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.

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

For those interested in publishing articles that engage gender at the intersections of race, sexuality, class, nation, and/or culture. Gets hundreds of submissions each year, so often rejects articles within the first few days, without sending them through peer review. Not for articles about subjects that happen to be women, or produced by women, but for articles furthering the practice of feminist inquiry.

In its “About” section, Signs describes itself as a journal focused on publishing feminist scholarship that are distinctive not necessarily for “the subject of investigation or particular methods of inquiry but the effort to cultivate alternative research practices that further feminist, queer, and antiracist goals of social
transformation.” Its current editor espouses these very values, as evidenced in her inaugural editorial address, which centered on thinking and doing feminism.

Part and parcel of this philosophy is producing a corpus of published works that are accessible (most articles were jargon sparse), concerned less with grandiose claims and more with focused arguments that have some contemporary (usually political, social, or cultural) linkage (this might have more to do with the historical reach of the journal however, as it seems as if a good chunk of articles focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and is heavily cultural studies focused), and are attentive to the scholarly, philanthropic, and creative work that inform the conversation.

Very rarely did an introduction pass without the author referencing feminist theory and practice. Commonly cited figures include Kimberlé Crenshaw, Donna Hathaway, Judith Butler, and Hortense Spillers.

Signs regularly (though not consistently) publishes special issues; it is best to either scan the journal publications or the main website for upcoming CFPs. As a general rule, CFPs appear to go out two years in advance of publication (for example, the Summer 2016 issue includes a CFP for a special issue on Displacement, which is slated for publication in Spring 2018. Unfortunately, the CFP for this special issue is not on the website, which instead has a CFP for a special issue on Gender and the Rise of the Global Right. This might be attributed to either a lag in updating the website or (or rather, in conjunction with) a sense of urgency around responding to the 2016 Presidential election, which manifested as more emphasis on the Global Right special issue.)

Special sections of the journal include “Currents,” (which focuses on key concepts and controversies in gender studies; for example, the Winter 2017 issue focused on “trigger warnings”) and “Short Takes,” (which publishes solicited responses to a specific, predetermined text, with a follow-up response by the author of the text in question).

They seem to have summer interns as well as Graduate Research Assistants.

Useful for Submission
Word Count: no more than 10,000 words, including references and footnotes
Issues per year: 4 (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
Current volume number: Vol. 44, No. 3 | Spring 2019
Articles per year: 3-5 book reviews | 10 articles | 1 currents | 7 short takes
Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition
Abstract length (if required): no more than 250 words
Upcoming special issues (if available):
Relevant Editors: Editors | Suzanna Danuta Waters; Managing Editor | Miranda Outman; Book Review Editors | Laura Green, Banu Subramaniam
Open access?: No. Must have subscription or institutional access
Online?: Yes

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 March 8, 2017 in Gender Journals, Social Science Journals.