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.

Nineteenth-Century French Studies

For those who would like to publish scholarly articles on nineteenth-century French literature, culture, and social/political issues.

NCFS is independent journal that purports to publish articles that examine and identify new trends and discoveries in the field of nineteenth-century French studies. The Journal practices blind/anonymous submissions. They publish articles in both French and English and, based on my research of studying the years between 2014 and 2019,  it appears they aim to publish roughly half of their articles in French and the other half in English. Furthermore, the journal publishes articles on a very wide range of topics that concern the field of nineteenth-century French studies. The journal also publishes a fair amount of graduate students (the Fall-Winter 2018-2019 issue contained at least three articles written by graduate students). Looking at titles of published articles, there is an emphasis on “reexamining” or “rethinking” how we consider canonical texts from this time period. Compared to PMLA, the published titles in NCFS are fairly straightforward; that is, the titles plainly state what the article is about. I think this journal prizes clear and succinct titles above overly-catchy titles. As for certain authors/topics that stand out as “favorites”:  Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Balzac, Chateaubriand, Maupassant all make frequent appearances. It should be noted that there does not seem to be an emphasis on nineteenth-century works from other French speaking countries, although topics like colonialism and orientalism do appear. There is also a trend of placing nineteenth-century authors in conversation with twentieth-century thinkers (e.g., Mallarmé and Blanchot). Close readings also appear to be favored.

NCFS publishes quite a number of book reviews per issue, and I noticed at least one by a graduate student. It seems that the writing of a book review is another possible way to get published in this journal. To request to write one, you can see their website for a list of books that for which they are seeking reviews, or you can write to the Book Review Editors and request other books on specific topics.

It should be noted that the journal is very specific about the format of submissions. They provide a style sheet that outlines exactly how they want the article to be formatted. Consult this three-page document before submitting.

Also of note: while NCFS publishes on a wide range of topics, the journal strives to include articles that pertain to books chosen for France’s annual concours externe de l’agrégation. In other words. If you want to get an article published, it might be useful to take note of what books are on the agrégation list for that year and write your article on one of those books.

Some features of the journal (but keep in mind that they don’t maintain the same structure for every issue): some issues include invited essays (this seems to be articles by major scholars in the field (e.g. Elissa Marder) in the field) that are nearly twice the length of regular articles; some issues include an Incipit, which is a dialogue in which colleagues debate a matter of concern to the field. There are also annual compilations of content that align with the aggregation topic for the year.

Useful for Submission

Word Count:  Articles should not exceed 7,000 words / 45,000 characters with spaces, including endnotes and list of Works Cited in Word format.

Issues per year: Two issues per year; Nineteenth-Century French Studies publishes a “Spring-Summer” and a “Fall-Winter” issue.

Current volume number: 47, Numbers 1 & 2, Fall-Winter 2019-2019

Articles per year: Between 7 and 15

  • Fall-Winter 2019-2019 à 9
  • Spring- Summer 2018 à 15
  • Fall-Winter 2017-2018 à 8
  • Spring-Summer 2017 à 8
  • Fall-Winter 2016-2017 à 7
  • Spring-Summer 2016 à 11
  • Fall-Winter 2015-2016 à 8
  • Spring-Summer 2015 à 9
  • Fall-Winter 2014-2015 à 8
  • Spring-Summer 2014 à 7 (plus 26 book reviews) (after 2014, the journal moved all of its book reviews to the website)
  • Fall-Winter 2013-2014 à 7 (plus 23 book reviews)

Citation style: MLA (8th Edition) – The journal provides a very detailed sheet that outlines exactly how to format your submission.

Abstract length (if required): Abstract is only required if your article is chosen for publication. Abstract must be in English and not more than 150 words.

Upcoming special issues (if available):  Yes, the website lists three (and is currently looking for papers to publish within these upcoming special topic issues);

2015 Post

Articles can be in either English or French although French articles have a slightly higher representation during the past five years.

The subjects of the articles vary greatly, including colonialism, modernism, feminism, and narrative.  Many articles are a careful re-reading/re-interpretation of canonical works and authors.  Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Hugo, Balzac, Zola and Flaubert are frequent objects of analysis.  Many analyze literary texts through a philosophical or theoretical lens using the works of Pascal, Kant, Heidegger, Benjamin and Object-Oriented-Ontology.  The absence of popular 20th century thinkers such as Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, and Nancy is somewhat conspicuous. Articles are based on solid scholarship and maintain a high standard as claimed by the journal. 

Useful for Submission

Word Count:  articles should not exceed 7,000 words / 45,000 characters with spaces, including endnotes and list of Works Cited.

Issues per year:  Twice a year in two double issues

Current volume number:  volume 45 numbers 1 & 2 / Fall–Winter 2016–2017

Articles per year: 14-16

Citation style:  MLA style

Abstract length (if required): must be in English and no more than 150 words in length.

Upcoming special issues (if available): N/A

Relevant Editors:

Seth Whidden, The Queen’s College, University of Oxford  (Editor)
Scott Carpenter, Carleton College  (Associate Editor)
Rachel Mesch, Yeshiva University  (Associate Editor)
Lise Schreier, Fordham University  (Associate Editor)

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.