Collections Formats: Practices of Reprinting between Anthologisation of the Periodic and the Periodicisation of the Anthology (SP 7)


The project ‘Collection Formats’ extends the media-historical study of journals as sites of primary publication of literature to anthological media that contributed to the establishment of a culture of the journal in the nineteenth century. The focus is thus on anthologies systematically related to or emerging from journal-type publications. The project examines anthologies collecting and reprinting journal literature, appearing in direct association with journals or published (quasi)periodically in order to identify the preconditions and status of manifold practices of reprinting in the context of a media-literary history of the nineteenth century.

Collections embracing the journal are understood as a consequence of reprinting practices at the intersection of publications concerned with the present and those with a more permanent perspective. Anthologies are thus not conceived as representing long-term media formats guaranteeing canonicity that transform unidirectional, ‘ephemeral’ journal literature into a collection in book form promising a certain permanence. Rather, the aim of this subproject is to reconstruct the very media-specific concepts of temporality resulting from the overlap between anthologisation and periodisation. The underlying hypothesis posits that different collection formats form different temporal logics of media that are more or less closely related to the contemporary present. The publication and republication of contemporary poetry in particular is examined in order to investigate the temporal implications of periodic and book-form media formats. Our hypothesis further suggests that as a result of reprinting, journal-based anthologies allow observation of temporal media logics. The aim is to examine anthologies as mediators between publications based on transience and those seeking permanence.

Secondly, by analysing the practices of journal literature, the project accentuates the significance of anthologies for reception history. In particular, in this context the anthologisation of recent literature is understood as an act of reception allowing specific forms of reception via its temporal codification. Hence we will examine how intermedia processes of reception between the journal and the anthology are shaped and discoursified, and how the specific paratextual conception and editorial framing of anthologies give rise to new forms of reception and reading practices. The anthological collection of journal literature is thus reconstructed as a specific form of media consumption against the background of developments in copyright and technological and economic innovations and cultural practices.

The project’s aim is to identity media transitions, functional overlaps and reception processes between periodical publications and anthological collections and to reconstruct their preconditions. Such preconditions especially include the specific copyright frameworks that were gradually codified during the nineteenth century but which made important exceptions for the periodical press and particularly for the anthologising practices of reprinting. Periodical and monograph formats are seen as two separate forms of publication; however, this project focuses on the broad spectrum in between that resists such distinctions. The aim is to understand the heterogeneous field of divergent media formats between the anthologisation of the periodical and the periodisation of the anthology as manifestations of a ‘serial culture’ of the nineteenth century.