As the official publication of the Division on Black American Literature and Culture of the Modern Language Association, the quarterly journal African American Review promotes a lively exchange among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who hold diverse perspectives on African American literature and culture. Between 1967 and 1976, the journal appeared under the title Negro American Literature Forum and for the next fifteen years was titled Black American Literature Forum. In 1992, African American Review changed its name for a third time and expanded its mission to include the study of a broader array of cultural formations. Currently, the journal prints essays on African American literature, theatre, film, the visual arts, and culture generally; interviews; poetry; fiction; and book reviews. AAR has received three American Literary Magazine Awards for Editorial Content in the 1990s.
AAR is published at Indiana State University, a state-assisted Doctoral II institution in the west-central part of the state which enrolls approximately 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The largest of the University's seven academic units is the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses twenty-three departments and several research centers, and is home to more than forty percent of the University's declared majors, as well as African American Review.