Workshop: How To Write an Article for Cultural Anthropology

Friday December 4, 2009  12:15-1:30 pm; Liberty Ballroom B, 3rd Floor

Cultural Anthropology is the journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, a section of the AAA formed in 1983 by Clifford Geertz, David Schneider and others interested in widening conversation with other disciplines and the field’s repertoire of analytic techniques. The journal itself was founded in 1986 and has become known for stellar ethnographic writing and theorization. 

Cultural Anthropology is a quarterly journal; each issue includes 5-6 scholarly essays, highly interdisciplinary and approximately 12,000 words in length, and expected to be of the highest literary quality. The journal’s essays are long and discursive, aiming to draw readers in and let them figure out and even embody conclusions as they move through the piece.  Experimentalism – methodological, theoretical and textual – is expressly encouraged in Cultural Anthropology essays. 

The journal has published ethnography presented in the form of an epic poem, for example, and an essay written in language specially developed to convey how Cuban-Kongo Palo practitioners encounter “the dead,” and articulate their materiality.  Cultural Anthropology has also published essays focused on emerging political issues, technologies and scientific developments -- including essays on national security (Masco 2008, Lakoff 2008), on genetics (Reddy 2007, Montoya 2007), and on regimes of expert knowledge (Paxson 2008, Campbell & Shaw 2008, Fassin 2008, Holmes 2009). 

Discussion in this workshop will focus on what is expected in Cultural Anthropology essays, on the submission and review process, and on long term goals to build readership and scholarly community.