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Submission 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 ethnographic methods and research design in historical perspective, and with ways cultural analysis can address broader public audiences and interests.

Research Articles

A research article submitted to Cultural Anthropology should:

  1. Be more than a solid ethnographic case study; we are looking for works that draw on original field research, or historical evidence considered anthropologically, to make explicit contributions to contemporary conversations and theoretical developments in cultural anthropology.
  2. Consider the extent to which citations engage with a demographically diverse set of authors, both as appropriate to the case study, and as generative of fresh theoretical insights that are productive of a more ethical, decolonized, and counterhegemonic discipline. Many fields of classic and contemporary cultural anthropology (e.g, the study of kinship, household, ritual, environments, and colonialism) have rich and complex genealogies that have not been adequately recognized in Anglophone scholarship. Works published in Cultural Anthropology should make an effort to engage with the diverse canon that has constituted these fields. Citing and engaging the work of scholars from the country and region where the research was conducted, as well as other scholars who have worked in that region (including non-English language publications), are also relevant criteria of evaluation.
  3. Engage and cite research beyond the author’s core networks. We especially welcome works that take alternative analyses seriously into account.
  4. Build arguments with claims that are proportionate to the data presented.
  5. Speak relevantly and reflexively to issues of research ethics, design, and methodology.
  6. 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 welcomes multimedia content as part of regular article submissions. In addition to images, submissions may include video and/or audio clips that are integral to the text’s argumentation.

Cultural Anthropology does not publish special issues or book reviews.

Submitting a Research Article

The journal’s online submission system is the only acceptable means of submitting a manuscript for review. Manuscripts sent directly to the editors will not be considered. If you encounter any technical difficulties, please contact for assistance.

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 of no more than 150 words, as well as 5–7 keywords. Manuscripts submitted to Cultural Anthropology should not be under simultaneous consideration by any other journal or have been published elsewhere.

When submitting a revised manuscript, please log in to your account at, where you will see your original submission. In the Review tab, you will see a box labeled Revisions; click on Upload File. Please also upload a cover letter of no more than two pages in which you explain your revision strategy and outline the major changes you have made to the text. The cover letter may be shared with reviewers, so it should not contain any identifying information. If your title or abstract changes during revisions, please click on the Publication tab to update them. Our editorial office will be automatically notified when you upload revised files, but please reach out to if you have any questions.

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 join the SCA before their manuscripts will be reviewed.

Authors who are not members of the AAA may pay a submission fee of $25 in lieu of becoming a member of the AAA and SCA. Authors can pay the fee 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 fee will apply. Moreover, if payment of the submission fee would represent a significant financial hardship for the author, a request for a waiver with a brief explanation may be sent to


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. 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, “<IMAGE 1 HERE>.” 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.

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 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 expected 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 as the original forum of publication. Authors also reserve the right to archive preprint and postprint versions of their manuscript, as indicated in the journal’s SHERPA/RoMEO deposit policy.

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

Amendments and Retractions

If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their article after it has been published, it is the author’s obligation to notify the editorial collective and to cooperate fully if an amendment 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.