TCS E-Specials – Editor Guidelines

TCS LOGO_colourTCS E-Specials – Editor Guidelines

Theory, Culture & Society has consistently been at the forefront of critical debates in sociology, cultural theory and social theory for over three decades. In addition, the TCS website ( publishes a variety of open access materials that complement and extend the reach of the journal. Taken together, TCS offers a major resource for those researching and teaching the broad terrain covered by Theory, Culture & Society and its companion journal Body & Society.

E-specials provide an opportunity to bring together complementing articles from across the journal’s archives. The aim is to offer new ways into the materials, to produce different lenses through which to view the various theories, themes and debates that circulate through the journal. In this way, e-specials are part of a broader project to offer new taxonomies and pathways through the accumulated knowledge(s) of the journal since its inception in 1982 (Read more on the history of TCS).

We welcome proposals from editors for new e-specials. Proposals can bring together writings by and about a specific thinker (e.g. Friedrich Kittler, Judith Butler, or Georg Simmel), or key topic areas (e.g. Globalisation, Deconstruction, Postcolonialism). We also encourage proposals that work along alternative thematic lines. For example, we have a special issue on ‘Fiction and Social Theory’, and on ‘Complexity’. See online for existing issues:


How to Contribute

In the first instance a contributing editor needs to send a proposal to The proposal will comprise of an abstract of the topic area, which provides a rationale for the topic and a sense of the angle that the editor wishes to take in introducing the selected articles. The proposal also needs to include a list of proposed contents. All selected items need to be drawn from the existing archive of articles from Theory, Culture & Society and/or Body & Society. We recommend using the search-bar function on the journal websites to help the process of selecting materials. We would expect to see a list of between 8 – 20 articles. Sub-headings can be used to divide up the list, but we encourage editors to maintain a clear focus and rationale to the overall selection. It is important to be judicious in the selection of materials, particularly for e-special issues on a novel theme or offering a specific intellectual perspective. Editors should ensure to include key, representative articles; that articles are not misrepresented through the presentation of the overarching topic of the issue (keeping in mind that individual authors would have been writing in different contexts); and that while still allowing for a breadth of material, both historically and intellectually, it is necessary to pay careful attention to the overall coherence of the selection.

Once a proposal is approved, the editor needs to write an introduction for the e-special of between 5,000 – 6,000 words. The introduction should include: contextualization of the topic area; clarification of any key terms or concepts; specific consideration of the items selected for the e-special; and discussion of wider connections, trends and debates. Overall, the introduction should present a scholarly account; as such reference to canonical and contemporary materials outside of TCS is encouraged. Thus, the writing of the introduction should be in keeping with the high quality associated with TCS. Editors need to show due diligence with regards intellectual histories and the problematizing of knowledge, as well as demonstrate rigor in the referencing of key debates, perspectives and disciplines. While the wider intellectual purview is required to help situate the selected TCS materials, it is crucial the issue is built upon and centres around the selected articles. This is to ensure that in ‘activating’ the archive in new ways, materials are handled sensitively in terms of the time and place in which they were written, that they are not co-opted for specific agendas, and /or that they are not overplayed (without justification) in terms of their significance to broader debates.

Once a final approved version of the e-special introduction is submitted it will enter the production process. A PDF version will be produced in the journal house-style, which editors will be invited to proof. All e-special introductions are made open access on a permanent basis (and must include the full list of contents at the end of the document), and it is either printed in or attached as an e-supplement to the TCS Annual Review available at the end of the year. The introduction is made accessible on a dedicated e-special webpage, along with a clickable contents list of the selected articles. An abstract for the e-special will also appear on the webpage. We will also use this text to help promote the e-special. For a limited period all articles of an e-special will be available for free download. The editor will be informed of the set time period prior to commencement.

Format and style

Editors should submit their final introduction and contents list in Word format, following the house-style of the journal (see TCS Contributor Guidelines). The document should include the following elements in the order shown:

  • Title
  • Editor(s) Name
  • Abstract (no more than 100 words)
  • Main Text (subheadings are allowed)
  • Endnotes (to be kept to a minimum)
  • References (follow the TCS house-style)
  • Author(s) Biography (no more than 100 words per editor)
  • E-Special Contents List (subheadings are allowed)

Examples of existing e-specials and introductions can be viewed online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

seven + nine =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.