American Academic Journal Editing in the Great Bourgeois Cultural Revolution of Late 20th-Century Postmodernity: The Case of Cultural Anthropology

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Essay Excerpt

Nevertheless, I consider these same mundane, limiting circumstances of Cultural Anthropology's publication to be also the source of its distinction among the wave of new or revitalized journals concerned with critiquing and transforming knowledge production in the human sciences. It is one of the few "officially" published journals, associated with the professional identity and organization of a discipline, that so clearly represents and allies with the broad-based critique that is now occurring. Cultural Anthropology does not promote interdisciplinarity from a space outside disciplinary apparatuses, enabled by university press or commercial publication. Rather, at a time when the new journal initiatives are fleeing from identification with disciplines, Cultural Anthropology, while making common cause with those in cultural studies and cultural criticism broadly conceived, none the less recognizes the importance of siting critique and exploration of other possibilities within the frame of given disciplinary traditions. Initiatives within disciplines areas important as those that apparently float free in self-styled interdisciplinary space.This positioning of the unofficial, merged within the official, is the unusual space that Cultural Anthropology has occupied under my editorship. The critical engagement with a specific disciplinary tradition and practices at a particular historic moment is also specific and direct-just as the production of ethnographic knowledge has itself been. (Marcus, 123-124) 

About the Author

George E. Marcus is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Rice University. His focuses remain on the follows: Culture Theory and Comparative Cultural Studies. The ethnography of elite groups, of the emergence of middle-classes cross-culturally, and of intellectuals. Peoples and cultures of Oceania. Contemporary transnational cultural formations. George Marcus has made important contributions to the practices, findings, and distributions of cultural anthropology around the world.

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