2016 Call for Editor-In-Chief, American Anthropologist

AA branding banner 

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. Letters of interest and nominations should be sent electronically to Jennie Simpson, AAA Publications Department (, and Janet Dixon Keller, AA Editor Search Committee Chair (, by January 31, 2015. Candidates will be contacted and asked to submit a vision statement and responses to several standard questions, a C.V. with the names and contact information for 3 scholars who can provide letters of reference, and a letter outlining institutional support by March 31, 2015. Interviews with finalists will be conducted in the Fall of 2015. 

List of Criteria for Assessing Candidates

A vision for a strong and vital journal representing the full array of subdisciplines and achieving intellectual leadership nationally and internationally.

  • Good organizational and managerial skills including an appreciation of and aptitude for the everyday tasks of editing (the review process, overseeing production, managing budgets and workflow, collaborating with associate editors and staff, delegating responsibilities as appropriate, and communicating effectively with authors, reviewers, the Anthropological Communications Committee, and the AAA Executive Board).
  • An excellent scholarly publication record including experience with journal publishing through one's own scholarship.
  • Familiarity with academic editing such as prior editorial service for a journal, guest editing of a special issue or editing scholarly volumes.
  • An appreciation for anthropology broadly as demonstrated by the candidate's own scholarship, strong professional networks across multiple subdisciplines, or other relevant aspects of the candidate's professional experience or trajectory. Commitment to the value of anthropology as a field encompassing diverse subdisciplines with special interest in increasing representation of scholarly contributions in those areas currently less visible in the journal, and experience working both within and across subdisciplines.
  • Demonstrable evidence of interest in and vision regarding directions and challenges in scholarly publishing including digital opportunities such as video abstracts, virtual issues, and electronic subscriptions, as well as possibilities for open access, sustainability, new marketing ideas, and expanded readerships.
  • Evidence of institutional good will and support for the editorship including wherever possible: graduate assistants, space for housing the journal, travel support, designated computer(s), and released time. (Note that AAA will work with the Editor-in-Chief's institution to insure core support for the journal operations is provided).

Search Committee Roster


Janet Dixon Keller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Elizabeth Cashdan, University of Utah

Agustin Fuentes, University of Notre Dame

Alexandra "Misty" Jaffe, California State University Long Beach

Michael Montoya, University of California – Irvine

Daniel A Segal, Pitzer College

Drexel Woodson, University of Arizona

Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan

Liaison to ACC

Alex W Barker, University of Missouri (Term ends Nov 2014)

Mark Aldenderfer, University of California- Merced (Term begins Nov 2014)

AAA Staff

Oona Schmid, Director, Publishing, American Anthropological Association


Visit the American Anthropologist page on the AAA website.