Before you even think of submitting, please read our mission statement. This will save both your time and ours.

Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric publishes sophisticated, theoretically based analyses that explore the rhetorical workings of current events. Although the main focus is on rhetorical criticism, we are also open to other methodologies. We seek to combine the rigor of rhetorical analysis with the speed of journalism to create public scholarship.

The emphasis is on current events. The purpose of this journal is to promote public intellectualism by providing scholarly analysis of current events (those of the past 18 months or so). The essays in Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric should add to the public discussion of current events and help the general public understand more fully the theoretical underpinnings of public debates and controversies, political discourse, social movements, and media events.

Because we are interested in fostering public intellectualism, you will be required to provide contact information in the event that journalists or other public figures would like further discussion on the issue about which you have written. We hope that this will help cross-pollinate the sometimes separate worlds of the media and the academy.

Before you send an essay to us, consider what we are not looking for:

  • We are not a dumping ground for essays that could not make it in another venue. Articles should be written with this journal in mind.
  • We are not looking for journalism. Articles that lack rigorous analysis or that simply report on surface issues of contemporary events will be rejected.
  • We are not looking for polemics. These are better suited to blogs.
  • We are not looking for historical analysis.

Submission Process

Please send an electronic copy to the editor in Microsoft Word format with all identifying information removed to facilitate blind review. Please provide a brief biography with credentials and contact information that you wish to be made public.

Our house style is Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. Use footnotes rather than endnotes.

On the first page, provide a descriptive title for the essay that would make sense to a lay audience, an abstract of 100-200 words and a list of at least five keywords that describe your essay, both for purposes of sending to reviewers and for searching.

Because we are an online publication, there is no set page limit. Writing style should be accessible to a general audience and free of unexplained jargon. Poor writing or analysis will be given an automatic reject. Neither the reviewers nor the editor will copyedit the paper, so make sure that the draft that you send for review is clean and ready for publication should it be accepted.

Review Process

After considering the appropriateness for the journal, the editor will then send the essay out to two members of the editorial board.

The reviewers will consider the fit for the journal, rigor, depth of analysis, and quality of writing. If the reviewers deem it acceptable for the journal, we will publish the essay. Because timeliness is of the essence for this journal, the reviewers will give little, if any feedback. Thus decisions will generally fall into the categories of accept or reject, rather than the traditional revise and resubmit common in academic publishing.

The decision to allow a resubmission will only be given if the reviewers deem the topic and the author’s analysis important enough to encourage a rewrite. If revisions are necessary, we will expect them back within two weeks with a detailed analysis of what the author has changed.

Please direct queries to the editor. Because this is an online publication, email contact is preferred.

Michael Warren Tumolo
Editor, Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric