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.

The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation

For those interested in publishing articles on literature of the eighteenth century, mainly British (but articles can have New World or colonial connections), often with a focus on one specific author but as a lens to explore a theoretically rich and relevant problem in eighteenth-century studies—often a problem relating not to methodology and reading, but to gender, race, personhood, the Enlightenment, political systems and social structures.

According to its website, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation fosters theoretical and interpretive research on all aspects of Western culture from 1660 to 1830. The editors take special interest in essays that apply innovative contemporary methodologies to the study of eighteenth-century literature, history, science, fine arts, and popular culture.”

Indeed, while some articles have a historicist bent, many move between a close consideration of the texts, contemporary thinkers or problems raised in the texts, and twentieth century approaches and theories; an entire special issue was recently devoted to Latour, another to problems of the senses, and another to dispossession, which guest editors acknowledged directly was inspired in part by the financial crisis of 2008.

A significant number of articles in diverse ways respond to problems of gender as well as race/slavery; the body (sometimes in relationship to disability studies) is a recurrent issue, as well as queer studies, and there are occasional articles on the anthropocene and technology.

While abstracts often come across as fairly historicist and focused on specific, single authors, and sometimes single texts, when one started reading the articles themselves, they were often much more revelatory than the abstracts suggested, wide-ranging in their sources and references (so that Helen Deutsch’s article on Mary Wortley Montagu, for instance, extends from Ovid to Agamben and Barbara Johnson).

The special issues especially seem to offer opportunities to think across time, even while routed in the eighteenth-century, as the Dispossession issue makes especially clear—the editors focus on Marx, the Enlightenment, the 2008 crisis, and colonialism.

That problems and questions—rather than historicist discovery or bibliographical investigation—are at the heart of the journal’s approach is clear through its relatively recent “critical conversations” section, which enlists scholars to comment in a group on current debates in the field, often to apply a philosophical idea to the eighteenth-century studies (such as Lauren Berlant’s “The Good Life”).     (Reviewed by KT)

Useful for Submission

Word Count: no longer than 9,500 words (inclusive of notes) and blind, with all references to the author removed

Issues per year: 4 (sometimes with double issue)

Current volume number: 57.4

Articles per year: approximately 24

Citation style: Chicago, 16th edition

Abstract length (if required): n/a

Upcoming special issues (if available): no information available, but journal does have annual special issues.

Anonymous submission; submit hard copy following guidelines

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.