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If you are submitting a manuscript to the peer-reviewed journal Cultural Anthropology, please see the submission guidelines below before uploading your manuscript through Open Journal Systems (OJS). To inquire about submitting a photo essay, please contact

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Submission Guidelines for Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology, the journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA), publishes ethnographic writing informed by a wide array of theoretical perspectives, innovative in form and content, and focused on both traditional and emerging topics. It also welcomes essays concerned with theoretical issues, with ethnographic methods and research design in historical perspective, and with ways cultural analysis can address broader public audiences and interests. The following criteria are used to orient the reviews of the editors and reviewers.

A submission to Cultural Anthropology should . . .

  1. Be more than a solid ethnographic case study; we are looking for works that offer conceptual reach and comparative relevance to a broader anthropological audience.
  2. Offer a rigorous analytical approach and clear argument. Introducing a novel concept is less important to us than demonstrating one’s capacity for careful bridgework between the intricacies of field experience and relevant conversations in anthropology and the human sciences.
  3. Be able to explain its thematic urgency, unique intervention, and intellectual currency; awareness of earlier trends is appreciated but manuscripts must also connect clearly to contemporary and emergent areas of interest within the discipline.
  4. Be aware of research outside the author’s core networks. We especially welcome works that take alternative viewpoints seriously into account.
  5. Engage field research; even though we welcome, for example, historically attentive, critically minded, and conceptually ambitious manuscripts, we have a strong preference for fieldwork-driven articles in which ethnography plays a generative role with respect to analysis and argumentation. Creative interpretations as to what counts as “the field” are welcome.
  6. Build arguments with claims proportional to data offered.
  7. Suggest a reflexive attentiveness to issues of research, design, and methodology.

Cultural Anthropology is not currently accepting proposals for special issues, special sections, or book reviews.

Submission Policy

SCA members help to support the publication of Cultural Anthropology through their membership dues. Authors who are members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), but not of the SCA, must become members of the SCA before their manuscripts will be considered. To join the SCA, please go the membership page on the AAA website. Authors who are not members of the AAA may pay a submission fee of $21.00 in lieu of becoming a member of the AAA and SCA. To pay the submission fee, please send a request for instructions to The fee is only required for an original submission, not for revised and resubmitted manuscripts. For more information, see our announcement about the submission policy.

Submitting A Manuscript

The target length of your initial submission should be 8,000 words including notes and references. Manuscripts over 8,500 words will be returned for further editing. Articles accepted for publication will be given more space, negotiated on a case by case basis, to take reviewers' suggestions into account.

You must submit your manuscript online to the editors through Open Journal Systems (OJS). If you have difficulty using this system, please email for technical assistance. Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously. Please prepare your manuscript to facilitate the double-blind review. Avoid references to your own work or cite it formally without self-reference. Manuscripts submitted to Cultural Anthropology should not be under simultaneous consideration by any other journal or have been published elsewhere.

Revised Submissions

Revised submissions must include a detailed cover letter indicating the changes made to a manuscript, and how the author has responded to the comments of the reviewers and any editors comments. Authors must upload revisions to OJS as a new submission, with a note including the previous OJS manuscript ID#.

Abstract and Keywords

Abstracts and keywords should be carefully thought out and precise. Abstracts will be used to draw in potential reviewers and readers. Keywords have a significant impact on how widely read your article will be when electronic searches are done. All submissions must include an abstract and keywords.


Cultural Anthropology follows the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., University of Chicago Press, 2010) for most matters of style, including hyphenation, capitalization, punctuation, abbreviations, and grammar, and Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary (1993) for spelling. Manuscripts must comply with Chicago-style guidelines in order to pass through our initial internal review process. Manuscripts must be typed double-spaced and in a 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman or equivalent. This applies to block quotes and excerpts, notes, references, tables, and figure captions. Margins throughout the manuscript (top, bottom, and both sides) must be at least 1 inch; the right margin should not be justified.


Citations and reference lists should use Chicago's author–date format (see Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, author–date tab). References appearing in the bibliography must be cited in text, and vice versa. In text, references are cited in parentheses, with last name(s), year of publication, and where necessary, page numbers. The reference list should be ordered alphabetically by author's last name; author on one line, primary author last name first; date of publication indented on the next line, followed by title and then publisher's city and name. All subsequent lines should be indented beyond the date. No underlining or boldface should be used in the reference list.


No more than five images can be included with your submission. Images should not be embedded in your manuscript, but uploaded separately. In the manuscript, please indicate where you would like each image to appear by adding in-text callouts between paragraphs: for example, "<IMAGE 1 HERE>." Then, once you have uploaded the manuscript to OJS, you should upload the images and a Word document with captions for each image as supplementary files.

In the Word document, please also indicate the source of each image and whether you: 1) are the creator of the image; 2) have permission from the copyright holder to use the image; or 3) believe there is a fair use case for publishing the image. Large, high-resolution image files are always preferable; please contact for further instructions if your files are too large to upload to OJS.


Tables should be embedded in your text. Number tables consecutively in the order in which they appear in text. Each table should have a caption. The caption and body of the table should be double-spaced.

Text Boxes

Text boxes (for historical contextualization, for example) can either be embedded in your text or uploaded as a supplementary file, which should indicate where in the text it would best fit. Text boxes should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in text.

Contact Information

Questions can be addressed to the managing editor, Marcel LaFlamme, at