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 Article Prize Competitions

Lots of associations and journals have graduate student journal article prizes. Below are just some journal article prize competitions held by particular journals and open to early career researchers and/or graduate students. A search for “graduate student journal article prize competitions” will find more.

American Historical Association’s Pelzer Prize

American Society for Legal History’s Preyer Prize

American Bar Foundation’s Graduate Student Paper Prize

American Association of Law Libraries’s Morris Cohen Prize

Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust. Entries are generally accepted on a date not specified. The competition is open to graduate students as well as established scholars.The prize of $ 1000 (U.S. dollars) will be awarded to the best article as selected by a panel of judges. Dapim is a peer-reviewed bi-lingual (English and Hebrew) academic journal devoted to interdisciplinary study of the Holocaust, its origins and aftermath.

Law & Social InquiryEntries for the GSPC (Graduate Student Paper Competition) are generally accepted in January. The competition is open to graduate and law students within the field of sociolegal studies. The winning paper is published in Law & Social Inquiry, and the winner receives special recognition from LSI at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association. Winners are also honored with  a $500 cash prize for their achievement.

Law and Society Association’s graduate student paper prize.

NLH (New Literary History). Entries for the NLH Ralph Cohen Prize (in honor of the founder and forty-year editor of NLH) are generally accepted in early May. Graduate students, untenured faculty, and independent scholars are eligible to submit essays for the Ralph Cohen Prize on any topic appropriate to the aims of New Literary History. See the web page for strict instructions on style and length (9,000 words max). The winner will receive publication of the winning essay in an issue of NLH and a $2,000 honorarium.

RES (The Review in English Studies). Entries for the RES Essay Prize are generally accepted in April, May, and June. The competition is open to anyone studying for a higher degree, or who completed one no earlier than October three years before submission.  The winner will receive publication of the winning essay in an issue of RES, a cash prize of £250, £250 worth of Oxford University Press books, and a free year’s subscription to The Review of English Studies. And of course a wonderful line on one’s CV.

JMEWS (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies)Entries are generally accepted in May. The prize is awarded to an emerging scholar who is a PhD or DPhil student in any discipline in the interpretive social sciences or humanities if an original work is judged to be a publishable article with potential to influence the field of Middle East gender, sexuality, and women’s studies and transnational feminist scholarship. Submission must be made before completion of the doctoral dissertation or thesis. The prize winner will receive a $500 award and comments to prepare the manuscript for publication as an article in JMEWS.

The Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH) offers a first article prize that is open to graduate students and early career scholars. The CCWH Napur Chaudhuri Article Prize, is an annual $1000 prize that recognizes the best first article published in the field of history by a CCWH member.

The Queer African Studies Association offers two article prizes: The Queer African Studies Association Prize for Best Published Scholarly Essay by a Graduate Student; and The Queer African Studies Association Prize for Best Published Scholarly Essay by a Junior Scholar. To nominate, use this form (self-nominations are encouraged). These two prizes are awarded for the best published essays (i.e., journal articles or chapters in a multi-author volume) to appear in a scholarly publication (broadly defined, including peer-reviewed journals and university press books but not limited to them) in the previous calendar year (e.g., online or in print between January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022) in the field of queer African studies (broadly defined, including essays within any discipline, on any topic, on any African region, people, culture, etc.). The prizes go to, respectively, graduate students (at the time of the essay’s publication) and junior scholars (those who are, at the time of the essay’s publication, postdocs, adjuncts, independent scholars, activists, visiting untenured professors, or untenured faculty at the time of publication). Nominees need not be QASA or ASA members. 

For many other prizes, see H-Net Article Prize page, and the H-Net Award or Prizes page, with information on, for instance, Journal of Women’s History article prize, the Syrian Studies Association article prize, and the Canadian Historical Review article prize.

See also the American Anthropological Association prize page.