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.

Journal of Africana Religions

For those interested in publishing interdisciplinary articles that address the religious traditions of African and African Diaspora peoples from ancient to contemporary periods. Narrow studies of African American Christianity are not welcome here; the point is to forward scholarship that goes beyond the U.S. and Christianity. (AGH)

Founded in 2013, The Journal of Africana Religions is published by the Penn State University Press and its Editorial Offices are currently housed at Northwestern University. It is the first journal singularly committed to scholarship that addresses the religious traditions of African and African Diasporic peoples.

Works accepted by the journal attend to the questions and problems of creating, if not re-building, a new field in/outside of the fields of African American religious history, African and Caribbean religious histories, and Western religious history, by engaging with foundational texts in each respective field and also critically analyzing primary source documents from the diaspora. Some essays even “edit” primary sources, such as Quincy D. Newell’s “The Autobiography and Interview of Jane Elizabeth Manning James” (Volume 1, Issue 2). Other articles frequently look to Albert Raboteau’s Slave Religion and the ways it set the stage for Africana religious studies, even as it prioritizes African proselytization and conversion to Christianity in the Americas.

More recently, scholars who study Africana religions have since pushed the field to de-center Christianity and to consider the African spiritual and religious traditions before colonization and enslavement, which remain and also have evolved on the continent of Africa and abroad (See Dianne M. Stewart Diakité and Tracey E. Hucks’ 2013 essay, “Africana Religious Studies: Toward a Transdisciplinary Agenda in an Emerging Field”).

The most recent issue of the JAR, features only three articles: One on “The Flying African”, another on Africa and U.S. Muslim Identity, and the other on the AME Church and Dominican-Haitian Relations. For senior scholars, junior scholars, and graduate students, JAR appears to be the place to publish if interested in expanding the field of Africana religious history with new and insightful questions informed by detailed and critical attention to foundational texts in religious studies. It is also the place to submit essays that de-center Christianity and center other religious traditions among African and African Diasporic peoples historically and contemporaneously, including but not limited to: Black Hebrews, Black Buddhists, Black Atheists and so on and so forth.

Useful for Submission

Word Count: All academic articles should be approximately 8,000-10,000 words long. Comprehensive review essays should be about 5,000 words in length. Short review essays and round-table comments, which are not peer reviewed, should be approximately 1,500 to 3,000 words in length.

Issues per year: Initially four a year, now biannually

Current volume number: 5

Articles per year: varies based on submissions

Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style

Abstract length (if required): 150-words; 50 words for short review essays/roundtable submissions

Upcoming special issues (if available):

Relevant Editors:

  • Edward E. Curtis IV, Editor, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Sylvester A. Johnson, Editor, Northwestern University
  • Jeremy Rehwaldt, Managing Editor, Midland University
  • Board Member: Judith Weisenfeld, Princeton University


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 February 28, 2017 in African American Journals, Humanities Journals, Religion Studies Journals.