Information for AA authors

American Anthropologist is the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). American Anthropologist follows the mission statement and goals of the AAA by advancing anthropology as a discipline that studies humankind in all its aspects, involving archaeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research. It also attempts to further the professional interests of anthropologists by disseminating anthropological knowledge and illuminating its relevance to human problems.

The editor of the journal seeks to enhance the association’s mission by publishing articles that add to, integrate, synthesize, and interpret anthropological knowledge; essays on issues of importance to the discipline; research reports; obituaries; and reviews of books, films, and exhibits.

American Anthropologist welcomes manuscripts that speak across subdisciplines but also welcomes those that originate within a single subdiscipline. In the latter case, we work through the editorial process to unpack subdiscipline-specific terminology and provide contextual information that will make manuscripts maximally intelligible to all readers, without requiring that authors alter their research questions, analytical style, or writing voice.

Contributions from all subdisciplines in both their basic and applied dimensions are welcomed, as are those focusing on broad, cross-cutting problems, themes, and theories. Manuscripts written for the profession at large that develop general implications from exacting substantive research will be of particular interest. Collaborative work, particularly among colleagues in different subdisciplines, is encouraged, and contributions from international colleagues are desired.

Submission Process

Submissions must be via email attachment, to Contact the Editorial Office if you are unable to submit via email attachment. Microsoft Word or similar word processing programs are preferred; do not send manuscripts in PDF format. Figures or photographs should be submitted as TIF files with resolution of 300 dpi or greater. Manuscripts must be typed and double spaced, including references, notes, and quotations.

Members of the Editorial Board and faculty at the Editor-in-Chief's institution (University of California, Irvine) may not submit manuscripts to American Anthropologist. In recompense, the Editor-in-Chief offers to read one manuscript a year and provide feedback for how to strengthen it for submission to a different journal.

Proposals for group submissions
American Anthropologist
welcomes group submissions around any theme or topic, including those organized by a guest editor or editors. It is not necessary to contact the Editor-in-Chief for permission or feedback before a group of manuscripts is submitted. Such manuscripts should be submitted individually by their authors: it is not necessary to submit them all at once. Introductions or overviews by the group editor(s) should not be submitted at the outset. The manuscripts will undergo the exact same review process as any other manuscript (see below). If more than one of the manuscripts is submitted for publication, it is the responsibility of the authors (or guest editor(s)) to notify the Editor-in-Chief that the accepted manuscripts are meant to be grouped together. At that point, at the discretion of the Associate Editors and the Editor-in-Chief, in consultation with the Editorial Board, the guest editor(s) may be invited to submit an introduction or overview to the group submission.

Research Articles
There is a single primary category of submission to American Anthropologist, the “Research Article.” Research Articles may be anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 words in length. Initial submissions exceeding 8,000 words (including all figures, tables, references, and notes) will not be considered. If accepted for publication, Research Articles may be extended up to 10,000 words at the discretion of the Associate Editors and the Editor-in-Chief, in consultation with the Editorial Board.

Submissions must include the following: (1) a cover letter with manuscript title, author’s name, position, affiliation, and contact information, and a preferred running head; (2) an abstract of no more than 150 words ending with a bracketed list of three to five keywords or phrases; (3) body of the text; (4) notes, which may include acknowledgments before the first note (do not use footnote or endnote programs, and references should not be embedded); (5) references cited; (6) tables, if applicable; (7) figures, if applicable, accompanied by a list of figure captions.

Short commentaries of no more than 500 words that further substantive discussion of significant topics that have appeared in American Anthropologist in the previous six months will be published at the editor's discretion, as will reviews of films and museum exhibits.

American Anthropologist follows Chicago style with a few modifications, most notably in the references cited section. Submitted manuscripts that do not conform to AAA style and format will be returned to authors. The AAA Style Guide can be accessed here.

Author Responsibilities

Authors, not the American Anthropological Association, are responsible for the content of their articles, for the accuracy of quotations and their correct attribution, for the legal rights to publish any material submitted, and for submitting their manuscripts in proper form for publication. A manuscript submitted to American Anthropologist must not be under consideration by any other journal at the same time or have been published elsewhere, either in part or in its entirety.


Manuscripts are generally evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief, by one or more members of the Editorial Board, and/or by referees. Associate Editors of the journal may also participate in the review process as needed. Authors are invited to suggest potential reviewers; however, the Editor-in-Chief will not be bound by these suggestions. Due to the large number of submissions, many manuscripts cannot be accepted for publication.

Contact Information

New manuscript submissions (articles, commentaries, and research reports) and all related correspondence should be addressed to:

Tom Boellstorff, Editor-in-Chief
American Anthropologist
University of California, Irvine
3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697

As noted above, email submission is preferred, to

Publishers should send new books for review to:

Rosemary A. Joyce, Co-editor, Book Reviews
American Anthropologist
Kroeber Hall #3710
Berkeley, CA 94720-3710

Correspondence concerning book reviews should be sent to Solicitation of book reviews does not guarantee publication. We seek book reviews that adhere to the AA review policies and standards outlined on

All correspondence concerning review sections and obituaries should be sent to the following:

Visual Anthropology Editor
Karl Heider,

Obituary Editor
Sydel Silverman,