Material Culture: The Journal of the Pioneer America Society

Sara Beth Keough, PhD, Editor
Dept. of Geography
235 Wickes Hall
Saginaw Valley State Univ.
7400 Bay Rd.
University Center, MI 48710
Office: 989-964-2195

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

The International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Cultureis an interdisciplinary organization whose mission is to document the yield of human conduct on the landscape. Material Culture (MC) is committed to offering a dynamic dialogue on all aspects of material culture through the contribution of authors representing a variety of professional backgrounds and cultural experiences. The topics covered by MC include all aspects of the study of the material remains of the past from any region of the world. These include the cultural patterns that explain distribution and diffusion, understanding tradition and innovation among individuals and the societies creating them, the meaning and importance of extant relics and objects to their makers and users, attempts at restoring, maintaining, or engaging with folk and popular culture, and the importance of understanding the relationships of material culture extant in the contemporary landscape. We welcome manuscripts from scholarly individuals, as well as corporate, government, independent, non-profit, or educational sectors interested in these subjects.

MC is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal issued twice yearly (Spring and Fall) by ISLPMC. MC contains research conducted by members and friends of the organization, along with book reviews, reprints from early issues and other offerings deemed by the Editor to be of interest to its readership. Interest in special issues and guest editing opportunities should be presented to the Editor. Priority consideration will be given to articles in which the author's work is determined to be of interest to our diverse membership. If the article is more narrowly appropriate for a more specific academic specialty, or the article does not meet the journal's quality standards, the Editor reserves the right to return the manuscript. MC may also decline to publish readings of an individual book, film, or other media, although reviews of some aspect relating to material culture from other genres, or sub-genres may be considered. Unless materials are under specific copyright by the author, all material becomes the possession of MC and ISLPMC.

MC uses the Chicago Manual of Style author/date system, 16th edition, for formatting most content. Authors should consult the 16th edition of the manual for questions that are not answered by these guidelines, or contact the Editor. An online version of the manual is available as a free 30 day trial or annual subscription (

Those wishing to submit manuscripts to Material Culture are urged to observe the following guidelines:


Other formatting guidelines:

Length of manuscript is not an overriding consideration. MC welcomes short notices, comments on previous articles, and longer works, including individual examples to wider theoretical interpretations. For research manuscripts, submissions should be between 5000-6000 words, and revisions can expand to 7000 words. If a longer manuscript is necessary, please contact the Editor with rationale.


Images are not required for submission, but often they help to illustrate an author's point about material culture. Try to keep the use of images to a minimum. Typically, 5-7 images in a manuscript are appropriate. If an author thinks more than 7 images are needed, they should consult the Editor and explain the rationale. If possible, the Editor will accommodate such requests.

References and Citations

It is important that authors carefully adhere to the rules for citing sources in the text and in the References page. MC uses the Chicago Manual of Style (author/date), 16th edition. References should be placed in alphabetical order in the Reference page.


See the following quick-reference examples:

Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees. 2008. "Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000-2010: A Decade of Outreach." Evanston Public Library. Accessed July 19. http://w

[If information accessed on a website does not have a publication or posting date, use the accessed date.]

Glassie, Henry. 1963. "The Appalachian Log Cabin." Mountain Life and Work 39 (4): 5-14.

__________. 2000. Vernacular Architecture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Kniffen, Fred. 1965. "Folk Housing: Key to Diffusion." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 55 (4): 549-577.

Jackson, J.B. 1997a. "An Engineered Environment." In Landscape in Sight: Looking at America, edited by H.F. Horowitz, 8-24. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

__________. 1997b. "Notes and Comments: The True Purpose of Landscapes." In Landscape in Sight: Looking at America, edited by H.F. Horowitz, 36-48. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Jordan, Terry G., John T. Kilpinen, and Charles F. Gritzner. 1997. The Mountain West: Interpreting the Folk Landscape. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Spoden, Muriel, ed. 1976. Historic Sites of Sullivan County, Tennessee. Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press.

Wargo, Buck. 2009. "Investors take advantage of Las Vegas housing deals." Las Vegas Sun, October 2. Last accessed August 2, 2010

In listing the publisher and place of publication, there are four rules:

  1. If the state is named in the name of the publisher, it is not included in the place. Examples:
    (named) Lexington: University Press of Kentucky
    (unnamed) Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
  2. Use postal code abbreviations for states.
  3. Generally, if a publisher has U.S. and overseas offices, use the U.S. office.
  4. If the city of the publisher is well known, such as New York, it is not necessary to list the state.

Web citations

Web sites should not be cited solely by a URL. The bibliographic information should be as complete as possible using the following format. Do not italicize the name of the webpage. Authors must list the date the website was last accessed.


Keiffer, A. 2007. "PAS Welcome Message." Homepage. Last accessed December 3, 2007

In-Text Citations


All materials must be submitted to the Editor according to the guidelines above. If the guidelines are not followed, the Editor reserves the right to return the manuscript to the author without review. If a map or chart for the manuscript is under construction at the time the manuscript is submitted, or permission is being sought for use of an image, the author must indicate that in the materials submitted (such as in the caption for the image). Manuscripts will not be accepted for publication until all materials have been received.

Once all of the materials are submitted in the proper format, the submission will be forwarded for a double-blind review by two experts. This usually takes place in a timely manner and the Editor will be happy to keep track and report on the process. In some cases, additional rounds of reviews may be necessary to bring the manuscript to publishable quality.

Authors will be notified when a final determination has been made on their manuscript. One of the following decisions will be made on the manuscript by the Editor:

The Editor and her staff assume the responsibility for copy-editing the manuscripts. The Editor will consult with authors on changes that significantly alter the text of the manuscript.

All authors will receive a PDF file with the final, published version of their manuscript and all necessary citation information. Authors MUST NOT, under any circumstances, post this file on a public website. Material Culture is indexed with a number of scholarly databases (JSTOR, ProQuest, EBSCO, America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, Geo-Abstracts, and the MLA International Bibliography), and public posting of published articles goes against the journal's legal agreements with these organizations.

If there are any additional questions, they should be directed to the Editor as quickly as possible. It is the goal of PAS to publish its periodicals in a timely manner, and the Editor requests that authors appreciate this and work with her in the same fashion.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation. We appreciate your interest in Material Culture and look forward to reading your manuscript.

Sara Beth Keough, Ph.D. Editor

(rev. 08/11)


Return to top