I have a question that I’d like to pose to list members: which journals are considered “top tier” in the field of women’s and gender history?
There’s a larger context for this inquiry. For junior faculty members who do women’s and gender history and are tenure track in a history or interdisciplinary department at an R-1 institution, a record of publishing in prestigious peer reviewed journals is often a pre-condition of successful tenure. Yet in promotion and tenure committees at various institutional levels, there may be differences of agreement about what constitutes a prestigious journal and what constitutes a mediocre one. I know of at least one case in which a college-level promotion and tenure committee refuted arguments that the journal Feminist Studies was a top-tier publication by comparing it unfavorably with Gender and Society, which I always had the impression was an important journal for social science scholarship on gender but published fewer articles written by historians. The same committee identified Gender and History as a third-tier journal which was not of sufficient quality and reputation to be considered “acceptable publishing” for a faculty member at that institution.
I don’t want to get bogged down in individual cases, but to ask is there a consensus about what constitutes “top tier” publishing in women’s history? What standards apply to determine the quality of a journal for this particular field? I also want to raise the wider question of what strategies junior faculty members can use justify the quality of their work and publishing record in a field like women’s and gender history which may itself suffer from subtle (and not so subtle) intellectual de-legitimization, both among individual faculty and administrators and structurally, at the level of institutions, disciplines, and the academy generally.
One of the editors of Gender and History, Karen Adler, wrote a nice response to refute the claim that G&H is a “third-tier journal:” Continue Reading »