I spent a few hours this afternoon updating my list of go-to journal titles.
I announced my endeavor on Twitter and got some great suggestions as I went along (special thanks to Vanessa K. Valdéz). This is now an open, working list, crowd-source friendly, so if you see it missing your favorite journal title, please update it by going here.
I tend to spend most of my time in a few specific journals–Slavery & Abolition, the Hispanic American Historical Review, the Journal of African American History, and William & Mary Quarterly. My Louisiana focus returns me again and again to Louisiana History. I also return again and again to Cahiers d’études africaines, Small Axe, Atlantic Studies, and theJournal of Women’s History.
But as a scholar, I’m interdisciplinary. One of my favorite articles, Joan Dayan’s essay on Erzulie and women’s history in Haiti is a must-read for anyone interested in intersections between slavery, religion, gender, and sexuality in Haiti and the Caribbean, and it appeared in Research in African Literatures. Hortense Spillers’ seminal essay, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book,” was published in Diacritics. And there is great work being published online at the African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter and the Common-Place.
All that is to say, my list of Atlantic African diaspora relevant journals is ninety titles long and growing longer.
There are usually two or three must-reads in any discipline. For historians, the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History come to mind. For colonial historians, you might add the William and Mary Quarterly.
But when it comes to studying histories of slavery or the life and culture of people of African descent in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the best work crosses fields, disciplines, time periods, and methodologies with consideration and verve.
The question is how to manage it? How does our black history and black studies pedagogy incorporate the range of influences? And how can junior scholars make the intensity of the workload crystal clear to our reviewers and evaluators as we go along?