Categories of Writing


The majority of writing published by Art Journal fits the category of “ESSAY.” This is a feature-length, single-author scholarly essay (6,000–8,000 words in length, with 10-12 images) of original scholarship on a topic related to art and visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Every published essay of this type undergoes a double-blind peer review, after initial editorial vetting. Anonymized essays are sent to at least two reviewers in the field. Reviewers are primarily chosen based on their closeness to the topic. Anonymous reports are then returned to the writer, typically within six to eight weeks.

New material that Art Journal is interested in publishing includes a new category of writing called “OBJECT STUDIES,” which would be a collection of short essays (1,500–2,500 words) inspired by the study of a single object from multiple perspectives—historically, technically, theoretically—written by CAA member artists, historians, and museum professionals. Essays of this type undergo double-blind peer reviewArt Journal will also include a new series of single-author essays that explore academic and non-academic career paths in art, art history, and design under the category of “JOB TALK.Like the “conversations,” the “job talk” essays would undergo single-blind peer review.

Every issue of Art Journal also includes an “ARTIST PROJECT,” often commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief or a member of the Editorial Board. Artists’ projects typically cover 10–12 pages of the printed journal with the option to produce the front and/or back covers as well. Portfolios of past work are discouraged, and the Artist Project will undergo double-blind peer review at the request of the submitting artist.



When possible and appropriate, Art Journal and Art Journal Open endeavor to publish collaborative content. This might include, for example, a multimedia project online that relates to or elaborates on an essay in the printed journal. These projects are developed by the editorial team, and are typically invited submissions. Collaborative content is subject to the same standards of review as other categories of writing/content published by Art Journal and Art Journal Open.

Both Art Journal and Art Journal Open  publish “CONVERSATIONS” [previously known as “Forum” in Art Journal]. These are edited discussions or collections of shorter essays and/or art that is organized around central theme or debate that is of interest to the field. The format of Conversations varies, but most include an introduction by the editor or organizer (500–1,500 words), followed by texts of various formats—interviews, short position papers, short essays, artist statements, translations, paired responses (2500 words each). On Art Journal Open, Conversations are typically stand-alone publications. In Art Journal, Conversations typically include 10 images per 7000 words. Conversations often also contain (short, 2–4 page) artist projects. Published works in the Conversations format undergo single-blind peer review, wherein the authors are identified to the reviewer but not vice versa. In Art Journal, essays in a Conversations series may be published together in a single issue, or serially across several consecutive issues.

Both Art Journal and Art Journal Open  publish work in the categories of PEDAGOGY + RESEARCH, including short essays (1,500–2,500 words) on pedagogical history and theory, sample syllabi, as well as ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES. The bibliographies are generally commissioned by the Art Journal Reviews Editor, and typically include a brief  introduction followed by one paragraph discussion of 7 to 10 publications (total word count 2500–3000 words). Writing in this category is not peer-reviewed.

BOOK REVIEWS and EXHIBITION REVIEWS are published in BOTH Art Journal and Art Journal Open via the commission of the Art Journal Reviews Editor and occasionally by the Art Journal Open Editor-in-Chief. These typically run 2,500–5,000 words and adhere to the CAA guidelines for Conflict of Interest and ConfidentialityArt Journal and Art Journal Open do not accept unsolicited reviews.



Taking specific advantage of the online platform, Art Journal Open publishes work by artists under the “CONTEMPORARY PROJECTS” category 3–4 times per year (on average). These are long-form projects that take up to a year of development. The review process for art projects is developed in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, but most submissions typically undergo peer review in two parts. First, reviewers (critics, curators, artists, or other experts) provide feedback on a robust proposal from the submitting artist—these may be single- or double-blind reviews. Then, a final version is reviewed prior to publication, frequently in a double-blind consultation by experts in one or more fields of inquiry treated by the artwork (along the lines of an anonymized studio visit). All design is coordinated in consultation with the Associate Editor for Digital Publications.

Art Journal Open publishes scholarly essays on topics concerning post-1945 art, architecture, design, and media under the category of “TEXT + DOCUMENTS.” There is no set length or format for these submissions, but authors should demonstrate awareness of the online format (i.e., avoid long, scrolling texts). These essays may include video, other types of integrated visual documentation, or make other meaningful use of the online format. Submissions in this category may undergo peer review, after initial editorial vetting.

“PEDAGOGIES” is a new category of writing for Art Journal Open that invites a range of critical perspectives on teaching and learning. Educators may share personal strategies, historians may consider histories of pedagogies, and artists may produce pedagogically inspired artworks. Generally work in this category is not peer-reviewed, though certain projects will be subject to single-blind review dependent on circumstance.

Art Journal Open also publishes brief overviews of contemporary topics or programs under the category of “NEWS + NOTES.”  Periodically this category may include the “BOOKSHELF” occasional series, a guide to texts that authors are currently reading. Work in this category is not peer-reviewed.