Skip to main content

Jan Radway

Emerita | Walter Dill Scott Professor of Communication and Professor in American Studies

Ph.D., Michigan State University

Janice Radway is Walter Dill Scott Professor of Communication. Previously, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania in the American Civilization Department and at Duke University in the Literature Program. She received her Ph.D. in English and American Studies from Michigan State University and is past President of the American Studies Association and former editor of American Quarterly. She received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden and the Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Award from the American Studies Association for outstanding contributions to the field. She is the author of Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature, which won the Fellows Book Award from the International Communication Association as a classic in the field. Professor Radway is also the author of A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste and Middle Class Desire and co-editor (with Carl Kaestle) of Volume 4 of A History of the Book in America, Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940, and, with Kevin Gaines, Barry Shank and PennyVon Eschen, co-editor of American Studies: An Anthology. In all of these volumes, Professor Radway has traced the impact of gender and sexuality on women’s reading and writing. She is currently working on a book entitled Girls, Zines, and their Travels: Selfhood and the Struggle for New Social Forms in the 1990s. By combining oral history, archival work, and textual analysis, the study traces the many different routes girls followed into the practice of creating zines and investigates the range of ways they used their selfpublishing to contest normative understandings of gender, sexuality, and racialization. Professor Radway teaches “Girlhood in Public Culture,” and “High School in American Public Culture” and a number of graduate classes on cultural studies, media studies, and book history. 


  • Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular LiteratureThe University of North Carolina Press (1991).
  • A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste and Middle Class Desire, The University of North Carolina Press (1999).
  • A History of the Book in America, Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940, (Vol 4), The University of North Carolina Press (2009), co-editor.
  • American Studies: An Anthology, Wiley-Blackwell (2009), co-editor.
  • "Zines Then and Now: What Are They? What Do You Do WIth Them, How Do They Work?," in From Codex to Hypertext: Reading at the Turn of the Century, edited by Anouk Lang (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), 27-48. 
  • "From the Underground to the Stacks and Beyond: Girl Zines, Zine Librarians, and the Importance of Itineraries through Print Culture, in Libraries and the Reading Public in America, edited by Christine Pawley (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013). 

Courses Taught

  • "Girlhood in Public Culture"
  • "High School in American Public Culture"