African American Review

A publication of Johns Hopkins University Press

African American Review is a scholarly aggregation of insightful essays on African American literature, theatre, film, the visual arts, and culture; interviews; poetry; fiction; and book reviews. Published quarterly, AAR has featured renowned writers and cultural critics including Trudier Harris, Arnold Rampersad, Hortense Spillers, Amiri Baraka, Cyrus Cassells, Rita Dove, Charles Johnson, Cheryl Wall, and Toni Morrison. The official publication of LLC African American of the Modern Language Association, AAR fosters a vigorous conversation among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Submission Guidelines

African American Review (AAR) is a refereed journal that publishes critical essays on African American literature, film, fine and performing arts, and culture generally; interviews; "Forgotten Manuscripts" features; poetry; fiction; and book reviews.

Authors must submit all manuscripts via Manuscript FastTrack. Our documentation style follows the Third Edition of the MLA Style Manual & Guide to Scholarly Publishing. For author purposes, this will contain the same information as found in the Seventh Edition of the MLA Handbook, which authors may find more accessible. These manuals encourage the use of intratextual documentation and mandate the inclusion of Works Cited lists at the manuscript's end. Manuscripts that do not follow MLA style are subject to immediate rejection. Also, manuscripts that are not paginated will be rejected. Authors must remove any identifying information from the submission, including cover pages, headers, bylines, etc. AAR does not consider previously published works or simultaneous submissions.

Critical essays should be no fewer than 6,000 words and no more than 8,500 words, excluding endotes and Works Cited. If yours is an essay whose subject is art or film, we strongly urge that you include images to the extent possible. Images should not exceed seven in number and should be appropriately captioned and credited. Authors may submit only one essay at a time.

Forgotten Manuscripts - Because so much of African American literary, print, and cultural production remains unknown or ignored, and so much scholarly attention remains devoted to the most canonical texts and topics of the heritage, the journal will publish short occasional essays (1,500-3,500 words) that introduce and contextualize short excerpts (3,000-5,000 words) from manuscripts neglected but noteworthy to African Americanists in diverse academic disciplines as well as to readers generally interested in African Americana. While we do not demand originals, authors must submit, at the very least, facsimiles of the document(s) under discussion.

Fiction writers may submit only one work at a time. Stories should not exceed 3,500 words.

Poets may submit no more than six works at a time; multiple poems should be bundled into a single submission.

REVISIONS: A requested revision should not be submitted as a new article. Under the heading "My Archived Submissions," click on the hyperlinked submission ID of your original article. On the following page, select "Submit Revised Document."

AAR does not consider unsolicited book reviews. Copies of books to be considered for review should be mailed to: Dr. Paul Devlin, Fitch Hall 2nd Floor, Humanities Department, United States Merchant Marine Academy, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY 11024. (Paul Devlin's communications and decisions are not on behalf of the United States Government.)

N.B.: Authors are responsible for obtaining written permissions to reuse or reproduce previously copyrighted material and paying any fees. Quoting copyrighted poetry or song lyrics violates fair use practices and always requires permission, no matter how short the quotation. All reproductions of images, including film stills, sheet music, etc., that are not legally possessed by the author must be cleared with the copyright holder of such images before submission to AAR. For more information on copyright and fair use, please visit the National Copyright Office at

Materials published in AAR do not necessarily represent the views of the journal's editors, staff, or financial supporters, who disavow any responsibility for its contents.