“Curiosities” in the Strand Magazine, 1896-1918

“Curiosities,” a feature that appeared at the end of every number of the Strand Magazine for over twenty years, offers a wonderful case study of the role that illustrated magazines played in popular culture at a time when that culture was shifting its orientation from highly verbal print media to multimodal non-print media. I investigate this case study in a dissertation chapter. At the 2017 conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals in Freiburg, I profiled “Curiosities” as a site where the border between cultural production and consumption became very malleable, in two ways: first, the Strand’s readers used “Curiosities” to become authors of multimodal print—that is, print that combined images and text. Second, they used “Curiosities” to become producers of cultural knowledge about snapshot photography. And at the border of consumption and production, contributors to “Curiosities” also shaped the Strand’s role in turn-of-the-century mass culture.