opportunities between poets and artists.

Carla Rodrigues Cardoso, Teresa Mendes Flores, Orlando Franco, Alexandra Barradas and Rute Muchacho from Lusófona University in Portugal completed the line-up talking about pedagogy. Their presentation on using magazines as multilevel pedagogical tools took the panel back to the classroom, showing the work and opinions of student journalists.

The final MTM panel began with a presentation by Sheila Webb from Western Washington University.

Her paper, Bon Appetite: a legacy food magazine as a site of social reckoning, explored two key themes: authenticity and appropriation. She delved into the language used by Bon Appetite and the structure of features which could be classed as appropriating cultures.

Presentations culminated with a talk from research partners Patrick Johnson, University of Iowa, and Bobbie Foster, University of Maryland, who analysed the magazine Fangoria. Their paper was called they grow up and start dying: The construction of cultural authority and journalism boundaries through detachment/attachment in Fangoria.

Ending on a “Happy” note

A special guest appearance from The Bumbling Mixologist bought the two-day event to a close with Happy Hour and a lesson on making MTM’s new signature cocktail, Glossy Covers.

While sipping cocktails, presenters and committee members shared their favourite magazines and explained their significance.

Conference round-up – redefining the magazine

by Mary Hogarth and Charlotte Albutt

MAGAZINE experts and academics from across the globe reunited over their laptop screens for the much anticipated Mapping the Magazine 7 hosted by Drake University.

 “This is where old friends meet,” said conference founder Tim Holmes acknowledging the chorus of hellos and the how have you been.

This year’s host, Dr Catherine Staub, dean of the SJMC faculty at Drake University, welcomed the audience before introducing our keynote speaker, Professor Charles Whitaker, dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.  

Professor Whitaker discussed overcoming the existential crisis of the modern magazine, exploring the changing definition of magazines in our growing digital age. He addressed how consumers can confuse online platforms for the magazine brand, leading him to re-evaluate his definition of a magazine.

“My new definition of a magazine is a magazine consists of curated and highly identifiable content, distributed on multiple platforms to an audience that is attracted to the ‘branded’ messaging.”

Professor Whitaker

His keynote set the scene for the first panel, magazines and history, with presentations which explored how magazines have framed historical events.

Dr Kevin Lerner, Assistant Professor of Communication/Journalism at Marist College, examined the merit of The New York Times devoting entire issues to prominent stories. His presentation was followed by Professor David Sumner of Ball State University, who spoke about the expansion of interest and popularization of content in American magazines within the 20th Century.

The panel culminated with a talk from Assistant Professor Sonia Lamy and Dr Carla Rodrigues Cardsos, who discussed the JMK’s case in paper and digital Portuguese news magazines.

Magazine and readers

“Magazines focus on building communities, but to survive, it needs its readers,” said panel moderator Dr Carla Rodrigues Cardsos, course director at Lusófana University.

Mary Hogarth from Bournemouth University explored how Country Walking Magazine is thriving post-pandemic, having built a ‘community’ of nearly 40,000 print and digital subscribers. One point she made reinforced that “print isn’t dead. Magazines just need to get the model right”.

Talita Magnolo, from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil, discussed The magazine Intervalo: 1964 commemorative edition and the strengthening of the relationship.

Her presentation was followed by Dr Jennie Watts, AUT New Zealand, who explored Expression of profession: an analysis of testimonials endorsing Architecture NZ magazine in a crisis, further delving into the relationship between readers and magazines.

Emerging trends and steadfast practices

The final panel began with a talk from Aileen Gallagher, Syracuse University and Professor Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, from Columbia College. They shared their research which assessed 41 videos to answer the question: is branded content embracing solutions journalism?

Then the topic turned to fashion with Associate Professor Rebecca Johinke, Sydney University exploring Consumption and the convergence of reading and shopping: Net-a-Porter’s Porter magazine as an augmented delivery technology.

The panel ended with Simphiwe Mpho Zondani, Varsity College, South Africa, exploring the effects of covid-19 on the magazine industry. His presentation, Beyond narratives of precarity and closure: Mapping new lines of flight for the South African magazine, examined the impact of COVID-19 on South African magazines.

Exciting news – we have flipped the conference

With Covid still causing travel problems and institutional budget cuts, the committee has decided to redesign it as a hybrid model.

This innovative approach optimizes both virtual and in-person attendance at Drake University. The MTM7 committee hopes this will ensure that the conference is accessible to as many participants as possible worldwide.

A new date

Due to the ever-expanding academic calendar, we have also moved the conference date forward by one month to facilitate wider engagement. It will now run from 27-28 July.

For more details about our new “Flipped” Conference, read the Q&A infographic designed by our media assistant, Savanna Bous, a magazine media student at Drake University.

An extension for abstracts submissions

The deadline for abstract submissions has also been extended – so you now have until 28th March to submit.

Mapping the Magazine 7: Magazines and the Moment has Flipped

To make the Mapping the Magazine conference accessible to as many participants as possible – we have flipped the conference. (Yes, we invented this.) A “flipped” conference is one that is optimized for virtual attendees but has added benefits for those who can attend in person.

Photo by Robert Penaloza on Unsplash

This comes from our experience as educators. The pandemic taught us that hybrid approaches shortchange those who are present and those who are virtual. It’s better to have a primary modality. In this case, we’ve chosen to make virtual participation the primary modality in order to welcome as many people as possible to fully participate in the event. However, the pandemic also highlighted the importance of being together in person, so we are providing that option, too.

We expect that the pandemic will still make it difficult for many overseas scholars to travel to the U.S. this summer. We also know that shrinking budgets at many institutions make it harder for some attendees to get financial support for their travel. And as a side benefit, it’s eco-friendly to minimize flying and driving when possible.

Those who can attend in person will have the many benefits of being together: more engagement with each other, casual conversations, social events. There will also be coffee/snack breaks and cocktail hours, and a field trip to Dotdash Meredith, if the pandemic permits.

For more information, check out our FAQ page about this year’s event.

Abstract Reminder – We Want Your Ideas

Don’t forget the deadline is fast approaching to submit your abstract for our seventh Mapping the Magazine Conference.

This year, the conference focuses on Magazines and the Moment, examining a range of aspects from history to business models, emerging trends, and digital developments.

More details on the scope of the potential topics within this theme can be found on the Submitting page.

The deadline for entries is February 28, 2022. Applicants will be notified by March 31, 2022, with full paper submissions required by May 1, 2022.

New Year, New Challenge?

Photo Credit Towfiqu Barbhuiya from Pexels

Calling all magazine practitioners and academics.

Looking for a new challenge in 2022? Then how about writing a conference paper for our seventh Mapping the Magazine conference hosted by Drake University in Des Moines (new dates: July 27 – 28, 2022) This year the focus is on Magazines and the Moment. For more details on potential topics within this theme, visit Submitting.  

The deadline for abstract submission is Feb 28, 2022.

Mapping the Magazine is a series of conferences established by Tim Holmes of the Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC). So far, conferences have taken place around the world, including New Zealand, America, Portugal and the UK. 

The conference aims to create an intimate meeting of international magazine scholars from many disciplines (Media and Communications, Journalism, Gender and Cultural Studies, Sociology, Linguistics, English, History, Visual Communications, and so on) – bringing together those interested in exploring the current state of magazine research and possibly developing collaborative research projects.

Call for Abstracts

Preparation for our seventh Mapping the Magazine conference is underway and will run the new dates of July 27 – 28, 2022, hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jess Bailey via Pexels

In preparation, we are now calling for abstracts on this year’s theme, Magazines and the Moment. Authors – practitioners and academics – are invited to submit their proposals for original work on topics around the 2022 theme, including:

  • Emerging trends and steadfast practices
  • Digital developments
  • Magazine history
  • Readership
  • Business models
  • Magazines as a lens
  • Magazines and movements

Papers dealing with other topics and themes are equally welcome, and organizers encourage a multidisciplinary approach, as well as theoretical and/or empirical perspectives.

Abstracts of 400 words for 20-minute papers must be submitted by February 28th, 2022. For a more in-depth guide to the topics and submission details, visit:

MtM6’s videos available!

MtM6’s playlist on YouTube

You can finally watch the videos from the Conference on our new YouTube channel! Just click on this link.

The playlist is public, so feel free to pass the link along to friends and colleagues that wished they could hear the talks.

Final day: Panel 1- Gender and Magazines

Today marks our last day of the virtual Mapping the Magazine conference. Over the last few days, we have seen some really insightful presentations which has generated some really engaging discussions. Our first panel of the day was entitled “Gender and Magazines”, chaired by Daniel Cardoso.