Matthew Philpotts has published widely on the theory and practice of periodical culture, with a particular focus on German literary magazines in the twentieth century. He has co-written the history of the East Berlin journal Sinn und Form and edited a special theory number of Victorian Periodicals Review. He is Chair of the European Society for Periodical Research (Esprit) and an editor of the Journal of European Periodical Studies (JEPS).
“Affect, feelings, and emotive responses cannot be shaped into a methodology,” writes Fionnuala Dillane in her thoughtful exploration of this essential dimension of periodical meaning. Acknowledging the frustrations of those “who prefer graphs, reproducible, predictable, transferable methods, and definite structures,” Dillane argues persuasively that we need instead to embrace “the operations of affect, its openness, its aleatoric potential, and its emotion-based effects, in particular when considering the open-ended, multi-textured, serial form that is the periodical” (“Forms of Affect,” 10). My purpose in this examination of The Western Home Monthly (WHM) is to take up this challenge, exploring in the process a complementary analytical concept, what I have come to term the “texture” of the magazine. Further elaborating this term and exploring its analytical potential is a key aim of this contribution, but for the time being let me offer an outline definition.