Re: The new Am. Anthropologist

wilkr (wilkr@INDIANA.EDU)
Thu, 6 Oct 1994 10:24:34 -0500

Lee -

There are, I think, plenty of people who are holding their breath to see
where the AA goes. But I think a lot of people are also hoping for some
change, in that the old format was pretty stale and boring. I like the
format changes, but I was very disturbed by the slant and content of many
of the papers - but I don't expect to agree with everything I read in
there (though I also expect it to be in some way new - and most of this
stuff was pretty stale - Gossen's piece would not have been out of place
in a 1960 issue of the journal).

But I have had some recent, personal experience wiht the heavy editorial
hand of the Tedlocks. They cut a paragraph of a book review I wrote,
without telling me. I didn't see it until the galleys. They didn't like
my opinion in the paragraph. Some colleagues tell me that I was being
pretty obnoxious in that paragraph, but others think I was expressing a
legitimate opinion about the book and its place in the discipline. In any
case, editors should discuss such changes with authors before sending
galleys. The Tedlocks have since told me they will be personally editing
all book reviews to take out anything which, in their opinion, denigrates
or dismisses other anthropologists or sub-fields.

I have not brought this to anthro-l, though it has taken a lot of myy
time in the last 2 weeks, because I am taking my complaint through formal
channels first. I will be writing a letter to the newsletter though. And
I will privately send Lee more details on my ccommunication with the

I strongly encourage people with beefs about the AA to write letters to
the newsletter, or to go to the AAA Committee on Scientific Communication
(which oversees the AA and chooses the editors). The chair of that
committee is Wendy Ashmore, at U. Penn..


Richard Wilk Anthropology Dept.
812-855-8162 (voice) Indiana University
812-855-4358 (fax) Bloomington, IN 47405