postmedieval style guide
Please note that postmedieval’s style guidelines have changed significantly as of Volume 13 (2022). Articles published in previous issues will not be a reliable model for our current house style.
Potential authors of open topic submissions should note that we do not expect submissions to conform to the style guide in the first instance. We are happy to review articles with a different reference style, so long as the article is revised to conform to the style guide in case in acceptance.
Chicago Author-Date (See sample citations below. For further documentation, consult https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html.)
Again, use of Chicago Author-Date is new as of 2022. It entails numerous changes; two of particular prominence are that (a) authors’ first names (not just initials) are now included in reference entries, and (b) no comma is used between author and date in parenthetical citations.
British English (not American)
Punctuation of quotations
Single quotation marks; double quotation marks for quotes-within-quotes. Final punctuation occurs within marks, although full stops are displaced so as to include parenthetical citations within the sentence. Examples:
The novel plays on commonplaces of medieval devotion: ‘Jesus lowered his eyes and said, “Like a mother I give you my breast to suck”’ (Glück 1994, 22). The scene is abruptly focalised through the Vicar, who ‘saw himself twisted and crumpled forwards although he sat immobile,’ in a shift that might seem to change the rules of narrative perspective (Glück 1994, 20).
Most postmedieval articles fall between 6,000 and 12,000 words (including notes and references), but these are not strict limits. For articles of exceptional brevity or length, please consult with editors.
Much important intellectual work is carried out on social-media platforms. It should be cited whenever it contributes meaningfully to an article’s claims or analysis.
Use of dashes
When dashes are used in a manner similar to parentheses or commas—for instance, to add an additional thought within a sentence by gently breaking away from that sentence, as we’ve done here—then please use an em-dash (the longest form of dash) not separated by spaces from its surrounding words. In Microsoft Word, one creates an em-dash by typing a word, two hyphens, another word, and then a space; the two hyphens will then turn into a correctly formatted em-dash. For more on the correct use of hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes, see https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/HyphensEnDashesEmDashes/faq0002.html.
Authors are responsible for obtaining high-resolution files and permissions by the time their article is ready for copyediting. There is no fixed number of images allowed per article. In physical printing, images will be in black & white, but digital (including .pdf versions) can feature them in colour. If you have questions about images, please contact postmedievalED@gmail.com
Our default is to use the third person plural, “they,” rather than “he or she” when gender identity is unknown.
postmedieval uses side-notes, rather end- or footnotes. As a result, notes are strictly limited to no more than 50 words per note. Please use parenthetical in-text citations, instead of notes, whenever possible. The journal’s original motivation for employing side-notes was to lay emphasis on articles’ readability, accessibility, and essayistic style and to distinguish the journal from other, more footnote-heavy publications in medieval studies.
Translation in text
postmedieval does not publish notes containing either original-language quotations or translations. (See previous item.) The stylistic default should be the use of Modern English translations with citations referring readers to original-language sources. When the inclusion of original-language quotations is essential to the claims at hand, both original language and translation should appear within the main body of the article. Sometimes only a few original-language words are essential and can be incorporated parenthetically. The overall goal is readability.
Non-Latin Writing Systems
We support non-Latin writing systems. Please insert any quotations you decide to use in their original script, without transliteration. Personal names may be an exception.
postmedieval asks our authors to consider their citation practises as simultaneously reflecting and constructing authority. We evaluate submissions based in part on their breadth and depth of engagement with thinkers who represent multiple perspectives in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, able-bodiedness, discipline, and/or academic status or affiliation. There is no simple rule to guide citation, so we ask authors to be thoughtful about its politics and ethics and open to editorial dialogue about it. As part of our citational ethics, we uphold a policy of not citing known harassers (unless accompanied by an acknowledgement of their harassing behaviour, documented with reference to public record). While medieval studies has been and continues to be shaped by systemic forms of violence, specific individuals nonetheless have been agents of exceptional harm. The motivation behind this policy is not to hold up past thinkers to our own moral judgement but to act in the present in solidarity with those now struggling to thrive in our field, with its hierarchies and unequal vulnerabilities. As editors, we are ready to confer confidentially with authors about relevant situations and concerns; authors are not responsible for upholding this policy on their own. Sadly, many who might have made rich intellectual contributions have already been excluded from our footnotes by the damaging effects of harassing behaviour.
postmedieval is committed to acknowledging and respecting cultural and linguistic diversity and specificity. Authors are responsible for ensuring that all names of scholars and persons to which they refer are spelled correctly throughout. Please pay particular attention to names from cultures and writing conventions to some degree unfamiliar to you. postmedieval acknowledges the pervasive Latinisation of non-Western names in existing scholarly practice as well as the persuasive critiques of that practice. We recognise that it may at points be appropriate (for instance, to distinguish the influence of the Latin translations of the works of Ibn Sina under the Latinised name Avicenna). Authors are invited to engage critically with such usages, acknowledging and marking the adoption of naming conventions rather than naturalising Latinisation. postmedieval follows the practice of capitalising ‘Black’ and not capitalising ‘white’ when writing about race. For further guidance: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/capital-b-black-styleguide.php postmedieval acknowledges and supports personal religious practice, inclusive for instance of authors who should wish to spell God ‘G-d’. It invites authors to engage respectfully with religious traditions not their own.
If you would like clarifications on any aspect of this style guide, please write to postmedievalED@gmail.com.