Author Guidelines

Editorial correspondence should be sent to:

The Editors, ariel
Department of English, The University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada

Telephone 403.220.4657
Fax 403.289.1123
e-mail <>

Subject Matter & Scope

ARIEL began as a study of the literature of former British colonies, what was then known as “Commonwealth” literature, scrutinizing, as Pamela McCallum, a past editor, put it, the “complex critical, passionate and sometimes troubled dialogues with the ‘great tradition’ of literature in English.” Under the editorships of Ian Adam and Victor Ramraj during the 1980s and 1990s, ARIEL reinvented itself as a journal of postcolonial criticism and took up the questions this new field of inquiry raised. Over the past 10 years or so, the journal has expanded its parameters to engage with the newly emergent field of globalization and cultural studies while carrying forward its established legacies, addressing issues such as globalization and indigenism, citizenship, translational and transcultural identity, interaction between the global and the local, and the new forms and sites of exploitation and colonization in the age of transnational capitalism. While continuing to be interested in articles that engage with questions like how postcolonial literature “writes back” to the canonical, imperial, or metropolitan centers, we wish the journal to grow in globalization studies. We would also like to invite scholars who are interested in hemispheric studies and diaspora studies to contribute to the journal; these fields of inquiry have used insights generated by postcolonial theorists—and sometimes reacted against them—to illuminate authors and regions that would not have originally qualified as “postcolonial.”

Method & Critical Engagement

We are especially pleased with articles that work on multiple levels, with articles that do not just offer a close reading of a text or set of texts but that use that close reading to intervene in a scholarly conversation. The conversation might be local: for example, it might involve what the text has been interpreted to be about or the possibilities it offers for political resistance or the way the text has been categorized or the text’s relationship to a larger body of work. Or the conversation might have to do with a methodological question or theoretical claim. These conversations are not, of course, mutually exclusive. The best articles often contribute simultaneously to our understanding of particular texts as well as methodological or theoretical debates.

One of the questions we ask readers when they assess an article for publication in ARIEL is this: “What does this article contribute to the field?” It is not enough that an article performs this intervention implicitly; instead, we ask that authors be explicit about which scholarly conversation(s) they are engaging with and the form their intervention(s) takes. In other words, how does the article change the world of existing interpretation? We do not require that whole cities be razed or new land masses arise, but somehow the vista must be a little bit different once the reader has finished the article.

The “Perspectives” Section

ARIEL sometimes publishes shorter articles that do not make the kind of scholarly intervention that we expect of a regular article. Instead, these articles do one of the following:

  • They introduce our readers to an author or body of work that has not received much critical attention;
  • They make a minor scholarly intervention by offering a careful close reading of a brief passage from a canonical or important text;
  • They address postcolonial dramatic performances;
  • They offer a valuable alternative to conventional academic scholarship by representing a genuinely new perspective on familiar material or an attempt to take scholarly conversation in new directions without the apparatus of traditional scholarship (e.g., heavy citation);

If you would like your article to be considered for our “Perspectives” section, please indicate that to the editors during the submission process and make sure your essay conforms to the length requirements for this kind of article (see below).


ARIEL publishes interviews with relevant author and critics. If you have an interview you would like us to consider, please submit it to us the way you would an article but let us know that it’s an interview, what form the interview took (whether verbal or via e-mail), and when the interview took place. Please also provide a brief biography of the person whom you are interviewing (their accomplishments, etc.).


Articles should be between 6,000-9,0000 words (17-25 pages), Perspectives pieces between 3000-4500 words (8-13 pages), and interviews between1500-3600 pages (5-12 pages). These word and page counts do not include works cited and notes. If you are submitting an article or Perspectives piece, we also ask you to include five keywords and an abstract.


  • All articles are subject to anonymous refereeing (authorship unattributed and readers unidentified); consequently, names of contributors and author(s) should appear only on the title page of the manuscripts and not as a running head on each page.
  • The editors require assurance that authors are not offering their articles concurrently elsewhere. If you decide to submit it elsewhere while it is under review with us, you will need to let us know immediately so we can pull your article from consideration.
  • We aim to take no more than five months for a decision on a submission. However, in cases where it is difficult to find willing evaluators in the field of the essay, decisions can take longer. Feel free to e-mail us for an update if you have not heard from us within five months.
  • The editors reserve the right to amend phrasing and punctuation in articles and reviews accepted for publication. When we deem more extensive editing is required, the editors will ask the author for approval.


  • Please submit attachments as Microsoft Word Files or rich text format only to avoid delays. If you submit an article in e-file, ARIEL assumes that you consent to its circulation to readers as an e-file.
  • Please insert page numbers for each page.
  • Submissions should follow the current edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or The MLA Style Manual. See below for examples of bibliographic entries.
  • Translations should be provided for citations in languages other than French.
  • Please provide us with your telephone, e-mail address, and street address.

Sample Format:

Parenthetical or embedded citation:
One aim of LeClair's study is to "open up . . . the loop of academic discussion" (xiii) which tends "to privilege poststructuralist paradigms in its definitions of the postmodern" (23; emphasis added).

Works Cited:

Carby, Hazel. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York: Oxford UP, 1987. Print.

Henderson, Gwendolyn Mae. "Speaking in Tongues: Dialogues, Dialects, and the Black Woman Writer's Literary Tradition." Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing on Black Women. Ed. Cheryl A. Wall. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers UP, 1989. 125-37. Print.

Fee, Margery. "Resistance and Complicity in David Dabydeen's The Intended." ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 24.1 (1993): 107-25. Print.

Yardley, Jim. "Olympic Games Begin in Beijing." New York Times, 8 Aug. 2008. Web. 23 Aug. 2010.

Please note with Web sources, that the date of access (e.g., 8 Aug. 2012) is needed in addition to the date of publication.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word or RTF document file format.
  3. The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  4. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  5. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  6. Your contact details are up to date with full mailing address, email, and telephone number. Street name and number should be included to avoid delays.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the Journal.

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