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The Oxford History of Popular Print CultureVolume Six: US Popular Print Culture 1860-1920$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.001.0001

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(p.375) Chapter 18 Sensationalism
The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture

David M. Stewart

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the status of sensationalism as genre in terms of its marginalisation and its cultural operation, both of which are intimately tied to the body. Commonly used to describe emotion in nineteenth-century popular print culture, sensationalism has received little interest at a time when pervasive interest in the effect of media should have made it a priority. The chapter first looks at the various claims against sensationalism and how sensationalism is located in the mass reading body in relation to problems associated with print culture. It then analyses sensationalism as affect and cites various examples of sensational print culture to highlight the responses it provoked and the bodies it represented. Finally, it considers sensational print culture as a practice beyond language and beyond the act of reading.

Keywords:   sensationalism, body, popular print culture, reading, affect, emotion

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