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.

Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature

For those interested in publishing articles that offer innovative interpretations or analyses of ancient Greek or Roman literature, especially if defined by a theoretical approach.

Ramus is interested in publishing innovative, theoretically informed scholarship on ancient Greek and Roman literature and defines itself as “intellectually pluralist.” Historically, it has published ground-breaking work on classical texts informed by post-structuralism and social anthropology. Today, it welcomes scholarship motivated by a wide range of contemporary theoretical positions (e.g., Marxism, ecocriticism, feminism, postcolonialism), as well as by more traditional philological or literary-theoretical approaches (e.g., genre theory, poetics, narratology, and ekphrasis — this last topic was the focus of a special issue in 2002), though it stresses that it is a “journal of criticism, not of theory, and it is primarily concerned with original and significant elucidation of ancient Greek and Roman authors.” It also welcomes works of reception that concern the use of classical texts. Ramus positions itself as a site where classical texts can be re-examined through the lens of theory, and increasingly where scholars can imagine and demonstrate new ways of conducting studies of the Classics through dialogue with theory or other disciplinary fields. “In Terms of Athens,” the special issue of 2021, modeled interdisciplinary work between Classicists and political theorists, and “Deterritorializing Classics: Deleuze, Guattari and Antiquity,” the special issue of 2020, was devoted to uses of Deleuze and Guattari’s theoretical work in interpretations of classical texts.

Increasingly defined by an interest in theoretical approaches to the Classics (e.g., from political theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis), as well as an interest in historically marginalized subjects in the study of Classics (e.g., gender, sexuality, enslavement).

Since the word limits for the articles are so broadly defined, the introductions to the articles can run anywhere from 700 to over 2,000 words. To differing degrees of specificity, each introduction establishes the argument’s central argument, the text(s) to be analyzed, and the theoretical approach that informs the author’s work. Since the journal aims to publish “fresh and significant” contributions to our understanding of Greek and Roman literature, the articles are often revising or challenging previous understandings of a given text; the introductions will often describe how the approach diverges from and challenges previous readings.

The argument appears in an abbreviated form in the introduction; there and throughout the piece, particular attention is paid to the stakes or consequences of the author’s intervention for our understanding of the text and for broader issues in the study of the Classics. Depending on the author’s style (Ramus tends to give fairly free rein and the articles can be pretty variable in length), an article may give a concise overview of the argument in the article, or open with a broader reflection on the use of theory in Classics historically versus in the present article/issue, and how such theories may elucidate our understanding of Greco-Roman antiquity. Some authors may choose to adopt an impersonal voice in their writing; other authors have favored explicit discussion of contemporary political concerns that interest them and are germane to the subject at hand, or lay out their own position and biases towards the text/approach.

The articles that Ramus publishes are characterized as being especially innovative in the world of Classics scholarship, both for conducting theoretically informed scholarship or articulating new ways of imagining and theorizing the study of the Classics. It is the only leading Classics journal that explicitly names and welcomes the use of theory in scholarship on classical texts.

Ramus welcomes theoretically informed scholarship on ancient Greek and Roman literature and has historically published articles that feature a wide range of theoretical approaches. These include more ‘traditional’ and philological literary-critical approaches (e.g., genre theory, poetics, narratology, and ekphrasis), as well as more interdisciplinary approaches (e.g., ecocriticism, postcolonialism, reception studies, feminism, studies of gender and sexuality, Marxism).

Bibliography (articles in the journal consulted for this review)

  • “Classical Nomadologies” by Kyle Khellaf (2020);
  • “Ovid’s Hermaphroditus and the Mollis Male,” Kirk Ormand (2022);
  • “Introduction: In Terms of Athens,” Johanna Hanink and Demetra Kasimis (2021)

Information Useful for Submission

Journal website

Issues per year: Two

Current issue: Volume 51, Issue 1 (June 2022)

Word limit: No strict word limit, but they “rarely publish articles under 6,000 and over 15,000 words.”

Articles per year: 7-12

Footnotes per article: 80-100

Style manual: a modified version of the Harvard system, i.e. by author’s family name and date in the notes and full details listed in a bibliography at the end

Abstract length: NA

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Relevant editors: A.J. Boyle and Helen Morales

Online? In print and online

Submission method: by email

Submission guidelines (Note: special issues use a single-blind model. “Detailed comments are normally only sent to authors of submissions which have been accepted, or which are thought suitable for revision and resubmission.”)

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2022 in Classics Journals.