The new Am. Anthropologist

Wed, 5 Oct 1994 15:56:54 CDT

I am surprised by the lack of discussion on this list of the latest
issue of American Anthropologist, the first one produced under the
editorship of the Tedlocks.

Isn't anyone besides me disturbed by this issue? What bothers me
most about it is the heavy editorial hand evidently being taken by
the new editors. I had heard rumors that people (mostly from
biological anthropology) had submitted manuscripts to them, only
to have them returned, unreviewed, with a note to the effect that
they don't match the new editors' vision of the journal. Judging
from the content of the new journal, there is some truth to these
rumors. The issue consists almost entirely of pieces that had to
have been solicited by the editors, not unsolicited pieces submitted
by anthropologists on their own. There are only a few pieces in it
that _may_ have been submitted without solicitation by the editors.

This sort of heavy editorial hand is appropriate, I think, for journals
that are privately produced, but not for the main journal of the
American Anthropological Association. The editors of AA should be
required to send out for peer review absolutely any manuscript they
receive (particularly if it comes from a AAA member), and they should
be bound by the majority vote of the reviewers. It is quite clear
from the content of this first issue that the Tedlocks do not feel
bound in this way.

If anyone besides me feels this way, let's get together. Maybe we
can see to it that the AAA passes bylaws preventing this sort of thing
from happening again. Or maybe we'll just have to form a new
organization of our own, since it is increasingly clear that there is
little room for people like me, people who think that a science of
human affairs is both possible and desirable, in the discipline as it
is becoming.

-Lee Cronk

Lee Cronk
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4352
Office: 409-847-9254
Fax: 409-845-4070