At any given time, Items features one or more thematic conversations. These include a range of broad areas that concern and/or shape the social sciences—key but contested terms, concepts, fields, and empirical zones of inquiry; the political economy of social knowledge production; changes in the landscape of higher education and the institutional ecology of social science research; the relationship between social knowledge and its uses; and more. For each of these conversations, diverse groups of contributors will write short and engaging essays over a period of a few months.

Featured themes will change as new issues emerge and old ones re-surface. Past themes will become archived, but may be revisited from time to time.