Call for Proposals: Openings and Retrospectives

Openings and Retrospectives is a section of Cultural Anthropology that seeks to blend the special-issue format with the anthropological theory essay, adapting them to our discipline’s increasing interest in exploring shorter publication formats. Retrospectives intervene in ongoing theoretical conversations, seeking to spin them in new directions. Openings focus on emergent thematics and analytics, imagining what anthropologists might be talking about next. Like the art world from whose language we borrow, both sections are contemporary in their orientation, which is to say that they provide commentary on where anthropological thinking and writing is today. Openings and Retrospectives contributions should be theoretically ambitious and informed by field research but they need not directly offer ethnography; we welcome experimental formats and efforts to expand the conceptual and methodological horizons of anthropological practice. As with all content in the journal, Openings and Retrospectives will be peer-reviewed.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for consideration for Openings and Retrospectives in 2018, please send us no later than June 1, 2017: a one-page description of the project, along with the names of confirmed participants, and a timeline for production. Each Openings and Retrospectives collection should consist of three to five essays, no more than 4,000 words each, with a target length of 12,000 words total. Please be advised that review, revision, and production can take several months, so preference will be given to projects that can be initially submitted in late 2017 or early 2018. Please also be advised that we can only publish three or, at most, four collections during 2018.

For more information, please have a look at our inaugural Openings collection, “Life Above Earth,” to get a better sense of the format and vision of this section. Please submit complete proposals to