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New Issue of Open Anthropology

Open Anthropology

Open Anthropology, a digital-only publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its latest issue. In World on the Move: Migration Stories, editor Alisse Waterston (CUNY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice) offers thirteen articles and two book reviews of anthropological works on the movement and circulation of people, ideas, languages and objects, and the human stories that reveal these processes. This issue also sheds light on current humanitarian crises and legislative debates related to migration.

Waterston curates a set of articles that explore the social and cultural aspects of migration across the globe and over time. “In the midst of contentious debates about immigrants and immigration law, anthropology provides an important framework for understanding. It resists the narrow view, asks the tough questions, contextualizes phenomena, gathers the evidence, studies and analyzes it, develops reasoned argument, and only then comes to judgment,” writes Dr. Waterston in her accompanying editorial.

At a time when immigration catalyzes human rights debates and the movement of people around the world has changed the global landscape, Open Anthropology provides a cross-cultural and historical perspective on migration. It also anticipates the upcoming AAA Public Education Initiative on migration, currently in development.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and made freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months for users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics that are of interest to the general public, educators, advocates and public policy makers.

Open Anthropology is available at www.aaaopenanthro.org

Help us name-storm

The AAA received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to build a book review prototype. But “Book Review Prototype,” as a name, lacks the je ne sais quoi  we need to describe a new digital platform that publishes open access book reviews and wraps up new Web 2.0 functionality (like commenting tools, cover .gifs, and links to purchase books).

AAA and the prototype’s new editor, Justin Shaffner, want to hear which name do you like?

AAA Welcomes Justin Shaffner as Book Review Editor for Digital Book Review Process

The American Anthropological Association has named Justin Shaffner as Book Review Editor for its new digital book review platform. This innovative project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Justin ShaffnerJustin is currently completing his PhD thesis in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He previously studied anthropology and philosophy at the University of Virginia.

He brings to the AAA Book Review editorship nearly fifteen years of experience in academic publishing, as well as involvement in various other digital projects, such as the Open Anthropology Cooperative and The Melanesian. Some of the former includes working with Prickly Pear Pamphlets (1999-2004), helping to ­found two open ­access journals, OAC Press (2009-2014) and Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory (2011), and being assistant (2003-2005) and associate editor (2009-2015) for Anthropology and Humanism, the journal of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, a section of the AAA.

He conducted 18 months of fieldwork (2006-2008) with Marind speakers living in Middle Fly and Lake Murray region of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. His research focused on the experiences of kamok-anim, or community leaders, as they attempted to elicit and maintain productive relations across various global alliances, from regional ritual networks to relations with transnational mining and logging corporations, NGOs, and the state.

His doctoral thesis takes the Marind concept of “dema” (cf. Van Baal 1966) as a starting point to analyze and describe the trans-­Fly, which spans both sides of the international border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, as a complex regional system. Taking inspiration from the Melanesian philosopher Bernard Narokobi (1977), he attempts to take the concept seriously, not as a “religion” (cf. Jensen 1963), but rather as a geo­philosophy, or philosophy of nature, in its own right, one which affords an opportunity to re­describe the environment, history, and political economy of the region.

More recently, his ethnographic research has served as impetus for co-organizing (with Rachel Douglas-Jones, Casper Bruun Jensen, and Brit Ross Winthereik) a workshop in Copenhagen in 2015 on capacity building, “Hope and Insufficiency: Capacity Building in Ethnographic Comparison.” The international workshop, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, seeks to bring into dialogue scholars whose work offers a comparative basis for analyzing capacity building from which to advance the first edited volume dedicated to theorizing capacity building in ethnographic comparison.

New Book on Race Now Available

2nd Ed. How Real is Race?A Second Edition of How Real is Race? A Sourcebook on Race, Culture and Biology [Mukhopadhyay, Henze, Moses] is now available.

Authors Carol C. Mukhopadhyay, Rosemary Henze and Yolanda T. Moses employ an activity-oriented, biocultural, approach to address the question How real is race? What is biological fact, what is fiction, and where does culture, enter? What do we mean when we say race is a “social construction?

The new edition adds cutting edge material on human biological variation, expands coverage on the social, structural, power, and inequality dimensions of race, goes beyond Black/White dimensions, and has a new chapter, “When is it racism? Who is a racist”. Visit the new book website for an online supplement with “hot” weblinks, a comments page, and other resources, including for pre-college educators.

Humanities E-Book releases Round 11

The American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book (HEB) released Round 11 of their online collection this August. These 353 titles bring the total of the volumes in the collection to 4,315. The new round includes additional titles from two of HEB’s original publishing partners, Oxford University Press and Harvard University Press, as well as books from new partners such as University of Toronto Press and Michigan State University Press.

All the titles in Humanities E-Book are available to American Anthropological Association members. The American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book (HEB) makes individual subscriptions available through standing membership in any of the 72 ACLS constituent societies.

The subscription offers unlimited access to 4,300 cross-searchable, full-text titles across the humanities and related social sciences. The titles in HEB have been selected and peer reviewed by ACLS constituent learned societies for their continued value in teaching and researching. The collection comprises both in- and out-of-print titles ranging from the 1880s through the present, and includes many prize-winning works.

Individual subscriptions are ideal for those whose school might not yet have an institutional subscription to HEB or for individual members of a learned society who might not be affiliated with a subscribing institution. (A full list of subscribing institutions can be found on the HEB website.) Individual subscriptions are USD $40.00 for a twelve-month subscription. AAA members can sign up via the HEB website.

For more information about individual subscriptions, contact subscriptions@hebook.org.

2016 Call for Editor-In-Chief, American Anthropologist

The American Anthropological Association seeks applications for a new Editor-in-Chief of the discipline’s flagship journal, the American Anthropologist, for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2016. Now in its second century of continuous publication, the American Anthropologist publishes articles, reviews, and commentaries from the diverse anthropological community. It is the most widely circulated anthropology journal published by the American Anthropological Association and showcases the breadth of the discipline.

Editorship of the journal provides a unique opportunity for an anthropologist to be a central player in anthropological scholarship shaping the discipline’s identity, impacting the future of anthropology, and initiating and participating in transnational dialogues. The editor is not expected to have expertise in all subfields of anthropology, but to be interested in creatively developing vital conversations within and across fields and national boundaries that will invigorate and contribute positively to the landscape for the transmission of knowledge and collaborative engagement. Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative and creative approaches that will allow them as Editor-in-Chief to put their own stamp on the journal. Editors are encouraged to solicit articles and contributions for special sections, and to develop issues of the journal that highlight critical topics in anthropology and in public debate. As the publishing field continues to develop the editor should also embrace new digital forms for scholarly content and build best practices for collaborative editorial team engagement. Above all, the AAA Executive Board seeks an Editor-in-Chief who will maintain the journal as a leader in intellectual and scholarly advances.

The AAA appreciates support from candidates’ institutions and is especially aware of the importance of institutional recognition of the intellectual leadership and challenges entailed by the Editor-in-Chief’s position and responsibilities. Graduate assistant support and adequate space to house the journal are highly desirable with other kinds of institutional support significant for the success of operations. Candidates who are unable to get substantial institutional support, however, will also be considered with the expectation that AAA will work with the institution to insure core working needs are provided for. The position of Editor-in-Chief is a four-year appointment.

Click here for application and submission details.

American Anthropological Association Pioneers Digital Book Review Process

An innovative new platform for producing scholarly book reviews will be developed with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) announced today. “The new platform will reduce editorial turn-around time and expense, increase readership, and introduce dynamic content,” said Oona Schmid, AAA’s publishing director.

Using the current print-centric process, only a small fraction of books mailed out by presses results in a published book review. And even among these published reviews, they often appear at least one year – and sometimes up to four years – after a book’s publication. By using a completely digital workflow, the AAA will provide book authors with a wider audience and an opportunity for social engagement, as well as reducing costs for scholarly presses and the journals featuring reviews.

“Using digital information technology to improve the book review process is a potential game changer for academic publishing,” says Josh Greenberg, Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Scholarly Communication program. “It’s better for authors. It’s better for reviewers. It’s better for publishers. And most of all, it’s better for science, because it encourages and supports the debate, discussion, and evaluation that is the cornerstone of good scholarship. We’re honored to support the American Anthropological Association’s efforts to bring scholarly book reviewing into the digital age.”

The platform will expand the open source Open Journals System from the Public Knowledge Project. Once released, the platform will be available to any discipline or journal using OJS software. Freie Universität Berlin provided PKP with the original iteration of the Objects for Review plugin, and provides active guidance in the prototype development. Publishers will upload book descriptions into the system along with digital versions that will be electronically available to authorized reviewers. Reviewers will then upload their reviews into the database for approval and eventual publication online at the award-winning Anthropology News website.

Five university presses pledged early support of the platform, with more expressing great interest – University of Chicago Press, University of Nebraska Press, University of New Mexico Press, University Press of Colorado, and the University Press of Florida. The presses emphasized the need for improvements in the existing process. Darrin Pratt, Director at the University Press of Colorado, is looking forward to helping pioneer this “radically new workflow for scholarly book reviews.” Pratt notes, “the slow turnaround for book reviews in academic journals…is maddening for university presses.” He can recall titles that were reviewed so long after publication that the books were no longer in print. Pratt’s counterpart, John Byram, Director at University of New Mexico Press, also echoes frustration with the timely process. Byram anticipates “that these efforts will result in a more efficient, cost-effective, and accessible workflow process for a wide variety of international stakeholders.”

“This is an exciting time for publishing,” said Schmid. “The Sloan Foundation is providing the means for participating publishers and the Association to catalyze book reviews into a vibrant part of scholarly discourse.” Work will begin immediately to build the platform’s prototype version. By mid-2015 the prototype and new process with undergo evaluation to determine areas of improvement.

The prototype is expected to launch later this year.

Read more about the initiative in an article by Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle for Higher Education.

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