New White Rose Publishing book launches on Biliken magazine

News | Posted on Friday 17 November 2023

The first complete academic history of Argentina’s Billiken, the world’s longest-running children’s magazine, is out now.

The engaging new volume, Children’s Culture and Citizenship in Argentina. A History of Billiken Magazine (1919–2019) by Professor Lauren Rea MBE, is now published by White Rose University Press. Billiken published 5144 issues over one hundred years, educated and entertained generations of schoolchildren, and came to occupy a central role in Argentine cultural life. Lauren Rea’s book provides an alternative window onto the history and politics of a tumultuous hundred years for Argentina whilst situating this children’s magazine within the interconnected, transnational histories of print culture.

Prof Rea said: “It’s fantastic to be able to share the result of this decade-long archival research project. As Billiken’s content is so varied it speaks to multiple interests and areas of academic enquiry. I hope that publishing this volume as Open Access will help the story of this extraordinary magazine to reach a wide range of readers.”

This fully illustrated volume adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to take account of the many different facets of Billiken’s content born from a combination of ideological, commercial, political and cultural drivers. This history of Billiken examines the changes, contradictions and continuities in the magazine over time as it responded to political events, adapted to new commercial realities, and made use of technological advances. It explores how Billiken magazine not only reflected society, but shaped it through its influence on childhoods, children’s culture and education.

Kate Petherbridge from White Rose University Press commented “We have been so fortunate to get to work with Professor Rea on this project. Her knowledge of Billiken and its importance, coupled with her genuine enthusiasm for and dedication to this project, highlighted the real value of her research. It’s brilliant to think that, in choosing to publish Open Access, Lauren has ensured this is available not just to the academic community but also to the great numbers of people whose lives Billiken touched and shaped.”

Lauren is Professor of Latin American Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sheffield. Her research on Billiken links to her wider collaborative work with the Creative Industries and across the educational and policy sectors. In recognition of this, Prof Rea was made an MBE in the King’s 2023 Birthday Honours list for services to education in Latin America and the UK.

As with all White Rose University Press publications, Children’s Culture and Citizenship in Argentina. A History of Billiken Magazine (1919–2019) is free to read online and to download in multiple formats from our website. You can also visit the same page to order a print copy of the volume, should you prefer.