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.

Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies

For those interested in publishing articles about Chicano/a/x, Latino/a/x, and Indigenous communities, culture, art, history, and experience in the US and transnationally.        

Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies is the flagship journal for research about the complex and heterogenous Chicano/a/x experience. Recent articles have covered such topics and themes as decoloniality, gender, Chicana feminism, Anzalduan theory, Chicana/o literature and art, national and intra-community racism, Trumpism, Latina/o and Chicana/o representation and discourse, community activism, and migrant justice in the past and present.

Aztlán was founded in 1970 as Aztlán: Chicano Journal of the Social Sciences and Arts by UCLA’s newly established Mexican American Cultural Center, currently the Chicano Studies Research Center. The broad goals of the journal were to support the nascent field of Chicano studies and to promote interdisciplinary research into conditions of oppression faced by Chicanos.

Though Aztlán was initially conceived as an outlet that would challenge bourgeois ideology and the professionalization of knowledge, it would adopt academic standards of peer-review by the seventh issue as it moved to support the professionalization of the field as a scholarly rigorous outlet for publication by the growing Chicano/a professoriate. By 1975, editors established an accompanying professional organization, the National Association for Chicano Studies (NACS), which would be amended to its current iteration as the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) twenty years later as Chicana feminist scholars were reintegrated into the field after a decade of internal tension.1.

Aztlán’s publications have largely moved away from its origins in the social sciences toward an embrace of the humanities. Articles published over the last five years have been largely methodologically interdisciplinary and within the broad fields of literature, cultural studies, and media studies, but the journal has also published work by political scientists and anthropologists. The journal would benefit from further engagement with the fields of anthropology and history, as major developments with significant implications for both the field of Chicano studies and for Chicano and Latine communities broadly – such as the growing field of anti-Mexican mass violence in history and developments in the anthropology and archaeology of undocumented migration, to name a few – have not been represented in its output.

Over the past five years, articles have covered newer issues such as Trumpism, the “decolonial” turn in ethnic studies, as well as continued interest and research into DACA, the experiences of immigrants, Chicanx and Latine media representation and discourse.     

A number of articles sought to re-incorporate and make a case for texts that had been earlier written off by el Movimiento as assimilationist; a few sought to trace the effects of anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican rhetoric on Chicano and Latine communities; others sought to complicate the constructed Chicano community and political identity. 

Introductions were generally 1.5 to 4 pages. Arguments are usually given mid-way through the introduction, although some did not clearly state their arguments.  Methods are mostly quantitative, but also some quantitative.   

The journal is currently on its 47th volume as of 2022. Each issue publishes three to five research articles, a themed dossier section with six to twelve essays and reflections over the issue’s topic, an artist’s communiqué, and a book review section. Articles over the past five years have come overwhelmingly from tenure-track professors but also include a few adjunct faculty, grad students, and archivists.

Useful for Submission

Word count: 10,000-12,000  

Issues per year: Two

Articles per year: Eight to Nine

Typical number of citations per article: 35 to 80

Typical number of footnotes per article: 30 or less

Current issue: Vol. 47, 2022

Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition author-date style     

Abstract length (if required): 200 words or less   

Submission method: By email (still)

Online? both online and in print  

Open access? No     

Relevant Editors: Charlene Villaseñor Black             

Publisher: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center 

Submission information: At their submission webpage     

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

  • Marlén Ríos-Hernández, “Policing Punk and the Surveilling of Difference: The Elks Lodge Police Riot in the Context of ‘Post’-COINTELRPO Los Angeles,” 2022
  • B. V. Olguín, “Ambivalent Mestizaje: Spain and the Idea of Europe in the Supra-Chicanx Imagination,” 2021
  • Alex Korsunsky, “From el Campo to Campus and Back Again: Affirmative Action and the Birth of a Chicano Movement in Washington State,” 2020
  • Adriana Estill and Lee Bebout, “Yearning to Belong, Drawn to be Mexican: Hollywood Depictions of White Lack and Mexican Affective Fullness,” 2018 
  • Michael Soldatenko, “Aztlán: How a Journal Built a Discipline,” Diálogo 20, no. 2 (fall 2017), 7-18.                                                                               

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 20, 2022 in Chicana/o Latina/o Journals, Humanities Journals.