Council of Editors of Learned Journals


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Nominations Now Being Accepted for CELJ Vice President and Secretary—Due Nov. 1, 2021

Posted October 21, 2021

CELJ will have two open positions on its board, beginning in January 2022, and we invite nominations (self- and otherwise) from CELJ members interested in serving the organization in this capacity.

Nominations are sought for Vice President and Secretary. 

The Vice President primarily oversees the awards process and serves for a two-year term that usually rolls over into the Presidency for another two-year term. The Secretary is primarily responsible for member communications and committee minutes and serves for a three-year term. These positions are supported by the Executive Director, as needed. More details about these positions, the required qualifications, and responsibilities are posted at the following links: 

Vice President:


Each person who is not self-nominated will be contacted to ensure their interest in running. All nominees will be asked to write a brief candidate statement that summarizes their interest in the position in relation to CELJ’s mission and values. The deadline for nominations is November 1. Candidate statements are due November 15

Voting will commence in early December and conclude before holiday/winter break so winners can be announced prior to MLA. (A winner need not attend MLA, as the positions do not start until the day after the MLA convention concludes.) 

For nominations (self- and others), please send the name and contact information to Janine Utell at by November 1. 

Those interested should feel free to contact the current holders of these positions. 

2020 CELJ Awards Winners Announced!

Posted January 9, 2021

At the 2021 Modern Language Association convention, CELJ Vice President Debra Rae Cohen presented the 2020 CELJ Awards to the following winners (with citations from the judges appended below each):

Distinguished Editor: Zong-qi Cai

Zong-qi Cai was the consensus choice for the 2020 Distinguished Editor Award. He has founded (or co-founded) two Duke University Press journals: Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (established in 2014) and PRISM: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature (established in 2018), serving as editor-in-chief of both. The global impact of Cai’s editorial work is signaled by his efforts to bridge the work of North American and Chinese sinologists. For example, he has consistently promoted and published English translations of key essays by Chinese scholars. Moreover, Cai is committed to publishing interdisciplinary work by early career and senior scholars that brings new theoretical perspectives to Chinese literature and culture. Additionally, in 2014 Cai resurrected a Chinese-language journal, the Lingnan Journal of Chinese Studies, which had been shuttered in 1952. In sum, Cai’s simultaneous work on three journals shows a deep commitment to editing.

Phoenix Award: Simone de Beauvoir Studies
Honorable Mention: Voice and Speech Review

In its editorial practices as well as its content, the newly relaunched Simone de Beauvoir Studies truly embodies the spirit of the Phoenix Award. Following a five-year hiatus, what had once been a mostly biennial, paper-only journal limited to a single-author scholarly society has been transformed into an open, hybrid publication reflecting the breadth and vigor of new scholarship around Simone de Beauvoir. The committee would also like to give an Honorable Mention to<<em>Voice and Speech Review>, whose editorial reboot can fairly be called a triumph. While the journal had long been important in its field and had attracted high-quality submissions, its impact was limited by backlog, irregular publication, and limited distribution and searchability. Under new leadership, the journal has been renewed, providing the field of voice and speech in the performing arts and media a crucial, revitalized venue for scholars and practitioners alike.

Best Special Issue: American Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, “Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas,” guest edited by Greta La Fleur and Kyla Schuller

“Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas” is likely to be of broad interest to academics working in a variety of fields and time periods. Focused on the early Americas, it addresses race, gender, and science in the context of humanities scholarship. The essays go beyond typical scholarship on the early Americas, including research that addresses the experiences of Native Americans, Blacks, and Asians. The special issue builds on important theoretical contributions by Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Achille Mbembe. The editors and authors examine “differential valuations of life” in the early Americas, topics with particular resonance today. Another unique and important contribution of this special issue is that it posits a biopolitics from below and one situated in the early Americas, speaking from the margins instead of the center, and positing the emergence of these important ideas in an earlier era. By translating this body of theory from Europe to the colonies, the editors and authors shift previous theoretical engagement from nation to the larger geopolitical sphere. The special issue concludes with a Forum of shorter, experimental, more speculative pieces, including short essays that address archival issues. The committee was impressed by the theoretical sophistication of this issue, the importance of the contributions to the study of US history, and their potential to significantly shift discussion of biopolitics beyond the field of the early Americas. In conclusion, we found this issue of American Quarterly to be exceptional, setting the highest standards for scholarly excellence in its timely focus on biopolitics in the Americas, a topic of broad academic interest due to its relevance today.

Best Public Intellectual Special Issue: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, vol. 63, no. 1, special issue on CRISPR, guest edited by Neal Baer

We found the content of this issue compelling, challenging us (in a good way) through the depth and breadth of what each article argues about the role that gene editing can and will play in daily life. The essays in the issue impressively balance accessible public engagement with nuanced, carefully articulated insights into the ethical and philosophical issues around CRISPR technology. Through various complementary approaches, styles, and topics, and by grounding ethical questions and debates in discussions of timely examples from popular culture and media, the issue provides an entry point for a wide array of multidisciplinary and nonacademic readers. The introduction to this issue is remarkably substantial and meets the challenge of providing a cohesive framework for the wide-ranging and provocative pieces that follow.

Best Digital Feature (inaugural award): Modernism/modernity Print Plus, Meridians “On the Line” (co-winners)

Modernism/modernity’s Print Plus platform was cited for its innovations in digital publishing, including the use of multimedia. Judges commended the breathtaking array of content:  peer-reviewed articles from the print journal offered open access as well as peer-reviewed articles exclusive to Print Plus; and blogs and forums on specialized topics in modernist studies and on timely responses to our current moment through the lens of modernism. Print Plus was praised by judges for being innovative, sophisticated, and ambitious, and for fostering a variety of forms of user engagement particularly through the integration of the social annotation platform. Judges deemed Modernism/modernity’s Print Plus platform to be a model to which print scholarly journals with a digital component might aspire.

Meridians’s “On the Line” feature was cited for its simplicity of design and a streamlined, easily navigable user experience. The range of multimedia offered on the website—which complements the print journal—was commended for the ways in which it uses digital technology to give women of color a voice. “On the Line” was cited as a particularly effective example of a print journal using digital features to complement journal content and grow audience engagement. The feature’s collaborative and interdisciplinary spirit was praised by judges, as was its commitment to reaching new readers with urgently pressing content.

Best New Journal: Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture

This vibrant journal fills such an important gap among scholarly forums, focusing on ancient, colonial, modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx visual culture from a range of multi- and interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives. The scholarship published in the journal engages "aesthetics, history and the culture of meaning" in intriguing ways and through accessible and rigorous examinations of representation across history, regions, cultural spheres, media, and impacts. The committee is especially impressed by the journal’s global reach and boundary-pushing dialogues.

Thank you to all our judges:

Cheryl Ball, Charlene Villaseñor Black, Christopher Bush, John Duvall, Nathan Grant, Emily Hipchen, Elizabeth Ho, Cassandra Laity, Victoria Mills, Ellen Rooney, J. Blake Scott, Milette Shamir, Susan Tomlinson, Gary Totten

CELJ now a Strategic Affiliate of Library Publishing Coalition

Posted December 7, 2020

CELJ joins a number of other esteemed organizations in becoming a Strategic Affiliate of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). Being a Strategic Affiliate helps the organizations facilitate collaboration and provide open communication channels for their respective members. The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) extends the impact and sustainability of library publishing and open scholarship by providing a professional forum for developing best practices and shared expertise. LPC members comprise a robust network of libraries committed to enhancing, promoting, and exploring the growing discipline and practice of library publishing. The LPC holds an annual forum on library publishing that CELJ members may be interested in attending. If you have questions about this affiliation, please contact CELJ Executive Director, Cheryl E. Ball, at 

Board & Constitution Voting Results

Posted December 2019

CELJ is pleased to announce that Debra Rae Cohen has been elected as the next vice president of CELJ. Her term will begin immediately after the MLA Convention and continue for two years, after which she will rotate into the presidency for an additional two years. Cohen just finished a five-year term as co-editor of Modernism/modernity. Cohen notes that she is

particularly interested in seeing CELJ grapple meaningfully with some of the institutional challenges facing scholarly publishing today, whether in the form of open access initiatives, reduced university support, downsizing of academic publishers, pressures and benefits of digitality, or our own responsibilities vis-à-vis precarious labor. CELJ has long been devoted to mentoring, but I’d like to see that mentorship extended beyond the design of editors speaking with potential authors: we need to discuss and support editorship as an aspect of a scholarly career, and work to mentor our own potential replacements.

In addition to Cohen's election, CELJ is happy to report that the ratification of Janine Utell as CELJ's next secretary and Nora Gilbert as its mentoring coordinator was successful. Both editors began these positions, appointed by the current board, after last year's MLA convention, and each have a remaining two years in their position!

Finally, the votes to update CELJ's constitution to reflect corrected language for its institutional home were unanimously in favor of the change. Those amendments have been made to the constitution effective immediately and the change date noted on the Constitution page of the website.

Thank you to all of the CELJ members who voted in this election! We need your input and your support is invaluable for the excellent running of this organization.

2020 MLA Booth

Posted November 2019

It’s time to mail your sample journals, flyers, and other publication paraphernalia for display at the annual CELJ booth at MLA! 

Please send no more than 5 print journals and 25 of any printed promotional materials (e.g., brochures, flyers, postcards, stickers, etc.). If you are an electronic-only journal, please send us a one-slide Powerpoint file in a design of your choosing that we can put together into a slideshow featuring other e-journals. You are also welcome to send print promo materials as listed above.

Note that your materials will be repackaged for shipment to the MLA warehouse in advance of the conference. Please ship materials to the following address: 

Julie Warheit
c/o MLA Exhibit Booth
40 West Hancock Street
Detroit, MI 48201

All materials must arrive by December 9, 2019.

If you have questions, please contact Cheryl or Julie at 

2018 CELJ Awards

Posted January 2019

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 CELJ awards:

  • Distinguished Editor: Susan Green, Huntington Library Quarterly
  • Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement: Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora
  • Best New Journal: Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures
  • Best Special Issue: American Literature and Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies; Honorable Mention to Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Best Public Intellectual Special Issue: The Hedgehog Review 
  • Best Journal Design: Archives of Asian Art
  • Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
View previous award recipients.

2018 MLA Booth

Posted November 2017

It’s time to mail your sample journals, flyers, and other publication paraphernalia for display at the annual CELJ booth at MLA! 

Please send no more than 5 print journals and 30 of any printed promotional materials (e.g., brochures, flyers, postcards, stickers, etc.). If you are an electronic-only journal or have some e-only component to your venue, please send us a one-slide Powerpoint file in a design of your choosing that we can put together into a slideshow featuring other e-journals. You are also welcome to send print promo materials as listed above.

Note that your materials will be repackaged for shipment to the MLA warehouse in advance of the conference.

If you have questions, please contact Cheryl or her research assistant at 

2017 Constitutional Voting

Posted October 2017

Please review and vote on the proposed constitutional changes by November 1. You can access the new document and voting link here: The current Constitution is located under the "About" tab on the "Constitution" page. 

2017 CELJ Awards

Posted January 2018

The Council of Editors of Learned Journals is pleased to invite the participation of CELJ members (whether new or longstanding) in our Awards Competition. Final submissions are due September 11, 2017. For more information, visit our Awards page.

2016 CELJ Awards

Posted January 2017

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 CELJ awards:

  • Best New Journal: VERGE: Studies in Global Asias
  • Best Special Issue: American Quarterly
  • Best Journal Design: ASAP Journal
  • Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement: Nineteenth Century French Studies
  • Distinguished Editor: David Scott, Small Axe
  • Codex Award: Arethusa
  • Voyager Award: Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
View previous award recipients.

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