About the Journal

Focus and Scope

American Studies encourages interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship in U.S. cultures and histories broadly defined. We welcome frameworks of comparative, international, and/or transnational perspectives. With an editorial staff from a number of areas of study, the journal offers provocative perspectives on a variety of issues. Frequent special sections and special issues create a space for a broad discussion on a single topic. Articles on pedagogy inform the American Studies classroom. The book review section aims at keeping readers conversant with contemporary scholarship.

Peer Review Process

American Studies’ editorial process is designed to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, collegiality and intellectual exchange. American Studies uses a double-blind review process. Editors and readers attempt to assist contributors by suggesting ways in which manuscripts might be improved, and by prodding them to think of the relationship between what they have done and ideas and hypotheses developed in other sectors of American Studies. Few articles are ever accepted without having gone through at least one round of substantial revisions. Many authors report that they have enjoyed the interchange with our staff and reviewers and the stimulation of connecting their often specialized work with the interests of scholars in contiguous, or more distant fields. Ideally an article is reviewed by an outside specialist, an editorial board member familiar with the field, and an editorial board member from outside the academic discipline who reads for broad interest. The non-specialist’s review is weighed equally with that of the specialist, for the goal of American Studies is to cross academic disciplines and to expand dialogue beyond narrow fields. We would like to make research accessible to the widest band of scholars. Essays are sometimes sent back with the invitation to place the argument within the larger context of American culture, and then resubmit. The editors and editorial board members of American Studies often invite scholars to submit pieces to the journal. Invited manuscripts, however, go through the same review and decision process as unsolicited ones. We do not accept “multiple submissions.” We ask our referees to provide in-depth reviews and offer extensive critique and comments to the author. This is a time consuming process, and we consider multiple submissions exploitative of us and our reviewers. Often, the delay in processing is caused by our hunt for a specialist who is willing to review, as well as reviewers failing to return reviews by their first deadline. If an author has not heard from us within six months, we encourage them to write us for an explanation.

We expect from reviewers not only a detailed and thoughtful response to a manuscript, but also an evaluation of the significance of the piece, its potential, and most importantly, whether or not the author would be capable of revising it for publication in American Studies. It is important to keep in mind, however, that publishing in American Studies is only one goal of the journal. We are also committed to helping scholars improve their work, and the readers’ reports forwarded to the authors nearly always offer detailed critiques and suggestions for improvement. Even when manuscripts are turned down, we hope that authors will have had a constructive engagement with other scholars through American Studies. When the editors invite revision and resubmission, they send the revised manuscript to the same readers who read it previously. We always send back the reviewer’s comments to the author, and invite the author to respond to criticisms by informally “talking back” to the referees in appended notes or explanations. We like to share the comments of our reviewers directly with our contributors, and we hope that contributors and reviewers are thick-skinned enough to take criticism without bitterness. Our goal is to be helpful and to give a personal and detailed response to each submitted piece. American Studies currently processes about 60 articles a year and prints about 10. Many are finally turned down not because of their quality but a too-narrow focus. We strongly advise prospective contributors to read through a few recent issues to familiarize themselves with American Studies and our readers’ interests. Articles are accepted or rejected on their own merit, not because we have run too many or too few on given subjects.

Online submission is strongly preferred. Please send all inquiries to:

Bobby Cervantes, Assistant Editor, asjo@ku.edu.
The University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 213
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7590

Publication Frequency

American Studies publishes four issues per year, sometimes with two issues published together as a special double-issue. The most recent 3 years are available through a print subscription only. The full content of all earlier issues is freely available on this website.

Information for Advertisers

  • CIRCULATION Subscribers - 650; Print run - 850 (Special Issues mapy have larger print runs.)

  • CLOSING DATES Contact: Managing Editor, amerstud@ku.edu.

  • ADVERTISING RATES Back Cover - $250.00 Inside Back Cover - $200.00 Full page - $150.00 Half (1/2) page - $100.00 Quarter (1/4) page - $75.00

  • COMMISSION AND DISCOUNT Agency commission: 15% allowed to recognized agencies, provided account paid within 30 days of invoice date. Two-time contract: 7 1/2% Cash discount: 2% - 10 days

  • MECHANICAL REQUIREMENTS Full page type space - 5 X 7 1/4 Half page - 5 X 3 1/2 Quarter page - 5 X 1 3/4 American Studies is currently produced by offset. Advertisers should provide camera-ready copy. A nominal fee must be charged for any additional graphic work done in our office. Advertisement content subject to approval of publisher. Cancellation deadline: one week before closing time. Additionally, American Studies does perform advertising exchanges. Questions? Please contact: Managing Editor, amerstud@ku.edu.

Reprint Permission

Authors of American Studies articles wishing to reprint their own work may do so free of charge. We ask that the text carry the original citation and request two copies of the published text in which the article appears. Publishers and others wishing to attain reprint permission should send requests to: Managing Editor, amerstud@ku.edu

Special Issues

Policy for Special Issues of American Studies

Our policy on special issues varies, to some extent, according to the project, but several features are consistent: all articles are peer reviewed. The guest editor is the primary arbiter of acceptances and revisions, but the final decision rests with the editors of American Studies. If the issue is built from a conference or panel, it is possible that a CFP will not be necessary, but in most cases, a CFP will be written by the guest editor, approved by the editors, and will be posted on the American Studies website.

Proposal Guidelines for Guest-Edited Special Issues

If you wish to propose a special issue of American Studies, please submit a 3-5 page statement of interest that includes the following elements: (1) a brief introduction to the topic or theme, (2) a statement about the relevance of this topic or theme for American Studies, (3) a justification for the need for a special issue at this time, and (4) a nuts-and-bolts summary of the type of project you have in mind (have you already identified the potential authors? Is this a group of papers that will be developed out of a conference panel? Or will this be a general call for papers on the topic?) Please let us know if you have further questions.The journal's policy on special issues varies based on the project, but several features are consistent: all articles will be peer reviewed. The guest editor will be the primary arbiter of acceptances and revisions, though the final decision rests with the editors. If the issue is built from a conference or panel, it is possible that a CFP will not be necessary, but in most cases, a CFP will be written by the guest editor, approved by the editors, and will be posted on the American Studies website. If you have any questions, or wish to propose a special issue, please contact: Assistant Editor, asjo@ku.edu.

Journal History

American Studies is a quarterly interdisciplinary journal sponsored by the Mid-America American Studies Association, the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of American Studies, and KU Libraries. American Studies (AMSJ) first appeared in 1959, and has 1,000 current subscribers. In 2005 it merged with American Studies International (ASI), and welcomes submissions with an international perspective. ASI, a journal for American Studies scholars outside the U.S., was published by the American Studies Department at George Washington University for over forty years. Beginning with Vol. 45 (2004), ASI ceased publication as an independent journal, and merged with AMSJ, with the agreement that AMSJ would devote at least one issue a year (or the equivalent) to transnational American Studies scholarship, international American Studies authors, and would maintain a significant showing of scholars outside the U.S. on its editorial board. The “On Teaching” forum, now on the AMSJ blog, originated as an ASI feature.

With an editorial board from a number of areas of study, the journal offers provocative perspectives on a variety of issues. Frequent special sections and special issues create a space for a broad discussion on a single topic. Articles on pedagogy inform the American Studies classroom. The book review section aims at keeping readers conversant with contemporary scholarship. This electronic edition provides free access to the back issues of the journal. The most recent three years are available via print subscription only.

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