Chapter 6: Contributing Editor to Anthropology News

appendices to this chapter:
Appendix 1: AAA Guidelines for AN Editor
Appendix 2: Info on SPA listserv and Website
Appendix 3: Sample Prize Announcements

The primary job of the Society for Psychological Anthropology contributing editor to Anthropology News (AN) is to use the column and the AN to promote psychological anthropology and to relay important information to the membership of the SPA.

The column is allotted 700 words of space in the AN during every month. Presently, a photograph can be added to the column without its being counted against the 700 word limit—additional photos count for approximately 500 words per photo. It is not necessary for the column to appear every month. The deadline for submission is approximately 1.5 months before the column will appear. For instance, the deadline for the September column is typically mid-July.

The column editor can also solicit contributions to be used as feature articles in AN. Usually, after the writer agrees to contribute, the AN Editor works with the person directly.

The column editor also announces prize competitions and their winners. There has developed an additional tradition of prizewinners writing a short essay that appears in the column.

The column editor also serves as a contact person for the SPA. In fact, the column editor’s contact information is the only information on contacting the SPA that appears in the AN.

The responsibilities of the contributing editor sometimes change. Since 1998, the column has been reduced from 2000 words to 700. New electronic media also affect the column. Recently, this has been manifested in the shift from paper submissions to electronic submission.


  • Using the column to preview invited sessions at the AAA, and if possible volunteered sessions, as well. This requires working with the program committee to get the abstracts ahead of time.
  • Announcing prize competitions and their winners in the Awards column of the AN.
  • Requesting that winners of SPA awards (Stirling, Condon, and Boyer) submit short essays to appear in the column.
  • Soliciting essays from SPA members to appear in the column or as feature articles in the AN.
  • Using the column for news concerning the society, e.g., reports on business meetings, announcements about biennial meetings, announcements about changes in editors, and information on the listserv and the website. It is wise to make announcements of important changes at least twice, and to remind the membership of the listserv and website twice per year (see Appendix 2 for information on the listserv and website).
  • Using the column to distribute information on behalf of programs potentially of interest to the SPA membership, e.g., graduate programs and summer programs.
  • Serving as a major contact between SPA membership, readers of the column, and the SPA board. This has been particularly the case in getting people information on subscribing to the listserv and in distributing the syllabus project.
  • Soliciting contributions from SPA members toward the annual theme of the AN. AN usually selects a theme for the year and newsletter editors are encouraged to solicit contributions that show how activities or interests of the society’s membership relate to the theme.
  • Work with the AN Editor and the other contributing editors. This sometimes includes trading future space in order to fit current contributions.


Holly Mathews originally prepared this timeline, and I’ve modified it due to changes in the column. It provides a guide for when tasks should be done, although there is some variability from year to year. This variability is primarily due to announcing information about the biennial meetings. It is often useful to plan six months to one year ahead in order to meet the needs of the society.


  • Contact SPA Program Chairs and ask them to send you, when ready, the session proposals and abstracts for all invited SPA sessions for the next annual meeting.
  • Begin contacting SPA members who might write contributions on the theme issues; try to line up one for the middle of August to appear in the October issue which is the theme issue. It is always possible to hit up an incoming President to write on the theme topic as a way of introducing them to the members.


  • Write up our invited sessions for the September issue which is due in July and features the program for the annual meeting.
  • During years with biennial meetings, include in the column a recap of all pertinent information.
  • If there is not the space for both previewing the AAA sessions and the biennial meetings, make the biennial meetings the priority.
  • If you project having the space for summaries of invited sessions, send letter to all chairs of invited sessions asking them to prepare summaries for the column and giving them appropriate deadlines to meet.


  • Put together October column. This often features an essay by an SPA member on the theme. During years with biennial meetings, you may have to use the October column to preview the SPA sessions at the AAA.
  • Contact SPA secretary to see if the Stirling, Condon, and Boyer prizewinners have been selected. Once they are selected and notified, contact them for biographical information and photos to be used when announcing the award in the Prizes and Awards column. Contact each prize committee chair for comments about the winning essay or book. Ask the prizewinners to prepare an essay in which they comment on winning the prize and offer the previous columns written by prizewinners as guides. Appendix 3 of this handbook gives some examples.


  • Submit November column. This can either be previews of AAA volunteered sessions, an essay from a prizewinner, or an essay from somebody contributing to the AN theme.


  • Prepare December issue. This could be an essay by a prizewinner, a discussion of what went on at the biennial meetings. I also like to include an announcement about the listserv and the website during this month (see Appendix 2).


  • Prepare January column and the announcement of the Condon competition to appear in the January Prizes and Awards column. Every other year also announce the Stirling competition—this competition is held in even-numbered years. Section IV of this handbook gives the announcement templates—all that needs to be altered are the submission deadlines and the address of the SPA Secretary.


  • Prepare February column. Include information from reports given at the SPA business meeting at the AAAs.


  • Prepare March column. Include a reminder of the prize competition deadlines. This is another good time to remind members of the website and the listserv. Frequently, this month has a contribution from a prizewinner or a summary of a session.
  • In years when the society is planning a biennial meeting, this is a good time to make a preliminary announcement. Usually the President writes a statement about the program and inviting participation.
  • Contact the chair of the Boyer Prize committee to see if the committee wants the column used to solicit nominations.


  • Prepare April column. This is a good month for an essay from a prizewinner or a summary of a session. If the SPA program chairs for the AAA meetings have been, this is also a good time to announce their contact information and solicit sessions.


  • Prepare May column—the last one of the year! This is a good time to thank those who have contributed to the column during the year, and include any essays or announcements that had not been worked into the column previously. It is also crucial to remind SPA members that the listserv is the best way to get news about SPA activities during the summer.


The SPA regularly gives out three prizes: the Condon, the Stirling, and the Boyer. The contributing editor announces the competitions for the Stirling and Condon in the AN’s Prizes and Awards column, but not the Boyer. Sometimes, the chair of the Boyer committee asks that the column be used to solicit nominations. The winners of the prizes are mentioned in the column, but the primary announcements appear in the AN’s Prizes and Awards column.

The contributing editor asks prizewinners to contribute an essay to the column. Given current space constraints on the column, it is often necessary to negotiate with other column editors to obtain additional space for the essay. Every year the AN editor provides an e-mail list of all the contributing editors, so a mass-email to them all is usually sufficient to begin the process of obtaining additional space. When another contributing editor offers space, have that editor notify the AN editor, as well.

Samples of competition announcements and essays by prizewinners appear in Appendix 3.

In addition to the three regular prizes, at Biennial Meetings the SPA also sometimes awards individuals Lifetime Achievement Awards. When this is done, the presenter of the award normally prepares a summary of the individual’s career. It is worth approaching the presenter for the text of this summary and permission to edit this and use it in the announcement of the award. Winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are usually not asked to contribute an essay to the column. A sample announcement of a lifetime achievement award appears in Appendix 3.


The official policy of Anthropology News is: “Because the AAA depends on paid advertising from publishers and other organizations with anthropological products, we must therefore remove all but the bare essentials for products mentioned in your columns. You may mention the existence of books, T-shirts and memberships or subscriptions available elsewhere, for example, but please do not include tables of contents, lengthy descriptions or prices. An address for further information will suffice” (See Appendix 1).

While advertising of products is prohibited, the use of the column to mention books and journals is allowed, and there has never been any resistance to Boyer Prize essay. The difference between announcing and advertising specific titles in the SPA series on Cambridge University Press remains a gray area despite attempts to seek clarification. In addition, occasionally members will request that their recent book be promoted in the column. With the listing of recent publications on the new SPA website, the best response to such queries is to have the book posted there.

Sometimes organizers of conferences or summer programs will contact the contributing editor requesting an announcement in the column. Whether such announcements are included in the column is up to the contributing editor, but the rough guidelines presently followed are:

SPA business takes precedence, so such announcements only appear if there is space;

Preference is given to activities organized by SPA members or that already involve significant contributions by SPA members (there is a list of members in the AAA Guide);

Such announcements are only included if there is a reasonable time from the appearance of the column to any relevant deadlines for the program or conference. Often these announcements arrive two months before the event that makes an announcement in the column impractical. In such cases, suggest the use of the SPA listserv.

Finally, occasionally graduate programs that emphasize psychological anthropology request that information be placed in the column. This is a very important service, although with the new word limits, such information usually needs to be heavily edited.


The term for the SPA contributing editor is officially 4 years, and the term has beginning and ending dates that differ from those of other SPA board members. The term begins with preparing the September column, and ends with the submission of the May column in the fourth year. This results in a de facto term of from around April to March four years later.

The contributing editor is selected by the SPA Board almost a year before the new editor’s term begins. This allows the outgoing editor to mentor the incoming editor for one year of columns before the new editor takes over.

Consequently, the job of contributing editor involves a five year commitment—one year to learn the job under the outgoing editor and four years serving as contributing editor. 

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APPENDIX 1   return to text


Stacy Lathrop, AN Managing Editor

Tel: 703/528-1902, ext 3005
FAX: 703/528-3546
Email: [email protected]
Address: 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201-3357

CONGRATULATIONS on your new position as an AN contributing editor! You have assumed a role that can have a very real impact on both your own area of specialization and the discipline as a whole. What you choose to print is received by 12,000 subscribers and available to at least twice that number of students, professionals, interested affiliates and even members of the media. Of particular interest to Section News contributing editors, a 1998 survey indicated that 74% of the readers regularly read Section News. Once in print, Section columns become a part of anthropology’s written record, serving as beacons and benchmarks for many years to come.


As managing editor, I am responsible for the entire contents. AN also has a desktop-publishing typesetter and part-time production editor who assists in the production process. Currently, 50 contributing editors submit copy from around the world on a regular, monthly basis. These include both Section News editors and those responsible for other regular columns, such as Ethical Currents. I deal closely with all AAA members and nonmembers who wish to publish in AN, encourage submissions of benefit to AAA members, orchestrate yearly themes and work with AAA’s legal counsel on potential issues of libel and plagiarism. Everything that appears in print is subject to my editorial “pencil.”

As managing editor, I must also answer to several distinct groups within the organization. I meet with the AAA staff (including the Executive Director, and the directors of all internal departments). Broader issues involving Association-wide policy are referred to the AAA Executive Board via the Committee on Scientific Communication. I am also committed to doing the best possible job for you, the contributing editors, for all Association members and the discipline of anthropology as a whole. Any insights or suggestions from you are always welcome!

Editing versus Censorship. AN does not knowingly censor Section News. It does watch for potentially libelous statements (such as ad hominems or unsubstantiated allegations) and notifies the contributing editor, when possible. In an attempt to make the information clear and accessible to readers, it is also my responsibility to add clarifying statements.


As contributing editor, you are responsible for:

  • The grammar, style, accuracy and appropriateness of all materials submitted
  • Observing the guidelines for length
  • Meeting monthly deadlines

NOTE: All Section News submissions must come through the Section Contributing Editor. I cannot accept materials directly from other members of your Section without your express approval.

Second Party Submissions. As a matter of policy, AN does not publish “second party” submissions (including translations from other publications). If you receive a letter from Indiana Jones, for example, and include it for publication in your column, we cannot publish it without Jones’ prior written permission. It is your responsibility to obtain the permission for this or for any copyrighted materials you wish to publish (including photos and drawings). Please submit the documentation with your monthly column materials.

As a matter of record, the AAA holds copyright on all materials published. Although fees are rarely charged if the author wishes to reprint for educational purposes, it is a good idea to clarify this point with your authors.


Please submit your column copy via email. If this is not possible, we will accept a disk plus hard copy (double-spaced) for use as a backup (in the event I cannot access the disk). Please do not add special fonts beyond italics for book titles and diacritics. Because all other codes (eg, margins, running heads, pagination, hyphenation, justification, proportional spacing) must be stripped, we prefer that you not bother.

AN style is designed to maximize use of limited space; its general guiding principle is “brevity.”

BASIC AN STYLE [NB: This document is written using AN style; please refer to the Style Guide for complete information.]

  • Omit titles such as Dr, Professor, Mr, Ms
  • Refer to individuals initially by first and last names, and thereafter by last name only
  • List university affiliations in parentheses using the AAA Guide format, [UCLA = California-Los Angeles; Syracuse U = Syracuse; Hampshire College = Hampshire C]
  • Use commas sparingly, omitting the one before “and” [for example: blue, green and orange]
  • Avoid use of “etc”
  • Use italics instead of boldface type or all caps for emphasis within a text (use sparingly).

Standard Abbreviations. AN style is loosely based on that of the Associated Press. In addition to their standard abbreviations (e.g., names of states), we’ve added a few of our own: please abbreviate “University” (when referring to a specific institution) as “U”; “College” as “C”; and use numerals for all numbers over ten, unless it’s in a string, e.g., “2-3”. As a general guideline, “the shorter the better” should be applied. Please try to limit such information as addresses and dates to the fewest and most essential components (change “9 December 1994 through 24 January 1995” to “Dec 9, 1994-Jan 24, 1995”).


Your Byline. As you prepare your columns, please remember to include both your column’s heading (e.g., Section’s complete title) and your name as you would like to see it in print, followed by “Contributing Editor.” To avoid potential errors, it has become particularly important that everything you submit be completely identified.

Photo Captions. It is also essential that you include complete captions (subject and credits) for each photo you submit with the electronic copy itself. Add them at the end of your column text under the heading “PHOTO CAPTIONS.” [for further information on photo submission, see PHOTOS below]

Include Addresses. By including your own address in each column you can enhance your availability to readers. Make this a boilerplate part of your column in the following format: name, affiliation, address; phone, fax and email.

NOTE: Addresses are shortened wherever possible, phone numbers are written [703/528-1902] with a “/” separating area code from local number, and that whereas we identify “fax” numbers [as well as (h) numbers] as such, it is not necessary to preface email addresses with “email.”


Space Is A Premium In AN. Section News contributions are limited to the space equivalent of one-half of a single printed page per month. This corresponds to about 700 words or approximately 2 manuscript pages (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 10-pci). It is important to adjust for numerous subheads, photos, charts or other formats (eg, lists) that will increase your copy space. I recommend pacing yourself over the 9 issues. Use your authority to edit for clarity and length. Look for ways to express the same information using fewer words. Remember, I am always available for consultation. For those rare months when you expect to exceed the limit, the AAA Executive Board has authorized Section contributing editors to negotiate space with sections that may not be filling an entire half-page. These negotiations should be undertaken well before the deadline and are the sole responsibility of the contributing editors involved. Please notify me in writing of your arrangements.

NOTE: Ask for a copy if you haven’t gotten an updated list of all contributing editors, with phone, fax and email addresses.


Business. Section News columns are most effective when they feature primarily business information related to the activities sponsored by the section. This includes summaries of meeting minutes, reports and announcements of section-sponsored events, calls for input and participation, elections and news of section members as it relates specifically to the section. For example, most news of awards and achievements of individual members properly belongs elsewhere in AN, in the Kudos, Anthro Awards, Fellowship and Grant Recipients/Awards or even Public Policy and Media Monitor columns; although you may find it appropriate to use the column to wish section officers well following an illness or congratulate them on an especially relevant accomplishment or birth of a child. You are encouraged to add notes in your column to direct readers’ attention to relevant information that is included elsewhere in the same issue.

Annual Meeting. The October through November issues of AN are good opportunities to highlight the sessions and events sponsored by your section. Due to space limitations and the fact that changes are constantly occurring, AN cannot include the times and locations of each session. Instead of simply listing each session, consider writing short teasers or synopses of the events—your goal is to get members interested enough to attend.

Issues. Because space in Section News columns is limited, we urge editors use this forum to briefly discuss those issues likely to be of concern to the limited community of their readers only. AN is designed to serve as a unifying force for the discipline at large, and it is for this reason that I make every effort to encourage discussion of more broadly relevant issues outside section columns (for example, in the Knowledge Exchange, Commentary and Career Development columns). You are always welcome to contact me with ideas and manuscripts that might serve this purpose. Over the years AN has featured a number of very interesting and topical pieces that originated on the desks of Section News.

Photos. Although your printed words are certainly valuable, one of the best ways to get and keep the reader’s attention is to also include a visual. It is very easy for the busy reader to skip over the densely packed Section News when there is nothing to catch the eye. I strongly recommend including at least one photo or drawing with each column you submit. This will probably be the biggest—and least expensive—draw to your column for regular readers and will represent an introduction to the section for prospective members.


Please submit your columns via email. It is your responsibility to ascertain whether the copy has been received. I make a point to immediately acknowledge all email submissions. Therefore, if you do not receive my reply, please check to make certain that the document has arrived safely.

If email is beyond your capability, please send your copy on diskette, and include a double-spaced hard copy. Diskettes may be in Mac or IBM format. Please, however, mark your diskette with your name, section, format, wordprocessing program and the document name(s). When you submit a MAC document, please use a high-density diskette. I will return your diskette as soon as possible, usually at the beginning of the month.

Name that Document. With the increasing volume of electronic submissions the name you give your document is an important issue. Documents with the same name (yes, it happens!) can cancel one another in the process. Please name your documents as follows: SECTION ACRONYMMONTH OF EDITION (eg, SANAFEB). It is not necessary to add non-alpha characters or qualifiers such as dates, AN or your own name—the shorter the better.


Email. Because there is no means of guaranteeing receipt or that your message arrives in a format that our system can digest, we ask that you 1) also send a hard copy (either snail or fax); and 2) follow-up to verify receipt. I will acknowledge receipt by a return message, but it is your responsibility to follow-up if you have not heard from me within a reasonable time. If problems occur in the transmission causing a delay in receipt or processing, it will also be your responsibility to ensure that the column is submitted within the deadline in a useable format.

Fax. FAX submissions are extremely difficult for our production staff. Because the quality varies considerably, text shrinks and lines often run together, we cannot accept them in lieu of either diskette or email.

Express Mail. To make absolutely certain that your last minute submission is received, please use overnight express delivery. We have also found that the ability to trace receipt has been very helpful in some cases. Even if you are ahead of time, you might consider investing in a return-receipt, as well as notifying me by email or FAX that the materials are in the mail.


Beginning with the October 2003 edition, the deadline for all contributing editors will be approximately two weeks before the first of the month preceding the publication date (eg, Aug. 15 for the Oct. AN). Please note also that:

  • Only copy received by the deadline will be included in AN; submissions received after the deadline will be returned with a request to resubmit for the next month’s edition.
  • Requests for changes received after the deadline will not be made, except in the most critical circumstances.

The schedule for the 2003-2004 publication years is as follows (Note that we cannot promise that items received past the date due will be included):


Anthropology News Deadlines for
2003-2004 Academic Year
for All Contributing Editors
Edition Copy Due
Oct 03 Aug 15, 2003
Nov 03 Sep 15, 2003
Dec 03 Oct 15, 2003
Jan 04 Nov 25, 2003
Feb 04 Dec 15, 2003
Mar 04 Jan 15, 2004
Apr 04 Feb 15, 2004
May 04 Mar 15, 2004



Starting in January, 2001, AN will be a shorter publication. Because of budgetary constraints, it will now have about 60 pages per issue (rather than the previous 80 pages per issue.) To keep AN in good financial shape and stick to the new page length, it is even more important to avoid repeating information in the Section News columns that regularly appears elsewhere. For your information, the editor routinely moves items relating to meetings, software/listserv groups and grants from Section News columns to the Meeting Calendar, Co-Opportunities, Kudos, Anthro Award Winners, Awards Alert, Grant Recipients, Fellowships and Support, and [email protected] columns. Before including a meeting or grant, please consider whether it is likely to appeal to a wider audience than your own Section or if it is already featured elsewhere in AN. Alternatively, you might highlight the information in greater detail for your section—e.g., explain more about why they should pay particular attention to the event.

NOTE: Once an item has been featured, please refer readers to that edition rather than using your precious column space to reprint the entire piece.

Ads for any employment positions that come across your desk also belong elsewhere in AN. Please forward such information directly to Richard Thomas at AAA, who handles the Placement column (703/528-1902 ext 3030; [email protected]).


October AN kicks off the themes for each year. I invite you to contribute your ideas, observations and opinions on the subjects, which are announced in the spring. Themes are featured throughout AN, in Commentaries, letters to the editor and in your columns, from October through May.

This is the opportunity for Sections to be heard on subjects that touch us all in the practice of anthropology. Encourage readers to contribute their thoughts and experiences to AN theme as they relate to issues specific to your specialty. This may take some prodding, but the results will be worth the effort. Contributions published in previous AN themes have stimulated dialogue that has endured long after the theme year.

For those who wonder whether the annual meeting theme might also serve for AN, we have found that the two venues usually involve very different types of thought and writing. AN themes are designed to elicit opinions and exchange from all types of anthropologists about the work they do.


Please notify me directly as soon as possible whenever there is a change in contributing editorship. I will need to know the mailing address, telephone, FAX and email numbers to help expedite the acculturation process, for I like to include new contributing editors in the monthly mailing long before their first edition is due.


Although shorter than the more formal obituaries printed in journals, ANDeath Notices serve an important function within the discipline. Not only is AN the only anthropological publication that acknowledges all deaths, their timely appearance in print notifies friends and colleagues discipline-wide and assists survivors coping with the loss. Our goal is to honor all anthropologists as soon as possible following their death. With your help, we will be able to provide even better service. I would appreciate a note as soon as you hear of a death within your Section, department or social circle. It would also help speed up the process if you could recommend someone to write the notice. Notices may be a maximum of 500 words, should be emailed to me directly and photos are always encouraged.


As a rule, it is best not to promise authors that their submissions will be printed in a given issue of AN. Instead, tell them that their submissions are “scheduled for publication.” Given all the uncertainties of publishing, little can be promised absolutely. But we always try to do our best.


Contributing editors are often at a loss for how to twist the arms of potential contributors to their columns without breaking a bone. Here are several concrete tried and true suggestions for contributing editors struggling to fill their columns month after month:

  • Appeal to Author’s Vanity Approach: AN is the most widely distributed anthropological publication in the world; an individual’s efforts represent an important contribution to the entire anthropological community, by providing education for future generations, a permanent written record of the present issues and concerns, and by enhancing communication discipline-wide.
  • Horse’s Mouth Approach: AN submission gives a writer a change to get a message across in his own words, rather than through the media middlemen. Unlike newspaper reports or TV sound bites, authors have considerably more editorial control when writing for AN.
  • Peer Pressure Approach: Herr Professor Doktor So-and-so has agreed to write, certainly you would like to have your thoughts on record as well.
  • Two-Cents Worth Approach: Everyone has an opinion on controversial issues, most will be glad of the opportunity to weigh in.
  • Appeal to Time Approach: Articles in AN are necessarily brief and to the point and, unlike journal articles, dispense with complete references and lengthy analyses and summaries. As a result they can be digested more quickly and are available in a more timely manner.

In reality, the burden is on the editor to make the initial invitation and to follow up with phone calls, emails and letters of encouragement. Guilt, if properly couched, never hurts. We are all extremely busy, and will tend to prioritize tasks that can afford the most results for the least time and effort.


Because the AAA depends on paid advertising from publishers and other organizations with anthropological products, we must therefore remove all but the bare essentials for products mentioned in your columns. You may mention the existence of books, T-shirts and memberships or subscriptions available elsewhere, for example, but please do not include tables of contents, lengthy descriptions or prices. An address for further information will suffice.

NOTE:With the exception of the Job Placement section, paid advertising currently accounts for less than 2% of space in AN. This is well below the industry norm—even among non-profit associations! To help AN grow, add color photos and improve its services to readers, we have begun to actively market space to advertisers. We would sincerely appreciate suggestions for organizations or products that might like to reach the anthropological community.


Photos are always a welcome addition to your columns. Please, do not crop or cut your photos, regardless of their original content or size. Cutting makes it very difficult for the production staff to work with the materials and severely limits what can be done with them in AN. We always welcome your suggestions for cropping.

All photos should be clearly identified on the back with the subject and both your name and section. Do this on a piece of adhesive paper, however, for writing directly on the photo often shows through and makes a very poor copy for publication.

We accept black and white or color photos of any size, and are becoming increasingly proficient in the use of electronic images. The best photos tell a story by themselves. They should be in sharp focus and high contrast. Shots of people doing something—mdash;anything—mdash;are more dramatic than those of people just posing. Remember that red prints as grey in b/w.

Digital Images. Electronically submitted visuals must conform to certain standards to produce printable quality. For best results and maximum flexibility for sizing and cropping AN accepts images scanned in the following formats:

Photo images

  • Minimum 300 dpi scan
  • TIF format
  • Size: 3″ x 5″

Line images

  • Minimum 1016 dpi
  • TIF format

Please send each visual as a separate document, clearly labeled. Captions should still be included in the text file of your column.

Captions. Captions with proper credits should also be included at the end of your document. If the photo has been published elsewhere or is the property of a commercial photographer, please obtain a written permission to reproduce the material in our non-profit journal.

Identify All Pictured. A photo is indeed worth 1,000 words, and can go a long way to dispel the 19th century image of anthropologists that lingers even today. To overcome criticisms of patronization, please identify by name as many individuals as possible in the photos you submit.

Gauging Photo Space. Use the following guidelines when attempting to gauge the amount of text you have submitted: Horizontal (or 1.5-column) photos tend to take the space of approximately 250-300 words in print. Vertical (or 1-column) photos tend to take the space of 150-200 printed words.

Section Awards

As a discipline, anthropology offers a plethora of prizes and awards to its own each year. The Awards Alert and Anthro Awards columns are designed to spotlight all awards given to honor anthropological excellence. As a Section News contributing editor, you can help your Section publicize its honors bestowed throughout the year. Please take the initiative to consult with your Section president or the chair of the awards committee to plan ahead for public announcements.

When announcing both winners and competitions, please include the information in a separate electronic document. Photos are particularly welcome.

Each year at the annual meeting, reporters (as well as officers of the AAA) ask us for a list of the awards given by each section, yet very few sections think to share the results with staff at AAA. Not only do we communicate this information beyond the AAA (the Chronicle for Higher Education is always interested, for example), if available in time, the winners can be honored in the Meeting Program for all members to see. I urge you in your capacity as “official disseminator” of your section’s news, to let us know before the meeting the names and affiliations of those your section has chosen to honor.


If you plan to attend the annual meeting, please save time to join your fellow contributing editors at the Annual Breakfast Convocation of Contributing Editors, usually scheduled for 9:00-11:00 on Friday morning. I like to use the opportunity to introduce myself, answer your questions and inspire you with ideas for future contributions. The time and place is announced beginning with the August CommuniquŽ.


October Edition. Following the 4-month hiatus over the summer, the October edition is always overflowing with news and information. This is the issue that sets the pace for the academic year. This would be the perfect time to briefly highlight the planned activities of your section. Please discuss with your section officers what they think will be important to cover in this key edition.

The October and November issues of AN are good opportunities to highlight the sessions and events sponsored by your section. Due to space limitations, we cannot include the times and locations of each session. Instead of simply listing each session, consider writing short teasers or synopses of the events—mdash;your goal is to get members interested enough to attend.

October’s edition launches the AN theme each year. Exercise your editorial oblige to beg, cajole or exact contributions from your Section members. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your section’s perspective on the theme and how it all fits within the big picture of anthropology. If a substantive think-piece longer than 800 words comes your way, consider submitting it for publication outside the Section News as a separate commentary. As with anything moved from your column to the “general” portion of AN, your section will be properly credited.

November Edition. Now would be a good time to enlist brief reports from invited session organizers to feature in the February through May editions. These are most effective if written after the event takes place.

December Edition. Both the December and January editions of AN are tricky each year. December’s is being produced at the same time that we must complete both the November and Annual Meeting editions and make headway on January’s big Call for Papers issue.

The December edition is a good time to cover awards given during the annual meeting for the awards columns. Try to obtain photos ahead of time, rather than wait for candids taken at the meeting.

January Edition. Because many contributing editors and I are often away at the annual meeting at the very time January’s edition should be in the works, we are all under the gun to meet its deadline of November 25. For this reason, I strongly urge you to submit your January copy before the annual meeting. The most crucial information to impart to your readers at this point is a reminder to submit abstracts to your Section’s Program Chair by the date assigned by your Section (this should be coordinated to meet the April 1 deadline for receipt here at AAA).

The January AN issues the formal call for proposals for the next annual meeting. As a Section News contributing editor, you can have an impact on your Section’s presence at the next meeting by promoting the events of the past year. This is the perfect time to print calls for invited sessions that are planned by your board for the next meeting.

To give those who could not attend the annual meeting a glimpse of what went on, you might ask panelists from your Section’s invited sessions to write short (200-words is a good size) synopses of the issues to be presented, using the past tense. More detailed reports from sessions, along with photos taken from the meeting itself, can be used to effect in the February-March editions as a reminder to submit proposals by the April 1 deadline.

NOTE:Please do not bore your readers by reprinting the original abstracts—mdash;these are necessarily vague and abstract due to their submission nearly a year in advance.

One way to cover the annual meeting is visually. Our colleagues in the Society for Visual Anthropology will confirm that photos are an effective means to communicate such events as the annual gathering of the tribe.

January is also a good time to thank outgoing and welcome incoming officers, as well as remind readers of the deadline for leadership position and award nominations.

February and March Editions. The spring issues are opportunities to provide more substantive information on the most interesting papers and sessions from the previous annual meeting. Many of your colleagues in other areas of study within the field read your columns in search of ideas for teaching or to obtain a quick overview. Consider asking several members of your Section to cover those sessions they consider cutting-edge or trend-setting for the discipline.

April Edition. The April edition usually carries a complete list of Candidates and Bylaws changes for the spring elections. All sections should have had their ballot information to AAA by the end January. Our goal is to mail ballots by early April with a June deadline for their return.

May Edition. Because this is the last issue until September, you will want to cover as much summer-related news as possible. This is also the final issue spotlighting the year’s theme, in which we pull together the thoughts and issues raised during the year. You may want to put your own spin on the subject in your column. A paragraph on your own or your Section’s reactions to anything said in the Commentary or Correspondence sections from October to April, for example, will put the subject in perspective.

NOTE:Due to increasing response from readers, AN continues publishing pieces on previous themes through the following year. You may already have noticed occasional articles addressing past AN themes sprinkled throughout. This reflects AN’s policy of encouraging participation as well as furthering debate on important issues affecting us all. 

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APPENDIX 2   return to text


The SPA listserv and website are two relatively new and exciting complements to Anthropology News and the column. Increasingly, the column refers members to look at the website and subscribe to the listserv for information. Below is the information on how to subscribe to the listserv and access the website.

To Subscribe
To subscribe to the Society for Psychological Anthropology email distribution list, send an email message to [email protected] with SUBSCRIBE SPA Firstname Lastname in the body of the message. There is no need to place anything in the subject line.

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]

SUBSCRIBE SPA Firstname Lastname

To Unsubscribe
You may leave the list at any time by sending a “SIGNOFF SPA” command in the body of your messge to [email protected]

To Send a Message
To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send an email to [email protected]

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: yoursubject

Text of your message.

This is called “sending mail to the list,” because you send mail to a single address and LISTSERV makes copies for all the people who have subscribed. This address ([email protected]) is also called the “list address.” You must never try to send any command to that address, as it would be distributed to all the people who have subscribed.

Information on SPA website:

The address of the SPA website is

Steve Leavitt maintains the site. His e-mail address is: [email protected] 

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APPENDIX 3:   return to text


Template for Condon Prize competition announcement:

2001 Condon Prize for Best Student Essay in Psychological Anthropology

The Society for Psychological Anthropology solicits entries for the 2001 Richard G. Condon Prize for the best student essay in psychological anthropology. The winner will be awarded a year’s membership in the Society for Psychological Anthropology, which includes a subscription to Ethos, and travel expenses (to cover airfare, hotel and registration expenses) to attend the 2001 biennial meeting of the SPA to be held in [meeting location].

The prize is named for the late Richard G. Condon, whose work included the study of adolescence, family, and change among the Canadian Inuit. Psychological anthropology is defined broadly to include interrelationships among psychological, social and cultural phenomena; it is not confined to studies of culture and personality. Essays will be judged on their organization and clarity, as well as upon their theoretical and methodological strengths. The winner will be recognized at the [year] SPA Business Meeting in [meeting location].

Papers submitted for consideration should follow these guidelines: (1) No evidence of the author’s identity may be provided in any way through the text or by reference in the paper; (2) author’s name and address, student affiliation, and the title of the paper must be provided on a separate cover sheet accompanying the manuscript, which should be identified by the title; (3) authors must be students at the time of writing the paper, and entries should be accompanied by a photocopy of the student identification card; (4) papers must not exceed 35 double-spaced pages and must follow the style of Ethos; and (5) the original and three copies of the paper must be submitted and received by May 1, [year], accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope if return of the original is desired. Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration; those that qualify will be forwarded to the awards committee after May 15. Entries should be addressed to [name], SPA Secretary/Treasurer, [address]; [telephone]; [fax number]; [email].

Template for Stirling Announcement:

[2001] Stirling Award Competition The Society for Psychological Anthropology invites the submission of unpublished papers for the biennial Stirling Award for Contributions to Psychological Anthropology. As previous award-winning essays demonstrate, psychological anthropology is broadly defined to include interrelationships among psychological, social and cultural phenomena; it is not confined to studies of personality and culture. This award was established in 1968 by Rebecca and Gene Stirling, under the auspices of the American Anthropological Association. A cash prize of $750 will be given, and the winner will be recognized at the banquet at the 2001 biennial meeting of the SPA to be held in [October in Decatur, Georgia]. The winner will be notified in time to arrange to attend the biennial meeting.

Submissions will be accepted from AAA members in good standing, as well as from social and behavioral scientists in fields other than anthropology who establish membership in the Association. The following requirements apply: (1) Only unpublished papers may be submitted. An unpublished paper, by the terms of this competition, is one that has not been submitted elsewhere for publication. That means manuscripts accepted for publication elsewhere but not yet in print are not eligible for consideration nor are manuscripts under review at other journals; (2) No evidence of the author’s identity may be provided through the text of by reference in the paper. Author’s name, address, and the title of the paper must be provided on a separate cover sheet accompanying the manuscript, which should be identified by the title; (3) papers must not exceed 50 double-spaced typed pages, including tables and references, and should follow the style of Ethos; (4) the original and three copies of the paper must be submitted and received by May 1, [2001]. A self-addressed, stamped manila envelope should accompany the paper if return of the original is desired; (5) submitted papers may not be published until after the contest results are announced at the biennial SPA meeting. The award must be identified as such when the paper is published. Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration; those that qualify will be forwarded to the awards committee after May 15. Entries should be addressed to: to [name], SPA Secretary/Treasurer, [address]; [telephone]; [fax number]; [email].

Photocopies of prize announcements and essays from award winners:

  1. Condon Prize Announcement (McCollum Wins Condon, November 1999)
  2. Lifetime Achievement Award (Bourguignon Wins Lifetime Achievement Award, December 1999); Stirling Prize Announcement (Garro Wins Stirling Award, December 1999)
  3. Boyer Prize Announcement (Chodorow Wins Boyer, February 2001)
  4. Reflections on the 1999 Condon Prize (Chris McCollum, January 2000)
  5. Reflections on Receiving the Stirling Prize (Linda Garro, October 2000)
  6. Reflections on Receiving the Boyer Prize (Nancy Chodorow, April 2001)