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From the Associate Editors

of American Anthropologist


From the Associate Editor for Biological

University of Notre Dame
As an anthropologist who specializes in questions that circle around evolutionary and biocultural facets of humanity, I am a biological anthropologist. I truly love anthropology in the broadest possible sense, even to the point
of reading across subdisciplinary and other archaic divides
on purpose and for fun. I am honored to be asked to
be an associate editor for American Anthropologist. American Anthropologist is the flagship journal of our discipline
and main organization: it should be publishing the best
articles in anthropology. As Associate Editor for Biological Anthropology, I want to facilitate the increase in submissions from that broad cluster of practitioners who call
themselves biological anthropologists. Simultaneously, I
want to assist in showing the large number of anthropologists who are not inclined toward questions involving
biological intersections that there is a great and underutilized space of overlap and engagement for them in topics and perspectives traditionally associated with biological
I completed a B.A. in zoology and anthropology and an
M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Despite the ridiculous level of infighting in that department, Ias did so many of my
graduate cohortbenefited enormously from the amazing
minds, intellectual diversity, and critical intersectionality
that emerged from the faculty, students, and overall environment at Berkeley in the 1980s and 1990s. The experience
seared into my mind the indelible desire for a contextual,
critical, and informed anthropology that is intellectually

stimulating and that has real-world relevance. Following

graduation and after teaching a year and half at UCB, I
taught six years at a midtier state school (Central Washington University); since then, I have taught at a major private university (University of Notre Dame). Experiencing,
practicing, and teaching anthropology at diverse institutions across thousands of students and a varied assortment
of faculty colleagues only served to reinforce my love of a
truly generous and integrative anthropology.
My current work includes projects examining the evolution of cooperation and social complexity in human and
primate societies; interrelations between physiologies, behavior, and ecologies in humans and primates; and the
humannonhuman animal interface. I am also engaged
in open-ended research examining emergent complexities in evolutionary theory and philosophy of science.
All of these research interests, by default, require me to
read and think across multiple arbitrary boundaries of
You should care about American Anthropologist because
there is a problem in talking, reading, and engaging
across traditional divides in anthropology, which weakens us all. American Anthropologist goes to every member
of the American Anthropological Association. It is critical that biological anthropologists start submitting, at
a higher rate, manuscripts that demonstrate the depth
and breadth of current research, theory, and practice in
our (broad) area. Having anthropologists outside your
own arena of interest reading your work can result
in enhanced cross-fertilization within the discipline, on
the whole enabling improved research and theoretical

C 2008 by the American Anthropological Association.

AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, Vol. 110, Issue 2, pp. 171174, ISSN 0002-7294 online ISSN 1548-1433. 
All rights reserved. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1433.2008.00022.x


American Anthropologist Vol. 110, No. 2 June 2008

advancement for biological anthropology as well as other

Please seriously consider two things: (1) submitting
high-quality bioanthropological manuscripts to American Anthropologist and (2) reading articles in American

Anthropologist even when they are not clearly of your

Feel free to contact me with any and all comments or questions on this topic at afuentes@nd.edu.

From the Associate Editor for Practicing

Center for Political Ecology
I am delighted and honored to be asked to serve as the
Practicing Anthropology Associate Editor for American Anthropologist, and appreciate this opportunity to introduce
myself and this new dimension of the AA Editorial Board.
I am the senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology (Santa Cruz, California), an independent
actionresearch collective where, since 1991, I have conducted human rights and environment research at the
request of affected communities and with the support of
private foundations. I am also an adjunct professor at
Michigan State University, and I have taught anthropology
and environmental studies at a number of universities and
colleges in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
In the 1980s, I worked as an archaeologist in the U.S. Virgin Islands, developing a preliminary database of prehistoric sites on 110 islands and cays while also conducting
research in support of my cultural ecology M.A. (San Jose
State University 1981) and political ecology Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1987). In the 1990s, I helped
develop a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Society for Applied
Anthropology to provide social science expertise to communities, agencies, and institutions involved in environmental health, impact assessment, planning, policy, and
problem-solving processes that include source water protection, environmental risk and hazards management, sustainable development, and ecological restoration efforts. As
the Environmental Anthropology Project Director, I drafted
research proposals and scope of work contracts, and I su-

pervised the work and work products of 30-plus interns,

fellows, and technical consultants working in collaborative and participatory projects with communities, organizations, and tribal governments across the nation. During
this time, I also served on the AAA Committee for Human
Rights (CfHR) and conducted research through the CfHR
and the Center for Political Ecology on the human and environmental impacts and consequential damages of nuclear
weapons testing, human radiation experimentation, involuntary resettlement, and large-dam development. In recent
years, I have advised the World Commission on Dams on
reparations and the right to remedy, served as an advisor
and expert witness for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims
Tribunal, and advised dam-affected communities and their
advocates in Guatemala.
The point of this personal detail? In my career, I have
found incredible power in the four-field nature of our discipline and its central tenant of holistic research, and I
have applied this four-field approach within the classroom,
in my publications, and in my consultative relationships.
For me, practicing anthropology is not a fifth field but,
rather, a common dimension of all anthropological work.
As a term and a subject area, practicing anthropology refers
to that broad array of research, methods, and outcomes
conducted inside and outside of academia with an explicit
problematized focus, often in collaborative and participatory contexts, with the goal of further understanding the
human experience and with the aim of seeking some sort
of meaningful resolution or remedial outcome. I encourage
your submissions on the praxis, theoretical insights, and
social impacts of doing anthropology, and I look forward
to working with you. Write to me at bjohnston@igc.org.

From the Associate Editor for Linguistic

University of Chicago
In agreeing to serve in what could easily be a thankless
position, my pleasure is anticipatory: working with AA

Editor-in-Chief Tom Boellstorff and the very distinguished

other AA Associate Editors to flag and promote the best
work for our associations flagship journal. I have devoted a considerable fraction of my own professional efforts over the years to that silent partnership of assistance to

Fuentes et al.
others writing and publication projects, which I consider
the essence of good editorship; indeed, I am perhaps more
gratified by my shadow CV of acknowledgments in publications by students and colleagues than by my own publication record. I would hope that I can transfer that kind of
collaborative encouragement to my editorial role at American Anthropologist.
To my view, there has been a great turnaround in the
relations between the area of my charge, linguistic anthropology, and the other areas of our collective anthropological purview. Starting almost a half-century ago, great
figures central to midcentury anthropology, such as John
Gumperz and Dell Hymes, attracted to our disciplinary
conversation concern for the social life of language-in-use
as a kind of program and paradigm for reintegration of
language into studies of culture; with a political economy
edge, it has become a practice anthropology of discourse.
The conversation has since been strengthened and deepened in broader, semiotic, dialectical, and, indeed, political
economic turns. A hundred years ago, among the original Boasian four fields, anthropological linguistics had
already long been concerned with the grammatical, lexical, and historical-classificatory analysis of the languages
used by the peoples whom anthropologists at that time
studied, a philology of the oppressed in the colonial and
imperial order as we might see it, shading off into folk-

From the Associate Editors


loristics, ethno- and prehistory, and issues of languageculture-race (i.e., ethnic and ethnonational identity).
These perduring anthropological issues remain part of our
charge, only recentered by the conceptual and theoretical
framings of our present-day disciplinary conversations, of
which there are so many interesting and fruitful areas to
So I very much want to emphasize that American Anthropologist should be a publication venue for linguistic anthropologists to reflect the ever-increasing reintegration of
thinking about anthropological problems of interest to students of other specialties through the focus of language
and discourse. Of course, there are now numerous journals across the range of the social sciences of language
anthropological linguistics, linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, and sociology of languagededicated to
discipline-specific findings and debate. But along with
these, I want to assert the importance of publication in this
journal as a way of keeping before the writerreadership the
centrality of language in sociocultural life and in the history (and prehistory) of social formations. I want to serve as
an editorial advocate for individual essays and reports, for
organized clusters of articles, and for other creative publication types in these pages that are inclusively dedicated to all
anthropology. Contact me at m-silverstein@uchicago.edu
with your ideas, please!

From the Associate Editor for Archaeology

University of Michigan
I am delighted to join the AA Editorial Board as AA Associate Editor for Archaeology and to have this opportunity
to introduce myself. I also would like to use this occasion to
invite archaeologists of all theoretical persuasions and research specializations to consider contributing to American
Within the broad scope of contemporary anthropological archaeology, my research focuses geographically on Asia
(particularly South Asia) and intellectually on a range of
questions related to the study of what archaeologists often
refer to as complex societies: from emergent territorial
polities to historic empires. Much of my fieldwork and writing has focused on questions of political economy and the
study of craft production and craft producers in the 14th
through 16th century South Indian Vijayanagara Empire,
where I also explored the intersections of textual and material sources in the study of the human past. More recently
my research has shifted further into South Indias past to
the study of emergent social and political inequalities in
the first millennium B.C.E. Here, I continue my interests
in craft and political economy and am increasingly drawn

to broader questions concerning material culture and its

constitutive role in human experience. I was trained in a
broad four-field anthropology department and now teach
in that same department. Both of these experiences have
affirmed in me a profound commitment to a holistic approach to anthropology and to the value of bringing broad
comparative perspective to bear in my own research and
So why should archaeologists publish in American Anthropologist? Recently, I was invited to meet with an interdisciplinary graduate student class on museums to discuss how contemporary archaeologists approach the study
of material culture. In a wide-ranging discussion with
scholars from multiple social sciences and humanities, we
touched on such topics as the nature of archaeological research, the breadth of contemporary analytical and theoretical approaches, and the ethical and practical strategies and obligations of conducting research among and
communicating with diverse local communities, from descendent communities to national governments. At the end
of an intense three-hour discussion, the most common reaction was Wow, I had no idea that archaeology touched
on so many issues (with the unspoken addendum, that
are also of interest to me). Although this group included


American Anthropologist Vol. 110, No. 2 June 2008

many nonanthropologists, I expect that this experience is

similar to ones that many of us have had with our anthropology colleagues and students. My point is that many
of the issues we address as archaeologists speak directly to
larger discussions across our discipline, and that anthropology as a whole is richer when we speak and listen to each
other and when we pay serious attention to those places
where our various subdisciplinary approaches intersect, as
well as to those where they do not.
Thus, I would like to invite you to consider submitting
articles to the journal that speak to the richness and breadth

of contemporary archaeological research. Along with expanding the visibility of archaeology in the journal overall,
I also hope that we can expand the representation of different kinds of archaeologies, both as they are practiced within
the United States, where the majority of AAA members reside, and as they are practiced around the world by scholars
from a broad range of intellectual traditions.
I look forward to this opportunity to work with the
editorial board and with you. Please feel free to contact me
with any and all questions and suggestions at sinopoli@

From the Associate Editor for Sociocultural

Hampshire College
I am honored to be invited to serve as the AA Associate
Editor for Sociocultural Anthropology. I am professor of
anthropology and dean of the School of Social Science at
Hampshire College, where I have also served for the past
five years as director of the Culture, Brain, and Development Program, an initiative that promotes interdisciplinary
research and teaching at the intersection of anthropology,
developmental psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and related fields. My involvement with this program grew out of collaborative teaching and research with a
developmental psychologist and a very productive teaching
collaboration over many years with a biocultural anthropologist. These experiences are relevant to my new role as
Associate Editor for Sociocultural Anthropology of American
Anthropologist, by which I hope to encourage sociocultural
anthropologists to increase their submissions, both as a way
of showcasing the range of research and theory in this key
subfield and as a way of strengthening a journal that has
a unique capability to bring the subfields of anthropology
into conversation at a time when seemingly more distant
disciplines are working across disciplinary boundaries in
highly productive ways.
A brief history: I completed a B.A. in religion and philosophy at Barnard and a Ph.D. in anthropology at University of California at Berkeley. As a student at Berkeley

in the late 1960s, I experienced first hand the powerful

wave of criticism directed at the discipline from within and
its move toward a more informed, politically relevant, and
critical anthropology. Part of this critique involved a turn
toward doing anthropology at home, and my own research in the 1970s and 1980s focused on the use of lower
courts by low-income residents of a New England town to
create community and identity by marginalizing ethnic minorities. My current work includes projects examining the
production of a global market in adoptable children, the
tensions and conjunctions between adoption policy and
immigration policy in the United States and Sweden, and,
more generally, technologies of knowledge production in
ethnography and law. I have carried out fieldwork in Sweden, India, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, as well as in
the United States. In the American Anthropological Association, I was president of the Association of Political and
Legal Anthropologists from 2000 to 2003. I have also been
active in the Law and Society Association, where I served
on the board of trustees, as secretary, and as book review
editor of the Law and Society Review.
I look forward to working with AA Editor-in-Chief Tom
Boellstorff, the other associate editors, and members of the
editorial board in this exciting new venture, and encourage
all of you to take part as well by submitting your strongest
sociocultural manuscripts to American Anthropologist. Please
contact me at byngvesson@hampshire.edu with your comments and suggestions.