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.

Journal of Popular Music Studies

For those interested in publishing articles that deal very broadly with popular music.

The Journal of Popular Music Studies (JPMS), which is published by the University of California Press, offers a wide array of articles. Published three times a year, each issue contains eight to ten articles. Ranging from topics on American country music, Portuguese fado, the post-punk movement, hip-hop, Appalachian music, folk, rap, and Islamic Muslim death metal in Indonesia, the journal strives to cast a wide net in terms of genre, chronology, and region. Befitting to the topic of the articles, they tend to be written in a user-friendly manner, adequately explaining complex philosophical or theoretical terms in plain language — at least compared to the Journal of the American Musicological Society (JAMS). Although it’s clear that JPMS’s intended audience is experts, the authors and editors present the information so that a non-expert could fully understand the pieces. The articles also incorporate important social issues in new and insightful manners. Where JAMS typically tries to redress the same musical works in different theoretical guises somewhat unauthentically and obligatorily, JPMS takes new music (or understudied music), and effortlessly interprets it with the tools and philosophies of today. For example, many of the pieces deftly handle topics of race, religion, feminism, addiction, sexuality, politics, and diversity. The music discussed is also not Euro-centric or based on musicological approaches. Many of the authors are ethnomusicologists or are in race and gender studies (another nice contrast to JAMS). However, I must criticize the journal’s lack of musical examples (i.e., sheet music). Although I admire JPMS’s effort to make the articles as accessible as possible, and thus not if all readers can read musical notation, at times visuals are necessary to help ground the reader in actual music, rather than an abstract discussion of vibration-less pitches.

The journal considers submissions consisting of field journals. Topics of foci include race, religion, feminism, addiction, sexuality, politics, and diversity.

Introductions tend to be roughly two pages.


  • Sounding the “Spirit of my Silence”
  • Appalachian Pride
  • Islamic Religion and Death Metal Music in Indonesia

Information Useful for Submission

Journal website

Issues per year: Three

Current issue: Volume 34, Issue 3 (2022)

Word limit: 10,000 words or less; actual length around 8,500 words

Articles per year: 27 to 33

Citations per article: 70 or less

Endnotes per article: 30 or less

Style manual: Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed author-date style

Abstract length: 250 words or less

Publisher: University of California Press

Relevant editors: Co-Editors K.E. Goldschmitt, Wellesley College, and Elliott H. Powell, University of Minnesota; Eric Harvey, Managing Editor, Grand Valley State University;

Associate Editors: Maren Hancock, Web Editor, Ryerson University; Robin James, Past Co-Editor, University of North Carolina; Charlotte; Kavita Kulkarni, Field Notes Editor, Princeton University; Sara Marcus, Field Notes Editor, University of Southern California; Antonia Randolph, Associate Book Reviews Editor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Alyx Vesey, Book Reviews Editor, University of Alabama; John Vilanova, Amplifier Reviews Editor, Lehigh University; Eric Weisbard, Past Co-Editor, University of Alabama

Submission method: At a website

Submission guideline

Online? In print and online