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Public Anthropologist

Editor-in-Chief: Antonio De Lauri
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.

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.
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