Submission Guidelines


Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality (MFF). Submissions are double blind peer-reviewed. A decision about publication is generally made within two months of submission.

Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as they are in the world of print publications. We are happy, therefore, to let authors take advantage of this greater "bandwidth" to include material that they might otherwise have to cut to get into a print journal. This said, authors should exercise some discretion with respect to length. We encourage submissions to be under 10,000 words, including footnotes.

General Submission Rules

By submitting material to MFF, the author is stipulating that the material has not been previously published, is not currently under review at another journal, and that the material will not be submitted to another journal until the completion of the editorial decision process at MFF. Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series or an institutional or disciplinary repository does not constitute prior publication. Questions about the submission terms can be addressed by contacting the editors.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright in electronic media and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript. Prior to publication authors must clear the necessary reproduction rights for any images, photos, figures, music, or content credited to a third party that they wish to use that fall outside of the fair use provisions described in U.S. copyright law. We request that our authors seek nonexclusive, worldwide rights in all formats and media, for one-time use from the rights holder of the material to be used. Upon submission, authors agree that the material does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of third parties.

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MFF Retrospectives

MFF is pleased to announce a new section of its two annual issues: “Retrospectives.” We invite our feminist founders to compose short reflections on the lessons they learned in the course of their careers, as we cannot fully know how to focus our work as feminists if we do not know what has - and has not - changed in the academy. We welcome submissions from authors who have announced their retirement or have already retired.

We expect to publish one or two Retrospectives per issue, in the order in which they are received. We ask that authors follow these guidelines:

  • Maximum length of 2000 words.
  • Please either anonymize your narrative if specific individuals are still alive, or seek their permission for your representation of any episode involving them.
  • While the editorial board will honor the voices of all authors, we retain the right to request revisions so that contributions represent MFF values regarding the ongoing challenges of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism.

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Special Issue Guidelines

MFF welcomes proposals for special issues, which will appear in the order the finalized volume is submitted. Of the two issues of the journal published annually, at most one will be a special issue. The editing of a special issue of MFF provides the guest editor(s) with an opportunity to bring a group of scholars together and to stimulate them to do their best possible work. MFF encourages authors to reflect widely on their topic; part of the guest editor’s role is to transmit this intellectual spirit to the contributors. The contributors should understand that a narrowly specialized article is not appropriate for MFF, even if the article relates to the special issue’s theme. The best special issues are those in which every article engages with large and serious issues, framed in a way that medievalists from different specialties are able to engage the theme discussed.

A special issue typically consists of an introduction written by the guest editor(s), an article written by (one of) the guest editor(s), and five or six other articles by contributors invited by the guest editor. The contributor list may be the result of an open call or a pre-curated set of contributions.

A formal proposal outlining the theme and its significance for feminist medieval studies, as well as a list of contributors or a draft of the open call, should be sent to the General Editor. The editorial board will decide on the appropriateness of the theme to the venue, and may offer suggestions delimiting the theme. Recent special issues are linked on the sidebar; if the theme is close to that of a recent issue, please clarify in the proposal either the distinctiveness of the proposed issue or how it builds upon work previously published in MFF.

If approved by the editorial board, the guest editor(s) commit to a series of responsibilities, including soliciting contributions if necessary, sending each contribution (including the introduction and guest editor's article) out for review by at least one peer reviewer identified by the guest editor(s), and editing all revised articles for completion, clarity, and general conformity to the MFF house style. Once submitted, the issue will go through a final proofreading stage at the publishing house. Details about these responsibilities can be found in the "guest editor guide."

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Recommendations for Student and Early-Career Writers:

MFF welcomes submissions from graduate students and advanced undergraduates. If you do not have much experience writing for publication, however, please bear in mind that journal articles are different from seminar papers or theses, and consider the following guidelines as you revise your work for submission.

  • Articles should be self-contained works of scholarship. In other words, they should be complete unto themselves, not obviously excerpted from a longer work. If they are excerpts (from, say, a multi-chapter thesis), they should be revised so that they stand on their own. This may involve significantly reframing, especially in the case of a thesis chapter. References to other parts of the work (“this dissertation,” etc.) should, of course, be omitted.
  • Engage sufficiently with other research on your topic. Ensure that you are aware of the major scholarly works in your field and the most important discussions around your article’s topic. At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with an excessively comprehensive literature review that may obscure your own argument. You will have to judge how much of a literature review you need. When in doubt (but only when in doubt), go for more rather than less—the journal’s reviewers may have suggestions for what can be condensed.
  • At the same time, make sure that your argument is at the center of your article. The best articles make a clear claim and use strong evidence and sign-posting to guide the reader. Have a thesis statement that you introduce early on, introduce sections and even paragraphs with clear topic sentences that tell your reader what you’re arguing, and—especially if you’re making a complicated argument—occasionally review what you have established and where you’re going next.
  • Provide context. While you don’t need to summarize well-known works (such as The Book of Margery Kempe or the Divine Comedy), lesser-known works may require some explanation and description. In addition to engaging with the major scholarly debates on your topic, provide appropriate contextual information so that your reader—whom you can assume to be generally knowledgeable about medieval studies, but not an expert in your precise subfield—is able to understand what you’re talking about. At the same time, don’t allow details of manuscript transmission, etc. to overpower your article (unless, of course, it’s essential to your argument).
  • Share your work! Everyone’s writing—even that of the most seasoned scholar—can benefit from having a knowledgeable colleague look over it. Ask someone whose scholarly opinion and expertise you trust to read your work and offer feedback prior to submission.

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Formatting Requirements for Initial Submissions

Manuscripts for consideration should be submitted electronically via the Submit Article link. If this is not possible, please contact the Editors.

For initial submission, manuscripts need only be in Word or RTF format. Please do not send PDFs. Lines should be double spaced, including notes and quotations, and in 12 point Times New Roman with 1 inch margins. Pages should be numbered consecutively and should include a short title in the header. To facilitate blind review, do not include your name on the document. Notes should be numbered consecutively, double spaced, and placed as footnotes.

Guidelines for Accepted Submissions

The readership of MFF is an interdisciplinary one. The following requirements not only aid scholars from a wide range of disciplines to engage fully with your research but also allow for your published article to be assigned for classroom reading, both at undergraduate and graduate levels. Please adhere to both of these in submitting your final revision:

  • Introduce your primary text(s) or historical character(s) and/or events as though writing for an audience unfamiliar with these types of specifics. For example, not all readers will be familiar with the plot of Chaucer's “The Pardoner's Tale” or be aware of the manuscript tradition of Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias! The key here is to contextualize your information.
  • Offer translations for all material not presented in modern English. Please provide quotations/extracts first in their original language, followed by the modern English translation. These translations should be placed in parentheses, whether embedded in the main narrative of your text or after an indented and blocked quotation within your text.

Additional recommendations by the editors of MFF for the alignment of your submission with the journal’s scholarly and political positionings are:

  • Please be mindful of your citational practices and think carefully about whom you cite and why. For example, some traditional go-to texts, particularly amongst those pre-dating the groundswell of feminist / intersectional critique (and often restricted to a white male perspective), may not always be the best or the most appropriate ones with which to frame your feminist /gender-aware/intersectional arguments.
  • Think closely about casual use of scholarship that emanates from figures who have gained publicity for their antifeminism, racial harassment, or supremacist views, etc. Recourse to such work is rarely an effective way of offering credentials and context to feminist and intersectional scholarship, unless, of course, directly critiquing its arguments.
  • Be aware of contemporary political debates regarding misappropriation of the medieval past by far-right communities and their allies. We would, for example, prefer the terms such as “Old English” or “Early Medieval English” used in place of the term “Anglo-Saxon”, if at all possible (except, of course, in quotations from other secondary sources).

After your article has been accepted and placed within a particular issue and the journal enters production, you will see your submission at two proof stages: after copyediting and again after typesetting. Replies about corrections should be sent in within two weeks; if you are unable to respond during that time period, please either let the general editor or press know. If no response is received from an individual contributor at an individual stage, in order to keep the journal moving in a timely manner the general editor will make a decision about when to proceed with the production of the volume.

There are formatting requirements for final manuscripts submitted to MFF.

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Rights for Authors and MFF

Authors retain copyright but grant exclusive first publication rights and a non-exclusive license to have the work reproduced in other ways, including in electronic databases and on-line. Once an author's work has been published in MFF, the author is free to use it in any way they wish, so long as that use is consistent with the license given MFF to continue to use the work for the duration of its copyright in all languages, throughout the world, in all media. The journal asks only that authors acknowledge in subsequent works the publication of earlier versions in MFF.

The author may include the officially published version of the article (version of record) in an institutional or disciplinary repository, provided the posting includes a prominent statement of the full bibliographical details, and a link to the online edition of the journal.

Attribution and Usage Policies

Requests for permission to reuse the articles should be sent to the author(s).

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the ScholarWorks at WMU website and/or software agree not to misuse the ScholarWorks at WMU service or software in any way.

The failure of ScholarWorks at WMU to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between MFF and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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