Reviews of Peer-Reviewed Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences

We give you the scuttlebutt on academic journals—aiding you in selecting the right journal for publication—in reviews that are sometimes snarky, sometimes lengthy, always helpful. Written by Princeton University graduate students and Wendy Laura Belcher.

SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900

Submit here if you don’t mind waiting for the annual issue on your time period; if you’re working in the 19th century, submit if you have something on periodicals, Victorian art and ekphrasis, gender, class, sympathy, author studies, or, most importantly, formalism. (2015)


For those interested in publishing articles about British literature (often a single author and one or multiple works) between 1500-1900, and that speak to generic, formal, textual, or historicist problems of a 100-year period (each of the four issues focuses on one period), often centered around close readings, but also accessible and interesting for literary scholars outside of the immediate 100-year period.

According to their website, “SEL invites historical and critical essays” and that seems fairly apt: often essays published here do have a historical bent, frequently in the form of a specific motif, concern, or detail in a text to which a critic draws our attention as more widely historically or culturally important (less often philosophically) and/or deserving of more critical attention in the text/multiple texts. Other essays focus on genre and a few focus on contemporary or twentieth century theorists in the context of a specific literary work.

Most, although not all, essays are single author in focus (with some extension to readings in other works); a few focus on a specific and narrow genre (women’s sentimental fiction, etc.) or problem of form/structure (allegory comes up recurrently). There are four published issues a year, and each focuses on a different century.

A key feature is the “Recent Studies” essay at the end of each issue, in which an established critic (invited by the editors) reviews all works published in the field that year and organizes them as they like into thematic or generic categories; the critics’ interpretations and readings are an extremely helpful way to get a sense of the current state of the field—this feature also suggests the journal’s concern for the state of the field at large.

There was one special issue that I saw (on allegory and drama), but other issues seemed to have thematic and textual links (many essays on Milton in one issue, for instance). (KT 2017)

Useful for Submission

Word Count: ca. 7,000 words not to exceed 8,000 words including endnotes

Issues per year: 4 (each focusing on one 100-year period)

Current volume number in 2017: 57.1

Articles per year: appr. 8 articles + 1 review article in each issue; around 32 articles a year

Citation style: Chicago

Abstract length (if required): a short cover letter and an abstract of 100 words or fewer encouraged

Upcoming special issues (if available): N/A

Relevant Editors: Joseph Campana (ed. for 1500-1659) and Alexander Regier (ed. for 1660-1900)

About Wendy Belcher

Associate Professor, Princeton University, Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for African American Studies. Author of Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Instructor of Deep Reading Journals as Publishing Praxis.


This entry was posted on May 15, 2015 in Early Modern Journals, Humanities Journals, Literary Studies Journals.