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Author Guidelines

Cultural Anthropology publishes ethnographic writing informed by a wide array of theoretical perspectives, innovative in form and content, and focused on both traditional and emerging topics. It also welcomes essays concerned with theoretical issues, with ethnographic methods and research design in historical perspective, and with ways cultural analysis can address broader public audiences and interests.

A submission to Cultural Anthropology should:

  1. Be more than a solid ethnographic case study; we are looking for works that draw on original field research to make explicit contributions to contemporary conversations and theoretical developments in cultural anthropology.

  2. Engage and cite research beyond the author’s core networks. We especially welcome works that take alternative analyses seriously into account.

  3. Build arguments with claims that are proportionate to the data presented.

  4. Speak relevantly and reflexively to issues of research ethics, design, and methodology.

  5. Include an informative title and abstract that are concise and clear, which introduce the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the article and which are written with minimal jargon for a broad anthropological audience.

Cultural Anthropology is not currently accepting proposals for special issues or book reviews.

Article Processing and Submission Charges

Cultural Anthropology does not use article processing charges (APCs) to support the cost of publication. Members of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) support the journal through their membership dues. Authors who are members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), but not of the SCA, must become members of the SCA before their manuscripts will be reviewed. To join the SCA, please sign up on the AAA website.

Authors who are not members of the AAA may pay a submission charge of US$25 in lieu of becoming a member of the AAA and SCA. Authors can pay the charge with a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or American Express) using the AAA’s secure payment system; select the option “Manuscript Processing Fee - SCA Nonmember.” The editorial office will be notified once the charge has been paid and will proceed with the review of your manuscript.

Submission charges only apply to initial submissions; no charge applies to resubmitted manuscripts. In the case of coauthored manuscripts, as long as at least one of the authors is a current SCA member, no submission charge will apply. Moreover, if payment of the submission charge would represent a significant financial hardship for the author, a request for a waiver with a brief explanation may be sent to

Submitting a Manuscript

The target length of your initial submission should be 9,000 words, including notes and references. Manuscripts over 9,500 words will be returned for further editing. All submissions must include an abstract and keywords.

Manuscripts submitted to Cultural Anthropology should not be under simultaneous consideration by any other journal or have been published elsewhere.

Revised submissions must include a detailed cover letter indicating changes made to the manuscript and explaining how the author has responded to the comments of the reviewers and editors. Authors must upload revisions to OJS as a new submission, with a note indicating the previous OJS submission ID number.


Cultural Anthropology follows the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed., 2017) for most matters of style, including hyphenation, capitalization, punctuation, abbreviations, and grammar, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed., 2003) for spelling. Manuscripts must be double-spaced and in a 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman; this applies to block quotes and excerpts, notes, and references. Margins throughout the manuscript should be set at 1 inch.


Citations and reference lists should use Chicago’s author-date format (see Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, author-date tab). Sources appearing in the references list must be cited in text and vice versa. In text, references are cited in parentheses, with last name(s), year of publication, and page numbers for direct quotations. The references list should be ordered alphabetically by author’s last name. If possible, please provide digital object identifier (DOIs) for all journal articles.

Cultural Anthropology takes plagiarism very seriously, and asks authors to be sure that they have properly acknowledged the scholarly work of others. Failure to do so can be considered grounds for the rejection of a submitted article.


Images should not be embedded in your manuscript, but uploaded separately. In the manuscript, please indicate where you would like each image to appear by adding in-text callouts between paragraphs: for example, “.” Then, once you have uploaded the manuscript to OJS, you should upload the images and a Word document with captions for each image as supplementary files.

In the Word document, please indicate the source of each image and whether you: 1) are the creator of the image; 2) have permission from the copyright holder to use the image; 3) are using an image in the public domain or one licensed under a Creative Commons license; or 4) believe there is a fair use case for publishing the image. Cultural Anthropology does not pay licensing fees for copyrighted images. Large, high-resolution image files are always preferable; please contact for instructions if your files are too large to upload to OJS.

Our Review Process

All manuscripts are given an initial review by the editorial collective within 7–10 days of their submission. At that point, the editors will either inform the author that the article has been declined or will initiate the journal’s double-blind peer review process. Each article sent out for review is sent to two or three reviewers, who are selected by the journal’s editorial board and are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest before accepting the assignment. A decision about whether to accept, reject, or invite revisions to the article is generally made within three months of sending it out for review.

Authors should prepare their manuscripts in order to facilitate its anonymous review. Any identifying references to the author should be removed prior to submission.

Our Production Process

Once an article has been accepted and scheduled for publication, it will be copyedited for clarity and consistency with Cultural Anthropology’s house style. Authors will have the opportunity to review the copyedited manuscript and to make additional changes, in consultation with the managing editor. Once an article has been typeset, only very small corrections will be permitted. Authors are asked to respond promptly to all inquiries from the editorial office in order to avoid delays in the production schedule.

Authors are required to complete an author agreement that transfers copyright of the published article to the American Anthropological Association. Authors reserve the right to republish the article as part of any book or anthology for which the author is the primary author or editor, subject to crediting Cultural Anthropology with the original publication. Authors also reserve the right to archive preprint and postprint versions of their manuscript for noncommercial purposes, as indicated in the journal’s SHERPA/RoMEO deposit policy. Finally, authors enjoy the same rights as any other user to download, save, reproduce, and transmit journal content, as indicated in the journal’s open-access statement.

Cultural Anthropology requires authors to provide the journal with their ORCID identifier early in the production process.

Corrections and Retractions

If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her article after it has been published, it is the author’s obligation to notify the editorial collective and to cooperate fully if a correction or retraction is judged to be in order. In the event that an allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article is brought to the editorial collective, the journal will follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics in responding to the allegation.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. If you are a member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), you are either already a member of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) or have become a member before making your submission. Please include a comment for the editor, below, if you have joined the SCA in the past thirty days.

    If you are not a member of the AAA, you have paid the submission fee of $US25 using the AAA’s secure payment system. Submission fees only apply to initial submissions; no fee is levied for resubmitted manuscripts. In the case of coauthored manuscripts, as long as at least one of the authors is a current SCA member, no submission fee will apply.
  2. The manuscript has not been previously published, nor is it under simultaneous consideration by any other journal.
  3. You have prepared your manuscript for anonymous review by removing any identifying references to its author.
  4. The manuscript is in the PDF file format, and the text adheres to the formatting requirements outlined in the submission guidelines.
  5. By submitting this manuscript, you commit to maintaining respectful and ethical professional relationships in accordance with the AAA Principles of Professional Responsibility. You further understand that sexual, sexual identity, or racial/ethnic harassment—or harassment of any kind—is unethical and unacceptable professional behavior, and that it is unethical to exploit the inequalities of power that characterize many professional relationships to obtain personal, sexual, or professional advantages. You understand that unprofessional conduct may be considered grounds for being excluded from future reviewing and publication opportunities.

Privacy Statement

In the course of submitting an article to Cultural Anthropology, the editorial office will ask you to provide us with certain personal information, such as your name, email address, institution, and ORCID identifier.

By submitting your article to Cultural Anthropology, you agree to accept the data protection practices outlined in this Privacy Statement and consent to our collecting and processing personal information of the sort outlined above in connection with the production and dissemination of your published article.

The editorial office may use the personal information that you provide for the following purposes: (1) delivery of service: your information will be used to keep you informed about the publication progress of your article and to request additional information from you, when necessary; 2) discoverability: your name, institution, and ORCID identifier will become part of the published content of your article. If you object to this information becoming part of the published article, you should notify us in a comment below.

The editorial office discloses personal information only to those of its contractors and affiliated organizations that (1) need to know that information in order to process it on the editorial office’s behalf, and (2) have agreed not to disclose it to others. The editorial office will not rent or sell contributors’ information to anyone. Other than to the parties described above, the editorial office discloses personal information only when required to do so by law.

The editorial office will protect your personal information from unauthorized access by using reasonable security measures through our partnership with the Public Knowledge Project. If your personal information is accessed by an unauthorized third party, we will not be responsible for any direct or indirect damage caused as a result of such unauthorized access.

You have the right to request a record of the personal information that the editorial office has on file for you and to correct the details of that information, as needed.