Our special issue on Purpose, Power and Profit in Feminist Publishing now out with Women: A Cultural Review

Is it possible to harness the market to achieve political and ethical goals? This bumper special issue of Women: A Cultural Review examines the interface between enterprise, ethics and activism in the cultural industries, with a particular focus on the publishing sector and on feminist interventions. Addressing a range of beloved periodicals and book publishing ventures, including Spare Rib, Ms, Red Rag, Virago, Des Femmes, Honno, Sheba, Bogle L’Ouverture, Onlywomen Outwrite, The F-Word, The Vagenda, Feminist Frequency, Feministing, The Establishment, Crunk Feminist Collective and Women: A Cultural Review itself, articles explore the challenges and opportunities offered by the harnessing of enterprise and for-profit forms of cultural practice with goals such as gender equity, environmental sustainability, diversity and social justice. The article grew out of a symposium at the University of Cambridge in 2019 and also contain interviews with Bibi Bakare-Yusuf from Cassava Republic Press and Polly Russell from the British Library, on curating women’s business papers.

Purpose, Power and Profit in Feminist Publishing: An Introduction (Margaretta Jolly)

Feminist Business Praxis and Spare Rib Magazine (Lucy Delap)

Risky Ms.-ness? The Business of Women’s Liberation Periodicals in the 1970s (Melanie Waters)

Red Rag Magazine, Feminist Economics and the Domestic Labour Pains of Liberation (Victoria Bazin)

The Making of Mamatoto: Virago, the Body Shop and Feminist Business Strategy (Margaretta Jolly)

‘The Business is Political’: Des femmes Publishing House and the Question of Power in the French Women’s Liberation Movement (1972–1979) (Bibia Pavard)

Honno: The Welsh Women’s Press and the Cultural Ecology of the Welsh Publishing Industry, c. 1950s to the Present (D-M Withers)

From Self-Publishing Collective to Multinational Corporation: The Publishing History of In Other Words–Writing as a Feminist (Gail Chester)

By Us, for Us? Past and Present Black Feminist Publishing Narratives and Routes (Francesca Sobande)

Fempreneurs and Digital Feminist Publishing (Kaitlynn Mendes)

Feminist Book Publishing Today (Bibi Bakare-Yusuf & Simidele Dosekun)

‘Balancing on a Razor’s Edge’: Running the Radical Feminist Lesbian Onlywomen Press (Gillian Murphy)

Curating Women’s Business: A Feminist Publishing Perspective (Polly Russell & Margaretta Jolly)

‘A Company that Runs on Tummy Waters’ (Eleanor Careless)

About Our Contributors

New publications!

Mapping Feminist Book Fortnight: Regional Activism and the Feminist Book Trade in 1980s Britain (Eleanor Careless)

Eleanor Careless and Jess Cotton (2023), No Woman is an Island: The Politics of Loneliness, Spare Rib and the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1969-1993, New Formations 109, 10-28