Announcing New Sections and Formats!

The Journal of American Folklore (JAF), has been the quarterly journal of the American Folklore Society (AFS) since its founding in 1888. The journal publishes four times a year: April, July, October, and January.

As the flagship publication of the American Folklore Society, JAF engages academic and public folklore from anywhere in the world through a wide range of materials, including blind peer reviewed scholarly articles and perspective pieces that engage with the broad field of folklore across academic, public, and applied work.

In its commitment to inclusion, equity, and social justice, JAF invites contributions that critically engage issues associated with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, ability, religion, and citizenship.

Each issue includes pieces of varying lengths and formats grounded in the scholarship, methods, and theoretical approaches from the disciplinary perspective of folklore. We welcome innovative content. Please contact editors if you have ideas for unconventional formats.

Articles (blind peer reviewed)

  • Long Essays that present significant research findings and theoretical analyses from the disciplinary perspective of folklore. Length: 8,000–14,000 words, including abstract, notes, and bibliography. Articles should begin with a 50- to 75-word abstract summarizing essential points and findings and keywords from the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus.
  • Short Essays from the disciplinary perspective of folklore narrower in scope that focus on a single issue of definition, interpretation, method, or practice. Length: 3,000–5,000 words, including abstract, notes, and bibliography. Essays should begin with a 50- to 75-word abstract summarizing essential points and findings and keywords from the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus

Perspectives

Each issue typically includes one or more shorter pieces from the disciplinary perspective of folklore that are flexible and open to format. Submissions in this section are blind peer reviewed, though exceptions can be made if peer review is not appropriate. Authors interested in submitting a perspectives piece are encouraged to communicate with the editorial team. Some options include:

  • Commentaries: short essays in dialogue with topics raised in earlier articles.
  • Interviews: interviews with professional or cultural practitioners relevant to the field, or transcripts of conversations between 2–3 experts around a specific topic.
  • Dialogs: Two or more short essays curated to engage with a critical question, method, or theoretical debate.
  • Profiles: A profile of an individual or a project significant to the field.
  • Engaging the Past: Republication of essays previously published in JAF that deserve renewed attention. This column was created in recognition that scholarship by authors of color, women, and other marginalized groups do not always receive the attention they deserve. In addition, at times, there is renewed interest in debates or materials from past publication that makes republication valuable. We invite contributors to suggest articles for republication with the option of writing an essay in dialog with the original piece. We also invite review essays of past publication(s) (without publishing the original article).
  • Creative work: Creative work in printable formats (e.g., written, photos, comics, etc.) that is grounded methodologically and/or theoretically within the field of folklore. Please contact the editors if you have ideas for creative work content or format.

Book Reviews

Review editors typically solicit reviews, but they welcome queries from those interested in reviewing a publication.

Book Review EditorJames Deutsch, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, [email protected]

Featured and Reviewed Projects

This section is an opportunity to review or showcase audio recordings, exhibits, festivals, films/videos, events, performances, and digital resources produced by or of interest to folklore practitioners and professionals. Contributions can be written by producers or a project or third parties. To contribute, please contact the editor listed prior to submitting. Photo essays and other creative formats are welcome.

Obituaries

Please contact the Editor if you wish to write an obituary.

How to Submit Manuscripts

  • Online (preferred): ONLINE SUBMISSION SYSTEM
  • Email: Send attachment to [email protected]
  • Mail: Include digital and hard copies and send to Lisa Gilman, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of American Folklore, Folklore Program, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MSN 3E4, Fairfax, VA. 22030-4444. [During COVID Pandemic, contact editor for home address]

Submission Guidelines

  • Manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere and must not be under concurrent consideration by any other journal.
  • Use Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf).
  • JAF uses the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017). Available online at https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/ed17/frontmatter/toc.html
  • Digital images must be of sufficient quality for print reproduction. TIF files are preferred and encouraged for optimal print reproduction, but we may accept JPG, GIF, or EPS. Resolution must be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi).
  • Digital files must not be embedded in the text document. Submit as separate files, and “callouts” should indicate where illustrative materials are to appear within the text, e.g.: <INSERT FIGURE 1 NEAR HERE>. Callouts should be placed on a separate line at the end of the paragraph closest to where you’d like the image to appear.
  • Line drawings, maps, and tables should be submitted in black-and-white at a resolution of 1200 DPI.
  • Authors can publish supplementary audio and visual materials on the JAF’s multimedia site, maintained jointly by the American Folklore Society and the University of Illinois Press. These materials may include still-image files, moving-image files, sound files, and other materials that enhance published articles.

Review process

  • Submissions are evaluated first by the JAF editorial team.
  • If found appropriate, they are sent for “double blind” review to two (or more) referees.
  • Outside reviews may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
  • When a decision has been made on whether to accept or reject a manuscript, authors are notified via email.
  • Acceptance is outright or contingent on the completion of revisions.
  • Rejection is outright or with the option of revision and resubmission for a new evaluation.
  • The editorial team reserves the right to reject or return for revision any material submitted on the grounds of inappropriate subject matter, quality, or length.

Questions about submissions? Contact the editors at [email protected]