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.
For those interested in publishing articles about Western US history, especially colonialism, race, gender, and indigeneity.
Western Historical Quarterly (WHQ) publishes articles on such topics and themes as empire, colonialism, expansion, Indigenous history, race and ethnicity, gender, labor, North American borderlands, nationalism and sovereignty, transnational history.
WHQ was founded in 1970 as the publishing arm of the Western Historical Association. The journal is currently on its fifty-third volume and generally publishes twelve to fifteen articles per year. While initially published exclusively by white men, the journal’s current editors take pride in the diversity of voices represented in its output, both topically and through authorship. While a good portion of the journal’s output comes from tenure-track professors, WHQ also publishes PhD candidates and students, as well as public history practitioners such as museum curators and park historians.
The flagship journal for historians of the US West, its articles engage with shifting currents in the intellectual, racial, social, and cultural landscapes of both the field and US society at large. As of 2020, the most downloaded articles, according to the journal’s website, included such work as Kelly Lytle Hernández’s 2006 “The Crimes and Consequences of Illegal Immigration: A Cross-Border Examination of Operation Wetback, 1943-1954” and Lori A. Flores’s 2013 “A Town Full of Dead Mexicans: The Salinas Valley Bracero Tragedy of 1963, the End of the Bracero Program, and the Evolution of California’s Chicano Movement.” A 2018 presidential address by Donald L. Fixico titled “Re-Imagining Race and Ethnicity in the American West in the Twenty-First Century” historicized the current rise in racial violence and white supremacist attacks in the Trump era in the context of the US West’s history.
Within the past five years, WHQ has published articles in line with growing interests in public history, historical memory, environmental history, the Black West, as well as interdisciplinary work influenced by Native American studies. While a number of articles sought to overturn or complicate long-held assumptions in the field of Western history or American history in general, many were adding entirely new subjects to the historiography. A 2021 special issue titled “An Unholy Union: Southern and Western History” sought to bridge the normally distinct regional fields of Western and Southeastern history to locate Black life and community in the West while bringing the field into conversation with the historiography over postwar urbanism and the Great Migration.
The journal was impressively open, publishing not just senior scholars, but PhD candidates and public practitioners such as museum directors and curators, park historians, etc.
Articles tend to have 100 citations or less and 100 citations or less, as is typical for history. Articles tend to have subheadings. Article introductions tend to be between 3 and 5 pages. To submit articles does not require membership in its association nor require fees. It does offer a prize for the Best Graduate Student Article published in its pages. Published by Oxford University Press.
Review: September 2022
Word count: 10,000 words or less
Issues per year: Four
Current volume number: Volume 53, 2022
Articles per year: 12-15
Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed note and bib style
Abstract length (if required): Abstract required, but no guidelines on length
Relevant editors: Anne Hyde and Alison Fields
Open access? No
Online? The journal appears both online and in print
Submission method: At a website
SJR (SCImago Journal Rank): 14
Bibliography (articles in the journal consulted for this review):