Nova magazine 1965-1975 : a history

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Beard, Alice
  • Publisher: Goldsmiths, University of London

This thesis provides an original case history of Nova magazine from 1965-1975, and analyses the magazine’s construction, content and consumption through material culture. Nova made a distinct offering to the world of women’s magazines in the Sixties and Seventies and can be defined by its unique synthesis of editorial breadth and visual innovation.\ud \ud The study considers the correlation between a magazine’s intended, implied and realised meanings. In my analysis of Nova, intended meanings are revealed through an examination of the production process; implied meaning is found within the magazine as an object and text; and Nova’s realised meanings are those articulated through oral history by its readers.\ud \ud Interviews with staff cover the four key areas of Nova’s production; Caroline Baker, Fashion Editor 1967-1975; Gillian Cooke, Editor 1970-1975; David Hillman, Art Director 1969-1975; Maggy Meade-King, Features Writer, 1970-1975. Analysis of these interviews and the design and content of Nova reveals the motivation and ambitions of individual production staff, and evaluates the crucial collaborative practice, creative conflicts and networks of production at the heart of Nova’s making. To better understand magazines, their histories and their futures, it is time that these individuals, working practices and creative networks are both acknowledged and critically evaluated.\ud \ud Recognising the nature and importance of the magazine as composite I adopt a holistic approach as a methodological model for Nova’s analysis. In this thesis I examine the magazine as a whole entity; I analyse its design and contents, alongside a narrative of the processes of its production from its staff and contributors, and consider the use and value of the magazine by its contemporary readers. The agenda for this work, is to plot the processes of production and consumption of Nova in order to reveal the various elements and practices that construct the identity and history of the magazine as a visual, textual and material object.
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