The American Anthropological Association seeks applications for a new Editor-in-Chief (or Co-Editors-in-Chief) of the discipline’s flagship journal, the American Anthropologist (AA), for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2020. Now in its second century of continuous publication, AA publishes articles, reviews, and commentaries from across anthropological perspectives. It is the most widely circulated anthropology journal published by the American Anthropological Association and showcases the breadth and depth of the discipline.

The position of AA Editor-in-Chief (EIC) offers a unique opportunity for shaping the discipline’s identity and future. Each EIC has been encouraged to put their own stamp on the journal. The EIC is not expected to have expertise in all subfields of anthropology, but must be interested in creatively developing vital conversations within and across fields and forms of practice and engagement and in contributing collaboratively to the global construction and circulation of anthropological knowledge. We expect this to include engagement with critical scholarly topics and public debate, as well as with new developments in digital publishing and use of media. Above all, the AAA Executive Board seeks an EIC who will maintain the journal at the cutting edge of the field.

The AAA Executive Board invites submissions from a wide range of candidate profiles. We wish to especially encourage applicants from underrepresented groups and a diversity of backgrounds, including racial/ethnic diversity, women, early career scholars, and practicing anthropologists. Institutional support is important but not required, and the association will ensure that essential support is provided. We are also prepared to consider innovative forms of editorship, including for example collaborative proposals for joint editorships.

The position of EIC is a four-year appointment. The current job description is available below and will be used to assess candidacies.

Letters of interest should be emailed to Janine Chiappa McKenna, AAA Publications Department (, and Monica Heller, AA Editor Search Committee Chair (, by January 15, 2019.  From the resulting pool, a mid-list of 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 three scholars who can provide letters of reference, and a letter outlining institutional support by July 15, 2019. Interviews with finalists will be conducted at the November 2019 Meeting of the AAA in Vancouver.



POSITION TITLE: American Anthropologist editor-in-chief

REPORTS TO: AAA Executive Board

OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY: Manage peer-review and efficient content selection to ensure AAA’s prestigious journal continues to publish on time, be highly cited, and disseminate excellence in scholarship across the subdisciplines by working with AAA staff and AAA’s publishing partner (currently Wiley).

SCOPE OF ORGANIZATIONAL/FUNCTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Selection of content, management of reviewers and Editorial Board, collection of author agreements, oversight of managing editor and copyediting, identification of Associate Editors, budget and financial responsibilities, proofreading, promotional and marketing opportunities, and cooperation with AAA Publishing Partner (currently Wiley).

STRATEGIC VALUEAmerican Anthropologist is the flagship journal of the discipline, a leader in publishing anthropological research across its subdisciplines. It publishes the Distinguished Lectures and Presidential Addresses of the AAA, reviews of materials, and obituaries of scholastically noteworthy anthropologists.




  1. Oversee timely double-blind peer-review of original submissions (content not previously published, nor under consideration, at other journals);
  2. Compose letters to authors in a prompt and courteous manner indicating acceptance, rejection, feedback from reviewers and/or requests for revisions;
  3. Facilitate and encourage submissions across the subdisciplines, ideally through identifying influential Associate Editors, working collaboratively with sections from scholarly areas that are underrepresented, and/or inviting prominent biological/physical anthropologists, archaeologists, and professional anthropologists to participate in commentaries, Vital Topics Fora, etc.;
  4. Oversee translation of abstracts into Spanish and copyediting of manuscripts in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style, 17th;
  5. Collect author agreements that grant AAA rights to use any original works and refer questions and concerns about copyright and the author agreement to AAA Publishing Department;
  6. Submit all manuscripts and author agreements to publishing partner (currently Wiley) promptly;
  7. Maintain any editorial office software, such as ensuring author and reviewer details are complete and up-to-date;
  8. Proofread first pass pages and collect author corrections to pages such that content publishes without unnecessary delay;
  9. Update author guidelines, guest editor guidelines, and/or public facing documents that support the policies of AAA and the publishing partner (currently Wiley);
  10. Propose any changes to the publication’s Mission statement to the AAA Publishing Department;
  11. Encourage high citations, wide readership, and stimulating debates by indicating to publishing partner high-profile forthcoming pieces, creating Virtual Issues and other promotional campaigns, flagging possible blog posts for AAA Media Relations, and/or suggesting media coverage outlets and stakeholder organizations that may be interested in content;
  12. Manage an illustrious and international Editorial Board by meeting with Editorial Board at the AAA Annual Meeting and maintaining regular communication with individuals;
  13. Oversee work of managing editor, copyeditor, editorial assistant(s), and/or any editorial office personnel defined in budget and/or required for the title’s success;
  14. Submit an annual budget of editorial office expenses and operate within approved budget;
  15. Monitor estimated typeset pages in each volume year and ensure title is within approved budgeted specifications;
  16. Work cooperatively with AAA Publishing Department and publishing partner personnel (currently Wiley);
  17. Serve in ex officio capacity on AAA Publishing Futures Committee by contributing ideas and feedback about recommendations;
  18. Report annually on prior year’s performance to AAA Executive Board;
  19. Request any changes to specifications or policies to AAA Executive Board with ample time before next calendar year begins (such as requesting a change of policy for discussion no later than the May Executive Board meeting for a proposal to take place with new calendar year);
  20. Collaborate with incoming editor by transitioning materials, templates, and other equipment and material;
  21. Negotiate and secure in-kind support when possible from editor-in-chief’s host institution;
  22. Refer requests for reprints, translations, and new licensing agreements to AAA Publishing Department; and
  23. Uphold the provisions of the signed memorandum of understanding with AAA.



  1. Oversee journal and its performance and provide necessary guidance;
  2. Maintain and improve software tools to facilitate and enhance cost-effective and efficient operations of title;
  3. Appoint identified section and Associate editors, editorial board members, and personnel paid for by AAA;
  4. Respond courteously and promptly to editor’s queries and/or any permission request or copyright questions referred by editor-in-chief;
  5. Approve annual page budget and any changes to specifications; approve an annual budget of editorial office expenses before the commencement of the next calendar year;
  6. Establish subscription price(s) and business policies on the title, such as policies regarding ungating content or embargo periods;
  7. Report annually on usage, impact factor, subscriptions, and financials of the publication to the editor-in-chief;
  8. Preserve AAA’s intellectual property through archiving author agreements, updating ISSNs, or engaging in any other necessary actions (maintaining or protecting trademark, etc.);
  9. Ensure that content is properly archived through AnthroSource and any necessary third-party contracts (e.g.s JSTOR, PORTICO, CLOCKSS, etc.);
  10. Define editor-in-chief appointment, any in-kind institutional support from editor(s)’ host institution with a memorandum of understanding.



  • Education and membership requirements: PhD in anthropology or subfield; current member of AAA during term of Editorship.
  • Experience: Experience with peer-reviewed journals as Associate or section editors and/or prior service as editor-in-chief of serial or book series.
  • Skills and Abilities: Commitment to anthropology as a 4-field discipline, with demonstrated knowledge of peer-review process; Financial and personnel management experience; Excellent written and organizational skills; Ability to work collaboratively with AAA staff; Supportive of junior scholarship and tactful in management of reviewers and authors.
  • Term: American Anthropologist is seeking a four-year appointment with direct responsibilities starting July 1, 2020 and concluding December 31, 2024. Editor-in-chief will need to be available in spring of 2020 to come up to speed on title, editorial software, and practices of journal. If AAA Executive Board and editor-in-chief mutually

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