Little Modern Magazines

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Curtis Gruenler, English, Laura McGrath, Mellon Scholars Program

Document Type


Event Date



This project analyzes the role of 20th-century modernist literary journals in perpetuating and promoting social and political movements. The literary journals of this period were significant because they facilitated relevant and provocative conversations in the post-Victorian world, agitating for social movements prevalent in the modernist era. The journals used for this project, most notably the Little Review, Crisis, and the New Freewoman, are drawn from The Modernist Journals Project, a joint effort of Brown University and The University of Tulsa. The digitized database of literary journals, collected from 1890-1922, includes publications from Chicago, London, and Toronto. All publications were originally printed in English and facilitated a free flow of ideas and controversy across the Atlantic. Our research analyzes the relationships and appearances of major voices of the day, including W.E.B DuBois and Margaret C. Anderson. The volume of their writings and the journals they gravitated to make up the bulk of our study, alongside close text analysis. These literary journals ultimately opened up a major platform for voices excluded from mainstream society, including the Suffragette and Civil Rights movements. Most vitally, these magazines created a nexus for polemic writers, thinkers, and audiences to unite against conservative mores.

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