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 Journal of Philology

For those interested in publishing articles that offer philological interpretations of texts from Greco-Roman antiquity, in fields ranging from literature to history to philosophy, and that offer considerations of the relationship of the Classics with issues of equity, race, and gender. 

The American Journal of Philology (AJP) publishes articles that fall into two broad categories: 1) research articles on texts from Greco-Roman antiquity with a distinct focus on close reading and textual interpretation, situated in the fields of literature, philosophy, and/or history; 2) reflections or arguments about how Classics as an academic discipline and a pedagogical subject has been and is affected by issues relating to race, gender, and equity more broadly.

Articles in the first category promise a new reading of at least one text, informed by intertexts with (an)other author(s), literary history, and/or historical context (sometimes challenging or revising a reading previously held in scholarship); or more broadly offer a new interpretation of an author. These articles tend to be philological and based on literary interpretation; they tend to be traditionally based in close reading and studies of intertext, though recent years have seen more theoretical readings drawn from different methods of literary criticism.

Articles in the second category consider the ways in which the field of Classics has been perceived and interpreted ideologically by analyzing historical events or texts where the entanglement of Classics with race and gender surfaces; they also consider its impact on the modern-day study of the Classics and call for a reckoning and/or solutions amongst current scholars. Some of these articles are structured like essays, offering personal argument and reflection; others conduct philological analyses of modern and ancient texts that deal with Greco-Roman antiquity with an eye to issues of race, ethnicity, and gender; others offer historical analyses or biographies of figures in the history of Classics, re-examining their ideologies in a new light.

Lately, the journal seems to have some more interest in object/sound/environmental theory, though the journal remains largely traditionally philological. There is also increasing interest in examining issues of diversity and equity that affect Classics as a discipline both presently and historically.

Typically, the introductions can run from about 900 to 2,000 words. Each introduction lays out the article’s central argument and its steps very clearly, establishes the stakes of the interpretation, and introduces the author’s method of reading and other relevant information for the interpretation. If the article’s reading is challenging an existing reading, that is briefly summarized. If the article takes a specific theoretical approach, the introduction briefly describes the theory that the article is making use of, adjacent or preceding theories that are relevant for the current approach, and sometimes other theoretical approaches that it needs to be differentiated from.  The argument appears immediately in the introduction, often beginning with an extended and detailed version of the abstract (the abstracts are limited to 100 words, so are therefore much more vague), and then usually taking up a more detailed examination of the stakes and/or boundaries for the argument. Some articles jump straight into it, others open with a catchy anecdote (this is found only in the articles that discuss the discipline of Classics through an interest in race, gender, equity, etc.) or a broader reflection related to the argument. 

Accepted submissions generally come from junior or full faculty, with few graduate students. Some issues contain one or two book reviews. It asks for narrow Greek citations and only to those that are absolutely necessary. Publishes a mix of junior and full professors  Some issues include one or two book reviews.

Word limits: No given, but no more than 30 pages double-spaced specified

Typical number of words in articles: 12,293

Issues per year: Four

Current issue: Vol. 143, Number 2 (2022)

Articles per year: 6 or less

Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.

Typical number of endnotes: 60-100

Awards? Annual Best Article Prize.

Abstract length (if required): 100 words or less

Recent special issues: One special issue (Vol. 143, No. 2) was just released in Summer 2022, on “Diversifying Classical Philology.” 

Relevant Editors: Joseph Farrell

Online? Both online and in print

Open Access? No

Submission method: By email (still)

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Bibliography (articles in the journal consulted for this review):

The Margins of Satire: Suetonius, Satura , and Scholarly Outsiders in Ancient Rome (James Uden, 2020)

Sound and the Sublime in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus: The Limits of Representation (Ella Haselswerdt, 2019)

Racing The Classics: Ethos and Praxis (Sasha-Mae Eccleston, Dan-El Padilla Peralta, 2022)  

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 September 19, 2022 in Classics Journals, Humanities Journals, Philological studies journals.