Public Anthropologist

Editor-in-Chief: Antonio De Lauri
Individuals are eligible for free access to Public Anthropologist until 31 December 2020, using access token PUAN4U. Click here for more information.

Anthropologists have long engaged communities and topics that are central to contemporary debates. Through ethnographic research, they aim to understand how people’s everyday lives are shaped by and in turn shape larger structural forces. However, although cultural and social anthropology have produced many insights to help us understand the world in which we live, anthropologists have mostly turned their conceptual and therefore ethical gaze inward, with few notable exceptions. Public Anthropologist, an international, peer-reviewed journal, opens the possibility for dialogue and debates that are timely and socially and politically challenging. It creates a hybrid, critical space between the ponderous nature of traditional academic journals and the immediacy of blogs, newspapers, and experts’ accounts. The journal examines the issues of our time in a way that both encourages and scrutinizes a diverse range of shifts outwards from the purely academic realm towards wider publics and counter-publics engaged in cultural and political exchanges and collective collaborations for change. This approach implicitly interrogates the implications and expectations of anthropology’s public presence.

Public Anthropologist boldly and candidly confronts conditions of violence, inequality, and injustice and explores ways in which anthropology might generate public awareness and have an impact on political change. The journal is interested in the space in which newspapers, television, political actors, new media, activists, experts, and academics continually mobilize positions that support or challenge dominant narratives.

The editors believe it is time to definitively push anthropology beyond its association with elitism (and its colonial legacy) and to make it relevant not only for understanding cultural difference, but also for making a difference.

In its journey into the dilemmas and challenges of the contemporary world, Public Anthropologist avoids standardizing intellectual efforts into specifically formatted articles. Rather, it welcomes diversity and creative writing. Articles published in the journal should be accessible yet authoritative, appealing yet not sensationalist. A submission must be the work of a specialist, but without jargon; methodologically rigorous, and yet politically engaging.

The editors invite articles and special issues committed to making anthropology speak directly to other scholars and to the wider public on issues related to war, rights, poverty, security, access to resources, new technologies, freedom, human exploitation, health, humanitarianism, violence, racism, migration and diaspora, crime, social class, hegemony, environmental challenges, social movements, and activism. We encourage both ethnographic and more theoretical submissions. Although the journal mainly focuses on contemporary issues, we also welcome submissions that adopt a historical perspective. In addition, submissions of interviews or conversations between anthropologists and journalists, activists, political actors, or artists on different topics at the core of the journal’s interests will be considered. The journal also publishes reviews of books, films, and documentaries that deal with relevant challenges and opportunities of our time and encourages reviews of both scholarly works and fictional literature as well as the work of activists, journalists, and artists. Reviews of non-English materials may be submitted.

Public Anthropologist addresses a broad readership of social and cultural anthropologists, sociologists, ethnographers, political scientists, social and cultural historians, political historians, political actors, policy makers, activists, journalists, and artists.

Articles should be between 6000 and 9000 words in length. Reviews should comprise between 1000 and 2000 words. Interviews/conversations should not exceed a maximum of 2500 words.

Visit the Public Anthropologist blog for lively conversations, original posts, comments on work published in the journal, previews of Tables of Contents, and more!

For editorial queries and proposals, please contact the editor-in-chief, Antonio De Lauri.

For review queries, please contact the review editors, John-Andrew McNeish and Andrea Steinke.

NOW AVAILABLE - Online submission: Articles for publication in Public Anthropologist can be submitted online through Editorial Manager, please click here.

Public Anthropologist Award (PUAN-A)
PUAN-A is awarded to a social and cultural anthropologist who has published an outstanding contribution that addresses – in innovative, engaging and compelling ways – key societal issues related to one or more of the following topics: violence, war, poverty, social movements, freedom, aid, rights, injustice, inequality, social exclusion, racism, health, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit the PUAN-A web page linked above.

“Sighted” Peer Review
The editors of Public Anthropologist are aware of both the advantages and the limits of blind peer review. In order to promote dynamic exchanges among authors and reviewers, the journal offers “sighted” peer review as an option alongside double-blind peer review. Sighted peer review asks scholars to engage in an open, scientific dialogue. The overall aim is to transform the review process into an open exchange similar to that of a seminar.

The decision to have a submission undergo sighted peer review will be contingent on the explicitly expressed and unqualified willingness of both the author and the reviewers. Absent consent from both sides, double-blind peer review will be the default review model for the journal.

The sighted peer review process works as follows:
Articles will be initially reviewed by members of the editorial team for intrinsic quality, coherence with the aims of the journal, and original contribution to anthropological debates and the advancement of the field. Some submissions will be rejected outright or will be returned with comments and with the recommendation to revise and resubmit. Articles that receive mostly favourable reviews by editorial team members will be reviewed by specialists on the subject. Reviewers will know the names of the authors and will be asked to provide comments and suggestions for minor or more extensive revisions. In turn, authors will know the names of reviewers and will have the opportunity to reply. All exchanges will be monitored and moderated by members of the editorial team. If the editorial team considers comments or responses to be affected by bias or to be expressed in an inappropriate manner, they will request that they be amended or will not forward them. This open review mechanism is based on responsibility, right (to dissent or agree), and awareness.
Norwegian Scientific Register
SocINDEX with Full Text
Sociology Source Ultimate
Online submission: Articles for publication in Public Anthropologist can be submitted online through Editorial Manager, please click here.

Download Author Instructions (PDF).
Antonio De Lauri, Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway)

Review Editors
John-Andrew McNeish, Norwegian University of Life Sciences - NMBU (Norway)
Andrea Steinke, Centre for Humanitarian Action (Germany)

Associate Editors
Mara Benadusi, University of Catania (Italy)
Linda Green, University of Arizona (USA)
Sohini Kar, London School of Economics (UK)
Nichola Khan, University of Brighton (UK)

Advisory Board
Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University (USA)
Irfan Ahmad, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Germany)
Ruben Andersson, University of Oxford (UK)
Sindre Bangstad, KIFO - Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview Research (Norway)
Synnøve Bendixsen, University of Bergen (Norway)
Marie-Benedicte Dembour, Ghent University (Belgium)
Robert Borofsky, Hawaii Pacific University (USA)
Gisela Elvira Canepa Koch, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru)
Sealing Cheng, Chinese University of Hong Kong (China)
Manuela Ivone Cunha, Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia/University of Minho (Portugal)
Jason De León, UCLA (USA)
Olga Demetriou, Durham University (UK)
Lili Di Puppo, NRU Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia)
Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, Indiana University Bloomington (USA)
Didier Fassin, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton (USA)
Ilana Feldman, George Washington University (USA)
Friederike Fleischer, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)
Divine Fuh, University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Alex Golub, University of Hawaiʽi at Mānoa (USA)
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo (Norway)
Barak Kalir, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Tobias Kelly, University of Edinburgh (UK)
Catherine Lutz, Brown University (USA)
Thomas McIlraith, University of Guelph (Canada)
Sally Engle Merry (†), New York University (USA)
Henrietta Moore, University College London (UK)
Mariella Pandolfi, University of Montréal (Canada)
Shalini Randeria, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Austria)
Madeleine Reeves, University of Manchester (UK)
Lisa Ann Richey, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)
Katharina Schramm, University of Bayreuth (Germany)
Rachel Sieder, Center for Research and Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) (Mexico)
Gunnar Sørbø, Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway)
Ann Stoler, The New School for Social Research (USA)
Akio Tanabe, University of Tokyo (Japan)
Inge Tvedten, Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway)