Aims and Scope

We welcome papers that present new empirical and theoretical knowledge in the fields of African social science, history and cultural studies, African language studies and African literatures, as well as book reviews. The journal is divided into four editorial fields:

Below are descriptions of the scopes of these fields. Cross-disciplinary papers are also welcome, and may be handled by a team of editors.

Social Sciences

The Social Sciences section of NJAS welcomes proposals of original research articles, offering an insight into current relevant social issues and phenomena across the African continent and in relation to the rest of the world. Article proposals should be structured around the analysis of empirical data and/or the presentation of case studies. Occasional exceptions (upon editors’ decision) can be made for review articles or editorial pieces of particular significance. We welcome submissions engaging a variety of disciplinary angles – across social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, human geography, political science, development studies, political economy, and beyond – and of theoretical approaches. We pursue diversity in geographical coverage and subjects explored. We accept submissions in English and French.

Cultural and History Studies

The Culture and History section welcomes analytical research articles which are theoretically embedded in contemporary scholarship. The submitted manuscripts are ideally based on original empirical research obtained through ethnographic fieldwork or archival and/or museum collection research, or a combination. The case-studies are considered in light of social and cultural processes in contemporary or diachronic perspectives. We are open to a diversity of disciplinary angles, most particularly, but not exclusively, cultural anthropology, social and cultural history, historical anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, and museum anthropology. We welcome article submissions that are more theoretical in scope, albeit grounded in empirical data. We are open to articles on very diverse subjects and regions in Africa, and we accept submissions in English and French.

Language Studies

The Language Studies section is most interested in publishing language and linguistics papers giving analyses of linguistic phenomena that make a novel contribution to currently relevant questions in linguistic theory (which may also include topics in sociolinguistics); papers that present a substantial amount of new data on an important topic in an un(der)described language (with or without a particular theoretical orientation but, in any case, with a firm grounding in the study of linguistics and basic linguistic theory); and papers that deal in original ways with topics in language policy that are based on the results of extensive research or that otherwise offer novel and well-argued perspectives on these topics. We accept submissions in English, French, and Swahili.

Literary Studies

The Literary Studies section welcomes articles focusing on African and Afrodiasporic literatures across diverse cultural, geographical, and linguistic contexts and that make a novel contribution to the current scholarship in African and Afrodiasporic literary studies. The section is particularly interested in articles that do not only offer a close reading of a literary text or a set of texts but that use the text analysis as a way of intervening in relevant theoretical discussions in the field. We also encourage contributions that acknowledge not only the social relevance of literature but also pay attention to the question of literary form. We accept submissions in English and French.