Can Scholarship be Free to Read? Cultural Anthropology Goes Open Access

From the Series: Open Access

On this episode of AnthroPod, the podcast of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, Bascom Guffin and Jonah S Rubin interview four leading voices pushing for open access in anthropology. Open access policies allow readers to download academic articles free of charge. With the publishing of its February 2014 issue, Cultural Anthropology is now an open access journal.

Sean Dowdy is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago and Deputy Managing Editor and Book Series Managing Editor of Hau: The Journal of Ethnographic Theory. You can find more about Hau, and read all of their articles free of charge, at their website. Mr. Dowdy is currently finishing his dissertation research in Assam (Northeast India) on topics of cosmology, economic life, and political pageantry.

Alex Golub is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii. He is also one of the founders of the popular anthropology blog Savage Minds. You can find more information about Prof. Golub's research on his website.

To hear the extended interview with Alex Golub, focusing on the development of open access in American anthropology, click play below.

Brad Weiss is a Professor of Anthropology at Williams and Mary College and the former President of the Society for Cultural Anthropology. You can read Prof. Weiss's op-ed explaining in more detail how and why Cultural Anthropology decided to go open access in the February 2014 issue. You can also find out more about his research at his website.

Timothy Elfenbein is the managing editor of Cultural Anthropology. You can follow Mr. Elfenbein's work on his page. You can read a recent interview he did with Savage Minds for more detail on Cultural Anthropology's open access transition.

Special thanks to everyone who talked with us about open access at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, including (in order of appearance): Monica Barra, Matthew Canfield, Brandon Fischer, Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, Jessica Cattelino, Michael Silverstein, Vivian Y. Choi, Bruce Grant, and Brian Larkin.


AnthroPod features interviews with current anthropologists about their work, current events, and their experiences in the field. You can find AnthroPod at SoundCloud, subscribe to it on iTunes, or use our RSS feed. If you have suggestions for future episodes or feedback on this episode, please leave us a comment to the right, or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter, or you can email us at [email protected].

Music: Beachfront Celebration and Sweeter Vermouth by Kevin MacLeod.