1969—Stonewall, British troops sent to Northern Ireland, Equal Employment Opportunity, Biafra, Woodstock, Shirley Chisholm becomes the first Black congresswoman, the Apollo 11 moon landing, combat deaths in Vietnam exceed those in Korea, Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, Chappaquiddick, clearing the charred debris from the previous summer’s uprisings across US cities. In the context of upheavals, domestic and global, anthropologists embarked on more reflexive conversations about the discipline’s racial and colonial practices, and its construction as a scientific endeavor. In 1969, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) initiated efforts to increase the number of students and faculty from racially minoritized backgrounds and to broaden the impact of their work on the discipline.
Fifty years later, Anthropology News (AN) invites members to reflect critically on where the field has been, where it is now, and where it is headed. Where is anthropology in 2019 compared with where it was in 1969? What were the central themes and critical conversations taking place in the discipline then and now? Can we pause and consider just what “decolonizing” anthropology means and entails in the current political moment? What issues are arising from gender and sexual violence, racism, equity and labor concerns, citation practices, and innovations around reflexivity and experimental ethnography?
Multiple groups are working to ensure that inclusivity is not just a superficial diversity project, but rather an opportunity to critically reexamine the discipline’s past, present, and future. This involves a reconsideration of the ways minoritized and marginalized anthropologists have contributed to and shaped the discipline through their theoretical insights and innovations as well as public scholarship and scholar activism. Some are tackling the range of recent and related threads and discussions/posts regarding disciplinary culture and structural impediments that lead to exclusionary practices. In this call we ask you, anthropologists, to take stock and to address what exactly, we (as individuals and institutions) have done and could do, to not simply remain relevant in the future but also to reimagine what that future could be.
AN invites critical proposals that engage with these ongoing conversations, in the form of feature articles (by individuals, groups, author pairings that span generations), graphic forms of ethnography, and photo essays.
Please send a 250-word pitch outlining the story or argument of your piece, together with a 50-word author bio to [email protected] by October 5.
First drafts will be due by November 12 and will go through a developmental edit with the AN editor. Final articles will publish in the March/April print magazine and on the AN website.
Anthropology News editor, Natalie Konopinski, and advisory board: Jane Eva-Baxter, Agustín Fuentes, Sallie Han, Natalie Hanson, Jonathan Rosa, Paul Stoller, Gina Athena Ulysse, and Bianca Williams.