City Tech project to trace history of print industry in NYC

June 12, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Tech associate professor Mark Noonan. Photo courtesy of City Tech
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In February, The New Yorker dedicated its cover to illustrate Condé Nast’s move from Times Square to 1 World Trade Center — an acknowledgement of just how central the print industry has been to the economic, social and cultural history of the city.

Mark Noonan, an associate professor in City Tech’s English department, will bring the story to life through a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute. “City of Print,” a collaborative and interdisciplinary project, will feature distinguished faculty from diverse fields and will be held from June 15 to 26.

Participants in the City of Print Institute will have the opportunity to explore both the influence of place on publications and the influence of publications on place.

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They will take part in discussions led by cultural historians, archivists and experts in the fields of American literature, art and urban history; participate in hands-on sessions in the periodicals collection of the New-York Historical Society; visit sites important to the rise of New York’s periodical press, such as Newspaper Row, Gramercy Park, the Condé Nast archives and the Algonquin Hotel; and work collectively on a digital map hosted by Historypin.

“Across eras, New York disseminated news and produced creative content in a plethora of publications, ranging from newspapers, monthly reviews and annuals to niche magazines covering political, social or aesthetic matters,” Noonan said. “I am excited to bring together scholars from across the country to study this important archive and to organize this material on our digital map for further study.”

Sessions will be held at sites throughout the city, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New-York Historical Society, City Tech, Baruch College and John Jay College.

Representing colleges and universities from across the U.S., participants will include university faculty, art historians, journalists and public historians associated with some of the country’s most important museums. They will be housed at the historic St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights.

New York and its publishing institutions have influenced the writing styles and careers of a range of writers and artists, such as Herman Melville, Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Willa Cather and John Sloan, among others. And its periodical press helped mold the professional identities of successive waves of artists, editors and writers.

Publishing in New York City is a “continuing story,” focusing on periodicals and content that represents the diverse, shifting cultural politics of the city.

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