Call for Proposals: Openings and Retrospectives

Openings and Retrospectives is a new Cultural Anthropology feature 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 will intervene in ongoing theoretical conversations, seeking to spin them in new directions. Openings will 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 will be contemporary in their orientation, which is to say that they will provide commentary on where anthropological thinking and writing is today. Openings and Retrospectives contributions should be informed by field research but 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 2016, please send us no later than September 15, 2015: 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 three to six months, so preference will be given to projects submitted in late 2015 or early 2016. Please also be advised that we can only publish two or at most three collections during 2016.

For more information, please consult our first Openings collection, “Life Above Earth,” to get a better sense of the format and vision of the new feature. Questions can be addressed to, and complete proposals should be submitted to