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.

American Quarterly

For those interested in publishing articles with a broad, humanistic understanding of American culture, particularly if it engages in cross-disciplinary work.

American Quarterly is the official publication of the American Studies Association, the largest association of scholars, artists, curators, community organizers, and activists from around the world committed to the study and teaching of U.S. history and culture from multiple perspectives, and is perhaps the premier journal of American Studies. AQ is published on a quarterly basis and regularly features, apart from the standard scholarly essay, the ASA Presidential address at the annual ASA conference (alongside responses to the address from various scholars), book reviews, digital project reviews, forums, and event reviews. Less regularly it publishes creative pieces (art, fiction, poetry), interviews, in memorium, and what they term “Currents,” but these all craft an idea of a journal that is not just malleable with regard to the range of topics it covers, but also attentive to different ways one might engage with these topics (by changing the headings every so often).
Regarding the publication of scholarly essays: while there is no standard format for the structure of papers (though AQ does have a detailed stylesheet for citations and specific phrases/keywords), generally papers do not need to make a global claim for significance. In fact, a more appropriate way of approaching the task of writing a scholarly publication for AQ would be to pay close attention to the intervention into the field you’re making, which is best accomplished by having a section that essentially reduces down into a literature review. The “lit review” section was one of the most common of aspects across the essays I read (and even the ones I didn’t). I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Each essay spent anywhere up to a third of the essay on work that has already engaged with the topic at hand,
whether explicitly or implicitly. Furthermore, the writing styles of the authors are not jargon-y—most articles are accessible to general readers.

Subjects that appeared prominently in the journal include: race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, media, (post)(de)coloniality, indigeneity, ethnographies, tourism/militarism, and globality, among many others, though it should be noted that a significant majority of the essays focus on texts in the 19th-21st centuries (with ethnographic work usually focusing on the last fifty or so years). Of note: AQ is very multiple-author friendly, which is to say that there were a fair amount of articles that were co-authored, both within the humanities and the social sciences.

Reviewed by KB

Useful for Submission
Word Count: 5,000-10,000, including endnotes

Issues per year: 4 (March, June, September, December) with special issue in September | Johns Hopkins University Press

Current volume number: Vol. 68, Number 4, December 2016

Articles per year: ~3-8 essays | ~5-15 forums | ~5 book reviews | ~2-5 digital project reviews | ~1-5 event reviews

Citation style: Chicago Manual Style, 16th edition (please refer to AQ stylesheet for more information.)

Abstract length (if required): max. 200 words

Upcoming special issues (if available): Toward a Critically Engaged Digital Practice: American Studies and the Digital Humanities (Fall 2018) | Guest Editors: Matthew Delmont, Amy Earhart, Susan Garfinkel, Jess P. Karlsburg, Angel David Nieves, and Lauren Tilton

Relevant Editors: Mari Yoshihara (Editor) | Hokulani Aikau, Vernadette Gonzalez, Yujin Yaguchi (Associate Editors) | Matthew Basso, Laura Briggs (Book Review Editors) | Stephen Berry, Scott Nesbit, Miriam Posner (Digital Project Review Editors) | Heather Diamond, Theodore Gonzalez (Event Review Editors)

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.