Proposals for Special Issues and Forums

Topics for forums and special issues are selected by the Board of Managing Editors, and the Board welcomes proposals from ASA members. Forums and special issues should engage ongoing debates within American studies. 

Forums are placed within regular issues and consist of short pieces by scholars, activists, artists, etc. on particular issues of current interest to American studies. They are compiled by a convener (or multiple co-conveners) who frames the questions, solicits contributors, and edits the contributors’ submissions. Unlike research articles in regular issues, essays in the forums do not go through external review. Once the convener(s) submit the entire text of the forum, including the convener(s)’s introduction, to the Board of Managing Editors, the Board will provide feedback and suggestions for revision to both the convener(s) and individual contributors, and the Editor approves the final text. The entire forum is typically 20,000 words maximum. 

Special issues on themes of broad interest to American studies scholars are published every September and are compiled by guest editors. In consultation with the Board of Managing Editors, the guest editors compose the Call for Papers which is circulated among the ASA membership and the larger scholarly community. Special issues consist of a set of peer-reviewed research articles and other forms of text as determined appropriate by the guest editors (such as a forum, book reviews, event reviews, and digital projects reviews). The guest editors oversee the review and editorial process for the entire issue, and the compiled content is reviewed by the Board of Managing Editors for approval. The guest editors also contribute content to the journal’s “Beyond the Page” and encourage the authors to do so as well. 

To submit a proposal, please include an approximately 500-word overview of the proposed theme, including specific topics, issues, and questions to be explored, and a list of potential contributors. Please e-mail your proposal to with subject line: “AQ Forum Proposal” or “AQ Special Issue Proposal.” Forum proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis. Special issue proposals should be submitted by September 1 of every year (approved special issues will be published two years later). Inquiries about the editorial process for forums and special issues can be directed to the Editor at the same e-mail address.