Events

2019 Annual Meeting, Nov 23-26

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be in San Diego, CA, November 23-26. Register Now!

2019 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Southeast
Deadline: October 1, 2019

2014 JAAR Editor Search

Application Deadline: September 25, 2014

Professor Amir Hussain will complete his term as Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion at the end of 2015. To assure a smooth transition, the Academy has initiated the search for his successor, who will begin a five-year term on January 1, 2016.

Position Description

The Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion gives leadership to the organization and production of the AAR’s scholarly quarterly.

Major Responsibilities

Receiving manuscript submissions and seeing to their peer review; communicating with authors and potential authors; organizing, recruiting, and working with an editorial board and associate editors; organizing and submitting copy for each issue of the Journal in a timely way to the production editor at Oxford University Press; checking proofs; planning future issues; maintaining regular communication with the AAR Executive Office. In addition, different constituencies engaged in the academic study of religion may ask the Editor to speak about the JAAR and its publishing program; this could involve travel and additional time and preparation commitments. The Editor should bring to all these tasks energy and imagination regarding the future of the study of religion and of academic publishing, with particular interest in the emerging field of electronic publishing. The Editor conducts a JAAR Editorial Board meeting during the AAR Annual Meeting, and writes a semiannual report to the AAR Board of Directors and Publications Committee. She or he will be an active member of the AAR’s Publications Committee (requiring a meeting with all members at the Annual Meeting). The JAAR Editor must be an AAR member.

The JAAR editorship is a volunteer position, as are all non-staff leadership positions in the AAR. The editor’s home institution typically provides support in the form of released time, office space, student assistants, telephone, and mailing expenses. Oxford University Press and the AAR provide a modest administrative budget to cover the costs of an annual editorial staff meeting and, as appropriate, expenses beyond those covered by the editor’s home institution.

Application

If you are interested in this position, please submit in electronic form a letter that addresses your qualifications and offers a sense of your vision for the Journal, as well as your CV. Click h​ere to apply.

The search committee, led by Professor Kimberly Connor, Chair of the AAR's Publications Committee, has begun reviewing materials and asks that applications be submitted by September 25, 2014, with a view toward making recommendations to the AAR President at the conclusion of the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego where interviews will take place. Candidates for the position of Editor should be prepared to attend and participate in interviews at the Annual Meeting. We strongly encourage candidates to discuss their intentions with their academic administrators (deans, department chairs, etc.) so that they can come to the interview prepared to articulate the institutional support they will receive while they are Editor (for example, course release, graduate and/or other student or staff support, any additional financial contribution). The new Editor will be expected to be in regular contact with the current Editor during 2015, taking over full responsibility on January 1, 2016.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most exciting and rewarding dimensions of the job?

Intellectual stimulation and the challenge of working with people literally all over the world on topics of real and lively concern. Also, helping to shape the conversations in the field in ways that are simultaneously more and less directly powerful than by your own work. Helping people get their thoughts best expressed—you get a lot of kind words from authors, which is always nice. It’s also a tremendous opportunity to involve your own students (where appropriate) in the work, helping them to better understand scholarly writing and publishing.

How much of a time commitment does being JAAR Editor entail?

Depends on your model for the job, but it will take at least half of your time. Certainly having a good staff can help, and using your associate Editors well (and so too your Editorial board). Probably you should anticipate not doing less than twenty hours a week on the job, and maybe five more hours doing email in a week. There are some times in the year when that can double. And of course when you start the job, you should expect a larger time commitment. Also, be willing to travel to universities and conferences to promote the journal, sometimes by giving presentations on publishing in the journal.

What will be the main challenges of the job?

Reminding reviewers, so as to get reviews done in a timely manner; ensuring that your staff are fully doing their jobs; keeping up with the wide range of obligations that the Editor personally has (soliciting and editing papers for publication, selecting papers, deciding among conflicting reviews); handling difficult contributors or submitters; negotiating the challenges of a large email correspondence.

What logistical and financial support can I expect from the AAR and OUP?

Both the AAR and OUP are enthusiastically committed to JAAR and want to support the Editor in substantive ways. There is no salary or stipend for being JAAR Editor, but there is financial support (which will be discussed in more detail with finalists) to help with the running of the journal. So too, the AAR staff and Journals staff at OUP will be happy to help you get started and help you do your work along the way.

What logistical and financial support should I seek from my institution?

It will be a great opportunity for your institution, that so prestigious a journal be based there, and it is a very powerful pedagogical tool for the students who work on JAAR. So it is natural for the institution to help you in your work as Editor in ways that you mutually agree on: for example, by a course reduction, by providing the funds to hire an Editorial assistant part-time, and by providing office space for JAAR (as well as regular office expenses such as computers for assistants, photocopying, mailing, etc.).

Am I responsible for finding a Book Review Editor? And must the Book Review Editor be at my institution?

You will be involved with others in the search for the Book Review Editor. The Book Review Editor does not need to be at your institution.

Can I keep or change the Editorial Board, as I wish?

Yes; obviously, continuity is a virtue, but you will be able to recreate the Board as you find best. We have a large editorial board, as well as a smaller group of about 7 associate Editors. The associate Editors will be your “go to” people, who will help you more regularly, specifically and proactively with your work on the JAAR. The larger editorial board can help with specific areas in the study of religion. You can set the terms for the work to be done by your associate Editors and by the larger editorial board. People are usually appointed in these positions for 1- or 2-year terms, which can be renewed.

How many meetings a year does the JAAR Editor have to attend?

The Editor will meet with her or his Editorial board at the Annual Meeting, and also attend the AAR’s Publications Committee meeting. The Editor also meets with her or his associate Editors prior to the Annual Editorial Board Meeting, and may attend the Oxford Journals Day hosted by OUP. Such travel is supported by the AAR/OUP.

Must the JAAR Editor be based in the USA?

No.