Subject Matter & Scope
The aim is to host scholarly international conversations by publishing articles, as well as hybrid and creative works. The journal welcomes articles that explore intersections among national literatures, global literary trends, emergent literatures, and cultural history and theory.
We view national borders – and the transcendence of borders – as places where creativity can flourish and where new ways of thinking and expression can emerge. We aim to publish work that is thought-provoking, challenging, uplifting or surprising. We hope that national, international, transnational, transcultural, diasporic, post-colonial and migrant writing of all kinds will take root here.
The translational and transcultural identity, interaction between the global and the local, and the new emerging cultural and literary forms are of interest. While continuing to be interested in articles that engage with questions like how postcolonial literature “writes back” to the canonical, imperial, or metropolitan centers, we wish the journal to grow in comparative studies.
Method & Critical Engagement
We are especially pleased with articles that work on multiple levels, with articles that do not just offer a close reading of a text or set of texts but that use that close reading to intervene in a scholarly conversation. The conversation might be local: for example, it might involve what the text has been interpreted to be about or the possibilities it offers for political resistance or the way the text has been categorized or the text’s relationship to a larger body of work. Or the conversation might have to do with a methodological question or theoretical claim. These conversations are not, of course, mutually exclusive. The best articles often contribute simultaneously to our understanding of particular texts as well as methodological or theoretical debates.
One of the questions we ask reviewers when they assess an article for publication in International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies is this: “What does this article contribute to the field?” It is not enough that an article performs this intervention implicitly; instead, we ask that authors be explicit about which scholarly conversation(s) they are engaging with and the form their intervention(s) takes. In other words, how does the article change the world of existing interpretation?
The ‘Perspectives’ Section
International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies sometimes publishes shorter articles that do not make the kind of scholarly intervention that we expect of a regular article. Instead, these articles do one of the following:
- They introduce our readers to an author or body of work that has not received much critical attention;
- They make a minor scholarly intervention by offering a careful close reading of a brief passage from a canonical or important text;
- They address postcolonial dramatic performances;
- They offer a valuable alternative to conventional academic scholarship by representing a genuinely new perspective on familiar material or an attempt to take scholarly conversation in new directions without the apparatus of traditional scholarship (e.g., heavy citation);
If you would like your article to be considered for our “Perspectives” section, please indicate that to the editors during the submission process and make sure your essay conforms to the length requirements for this kind of article (see below).
International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies publishes book reviews. The objective of any review should be to help readers make their own decisions. Therefore, a good review is specific and provides examples from the writing to support the opinions offered. If you think the characters are well developed or not, quote a passage which shows that development and explain why the choices the author made work or don’t. Take less than half of your review for a synopsis and remarks about the book’s subject matter. Most importantly, don’t be so quick to assume that the writer fails. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, book reviews share some common features:
- First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.
- Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
- Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.
International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies publishes interviews with relevant author and critics. If you have an interview you would like us to consider, please submit it to us the way you would an article but let us know that it’s an interview, what form the interview took (whether verbal or via e-mail), and when the interview took place. Please also provide a brief biography of the person whom you are interviewing (their accomplishments, etc.).
Articles should be between 3500-6000 words, Perspectives pieces between 2500-3500 words, book reviews and interviews between 1500-3000 words. These word counts do not include works cited and notes. If you are submitting an article or Perspectives piece, we also ask you to include five keywords and an abstract.
- All articles are subject to anonymous refereeing (authorship unattributed and readers unidentified); consequently, names of contributors and author(s) should appear only on the title page of the manuscripts and not as a running head on each page.
- The editors require assurance that authors are not offering their articles concurrently elsewhere. If you decide to submit it elsewhere while it is under review with us, you will need to let us know immediately so we can pull your article from consideration.
- We aim to take no more than one month for a decision on a submission. However, in cases where it is difficult to find willing evaluators in the field of the essay, decisions can take longer. Feel free to e-mail us for an update if you have not heard from us within one month.
- The editors reserve the right to amend phrasing and punctuation in articles and reviews accepted for publication. When we deem more extensive editing is required, the editors will ask the author for approval.
- Please submit attachments as Microsoft Word Files or rich text format only to avoid delays.
- Please insert page numbers for each page.
- Submissions should follow the current edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or The MLA Style Manual. See below for examples of bibliographic entries.
- Translations should be provided for citations in languages other than English.
- Please provide us with your academic title, affiliation, and e-mail address. We also encourage authors to submit ORCID ID.
- Submissions should be made electronically through the journal’s submission portal.
In the interests of anonymity, please do not submit a title page with your work. Please also take care to ensure that your article contains no identifying information, for example in the header/footer, notes or the title of the submission itself.
Research articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarizing the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading 'Abstract' and be easily identified from the start of the main text. Avoid general information as much as possible. Your abstract should focus only on the topic under study.
A list of up to six keywords must be placed below the abstract. The Abstract and Keywords should also be added to the metadata when making the initial online submission.
The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should be given that allows non-specialists in the subject an understanding of the publication and a background of the issue(s) involved. Methods, results, discussion and conclusion sections may then follow to clearly detail the information and research being presented.
Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics.
Any acknowledgements must be headed and in a separate paragraph, placed after the main text but before the reference list.
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references.
Ethics and Consent (if applicable)
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, the studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. The identity of the research subject should be anonymized whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian).
All references cited within the submission must be listed at the end of the main text file. Follow MLA 8th edition in making references and in-text citations.
Language & Text
For the submission title:
Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for all articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.
- Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan
Headings within the main text:
First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title. For lower-level subheadings, only capitalize first letter and proper nouns. Headings should be under 75 characters.
Submissions must be made in English. Authors are welcome to use American or British spellings as long as they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission.
- Colour (UK) vs. Color (US)
When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used.
- World Health Organization, not World Health Organisation
American or English grammar rules may be used as long as they are used consistently and match the spelling format (see above). For instance, you may use a serial comma or not.
- red, white, and blue OR red, white and blue
Use 12 pt. Times Roman font throughout (including notes). Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible. Bold or italicized text to emphasize a point are permitted, although should be restricted to minimal occurrences to maximize their efficiency.
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within another speech, in which case double quotation marks are used. Quotations that are longer than three lines in length must be in an indented paragraph separate from the main text. The standard, non-italicized font must be used for all quotes. It must be clear from the text and/or citation where the quote is sourced. If quoting from material that is under copyright then permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.
Acronyms & Abbreviations
With abbreviations, the crucial goal is to ensure that the reader - particularly one who may not be fully familiar with the topic or context being addressed - is able to follow along. Spell out almost all acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.
- Research completed by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows …
A number of abbreviations are so common that they do not require the full text on the first instance. Examples of these can be found here.
Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without full stops.
- USA, not U.S.A
Common examples from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and can include full stops.
- e.g., i.e., etc.
Use of Footnotes/Endnotes
Use endnotes rather than footnotes (we refer to these as ‘Notes’ in the online publication). These will appear at the end of the main text, before ‘References’. All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed. Avoid using notes for purposes of referencing, with in-text citations used instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note. Please insert the endnote marker after the end punctuation.
Figures & Tables
Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask to re-render or omit it. All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Each figure must have an accompanying descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarize the content and/or use of the figure image. A short additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description
- Figure 1: 1685 map of London.
- Figure 1: 1685 map of London. Note the addition of St Paul's Cathedral, absent from earlier maps.
Figure titles and legends should be placed within the text document, either after the paragraph of their first citation, or as a list after the references.
The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of authorization (if needed).
- Figure 1: Firemen try to free workers buried under piles of concrete and metal girders. Photo: Claude-Michel Masson. Reproduced with permission of the photographer.
If your figure file includes text then please present the font as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. This will mean that it matches the typeset text.
Tables must be created using a word processor’s table function, not tabbed text. Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible. All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarize the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.
Tables should not include:
- Rotated text
- Colour to denote meaning (it will not display the same on all devices)
- Vertical or diagonal lines
- Multiple parts (e.g. 'Table 1a' and 'Table 1b'). These should either be merged into one table, or separated into 'Table 1' and 'Table 2'.
If you encounter any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support: firstname.lastname@example.org