The Catalyst

An Undergraduate Journal of Feminist Theory and Rhetoric


When is the next submit deadline?

Submissions can be sent for consideration at any time. For publication in our inaugural issue being released this January, we ask that all papers be submitted by midnight November 1st, 2020.

How long should my submission be?

All submissions must be under 9,000 words not including citations and references. Though we have no established minimum, we highly encourage all submissions to be between 2000 - 9000. A shorter paper must have a particularly well-focused and more narrowly defined thesis. A paper above 5,000 words should include clearly delineated sections. The Catalyst does not accept excerpts.

May I submit multiple manuscripts for consideration?

You may submit as many essays as you would like as long as they are related to the social sciences.

May I submit my manuscript to other publications?

Yes, but you must withdraw your work from consideration if you are selected for publication in The Catalyst. No previously published paper will be published, nor may a paper be reprinted elsewhere without permission.

How should I handle citations?

Firstly, DO NOT OMIT PAGE NUMBERS unless the reference is unpaginated. Papers without proper citations cannot be considered for publication. For websites, online newspapers, etc, please include the date accessed. For supplementary information on citation format, visit the 17th Chicago Manual of Style online. Please avoid endnote wherever necessary. Footnotes will not be accepted.


Author Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to current undergraduate students. Students who have yet to matriculate into a two- or four-year college or university are ineligible. Continuing education and dual-enrolled high school students are not considered undergraduates and are ineligible. There are no geographic constraints on eligibility.

Editorial Board

Editor in Chief: Emerson Johnston, Philosophy, Politics, & Economics, 2023; Managing Editors:

  • Stephanie Luiz, Political Science & Economics, 2022;
  • Sophia Kapoglis, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Psychology, 2023;
  • Camila Blikstad, Business Administration and Economics, 20203;
Apply to join the board by following this link!

Contact Us

Please direct all questions, concerns, and submissions to

Aim and Scope

As one of the nation's first undergraduate journal of women’s and gender studies, The Catalyst is at the forefront of youth-driven feminist scholarship. Encouraging interdiscplinary thought on the intersections of feminist theory and social, physical, and biological sciences, The Catalyst publishes undergraduate scholarship that raises important and pathbreaking questions about the world and the women who call it home. What makes this scholarship unique is not necessarily our authors' chosen subject of investigation or methods of inquiry but the unique attention played to the perspective undergraduates have in gender studies and feminist theory as they relate to the fields of study they are just breaking into. The Catalyst publishes research articles and review essays with subects and teachings related to an interdisciplinary interest of addressing gender, race, culture, class, nation, and sexuality. Articles in The Catalyst, whether critical, theoretical, or empirical, are meant to fosters both a new way of thinking and a new wave of understanding.

Journal Guidelines

You can find a detailed outline of submission guidelines at this link.

Subject Matter

May I submit a paper on Topic X?

Yes, so long as it relates in some way back to women, gender, rhetoric, or society. While extremely esoteric or irrelevant topics are unlikely to be published, The Catalyst is highly interdisciplinary, and there are very few subjects which cannot fall under these heading.

What subject falls under the heading "society"?

The Catalyst uses a very broad meaning for the term “society”. We intend to include all academic fields in the social sciences, which may include but are not limited to: anthropology, communication, criminology, cultural and area studies, economics, history, linguistics, law, political science, psychology, public health, sociology, development studies, and demography.

May I submit a piece written in language other than English?

While the Journal eagerly accepts submissions written by students who do their academic work in a language other than English, the Journal will only review submissions written in English.

May I write a paper from scratch for the Journal?

Certainly, but there is no guarantee that it will be published. Groundbreaking research is looked upon very favorably regardless of whether the paper has been submitted for academic credit.

Submission Eligibility

We accept a wide array of submission types, including, but not limited to: research papers, senior theses, and independent projects or studies. Given the interdisciplinary focus of our publication, students in any field of study are welcome to submit their work, so long as their piece relates in some way to the studies of women, gender, rhetoric, and society. If you are unsure whether your piece qualifies, we encourage you to submit it anyway. To ensure our selection process is equitable, all submissions are carefully considered and thoroughly reviewed by our editors in a three-tiered editing process. Please note that students may submit more than one written work.


How are papers selected?

Each manuscript is read by at least two members of the Editorial Board and evaluated on its argument, writing, originality, adherence to guidelines, and topic. The selection process is blind to the author’s identity and school. Approximately 20 papers are selected as finalists and are voted upon by the full Editorial Board, with the top six to eight papers ultimately selected for publication. These numbers may fluctuate from year to year depending on the size of the submissions pool and the space constraints of the Journal.

How will papers be edited?

The editing process, as in a professional academic journal, is intense and proactive. Editors peer review the work and consult with Northeastern faculty to vet arguments when needed. Authors work closely with an editing team to revise their work for clarity of argument. This entails substantial organizational changes (often due to space constraints) and a great deal of openness on the part of the author. Every effort will be made to preserve the author’s voice where possible, but given the change in audience and format, authors should not expect published papers to reflect their phraseology.

How will papers be titled?

The Editorial Board will choose the full and abbreviated print titles. You should include a descriptive and colorful title on your original manuscript, which will serve as a guide.

What is the editing timeline?

You can expect to hear from the editorial board with 30 days of your original submission. If you paper is selected for publication, the editing process will take anywhere from two to four weeks depending on time constraints and length of publication.

I'm not a student of northeastern, can I still apply to join the editorial board?

As of August 2020, applications are only open to students of the Northeastern University student body.

January 2020 Call for Papers

The Catalyst currently has one open call for papers:


The Catalyst Special Issue - The 21st Century Female Leader


Over the last two decades, female leadership has changed significantly both in look and in importance. No longer do female leaders belong to the myopic stereotype that dominated the field of successful women of years past. Inspired by the goal of this council to promote female leadership both at Northeastern and around the world, this special asks what it's like to be a female leader in this new "wave" of feminism that is both increasingly intersectional and fittingly interdisciplinary. Female leaders of the 21st century lead the way for gender equality not only by fighting for women's rights directly, like Malala, but by being the face of other movements for change as well, like Greta Thunberg and Emma Gonzales. While contributions on female leaders directly, and the impact of these leaders on the world around them, are welcome, we also encourage submissions that openly question and expand the meaning of a female leader as well as what it means to fight for gender equality. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to submit their work. 


The editors invite essays that consider questions along but by no means limited to the following lines:


  • Exploring Theories of Female Leadership of South and Southeast Asia: An in-depth analysis of the major working theories of leadership as they relate to the current political climate and momentum regarding gender equality in the region. This paper asks "despite, Asia's reputation for holding women in low regard, why does the continent feature numerous female leaders over the last thirty years?"

  • The Language of Female Leadership: Could language be a reason why women are under-represented at a senior level in the business world? This paper explores how female leaders use language to achieve their business and relational goals by arguing that senior women have to develop linguistic expertise in order to be effective leaders.

  • The Female Leadership Advantage: Journalists and authors of trade books increasingly assert a female advantage in leadership, whereby women are more likely than men to lead in a style that is effective under contemporary conditions. Despite this, female leadership worldwide has not seen a rise that would be indicative of such a trend. This paper asks why.

  • An Analysis of Queen Bee Syndrome: This paper investigates the effect of female leadership on gender differences in public and private organizations coming to the overall conclusion that Queen Bee Syndrome may be a myth. 

  • Sex, Stereotypes, and Security: A Study of the Effects of Terrorist Threat on Assessments of Female Leadership. This project examines the extent to which terrorist threat shapes affect assessments of female political leadership and whether these assessments are affected by the characteristics of the evaluated leader. 

  • Connective Leadership: Female Leadership Styles in the 21st-Century Workplace. This paper describes an integrative leadership model, “connective leadership,” which combines the traditional masculine American ego-ideal with additional female role behaviors more appropriate for an interdependent world. 

The Catalyst particularly encourages interdisciplinary and international essays that address substantive feminist questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We seek essays that are passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks.


The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm November 1st, 2020.

All authors should submit their full manuscripts electronically via email to our editor-in-chief Emerson Johnston at editorial [at] Please follow the [AUTHOR (LAST, FIRST) - THE CATALYST SUBMISSION [DATE]] format for the subject line. Manuscripts must conform to the guidelines for submission available here.

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Est. January 2020 | Boston, Massachusetts