What is a Periodical Editor? Types, Models, Characters, and Women

  • Fionnuala Dillane

Abstract

When we talk about women periodical editors, do we share a conceptual or definitional understanding of what we mean when we say ‘editor’, whatever our language? Does it matter if we leave the label so open that it incorporates as many types of periodical editor as there are periodicals? Can we be more categorical? And, critically, do we need to be more categorical? Accounts of editorial types that exist in the nineteenth-century British context are diverse in terms of descriptors but overwhelmingly male and white as models. Does the rich and extensive recuperation of editorial work by women over the past four decades require shared frames of understanding that counter such gendered models and that work across our different linguistic, ideological, geographical, and social territories? This discussion concludes that models and typologies are too restrictive, exclusive, and confining: they replicate and reinforce sets of privilege. Instead, we might work on developing shared sets of questions that will allow for comparative analysis across our various case studies so that we can debate issues of access, power, and influence, seek common ground, and articulate the reasons for difference.

Published
2021-07-01