This WCAA-sponsored panel explores issues of justice in publishing from different national perspectives. Why are the most widely cited books and journals those published in the US and Europe? If this is an actively maintained hegemony, how is it produced and how can we counter it?
Anthropology has long transcended the era of Morgan and Tylor, where Americans and Europeans, secure in their sense of superiority, studied everyone else in the world. And yet, uncomfortable echoes of this political history of anthropology remain. Why is it that until today the most well known and widely cited anthropological books and journals in the world are those published in the United States and Western Europe, in English? Is this simply because anthropology first developed in the United States and Western Europe, or is this a matter of latter-day intellectual hegemony? If it is simply a historical legacy, how and when will the rest of the world catch up? And if it is an actively maintained hegemony, how is this hegemony (re-)produced and what can be done to counter it? How can anthropologists throughout the world create a more level playing field for a global anthropology? What is the role of commercial publishers, and various national journal-ranking schemes? The panel will explore these and other questions around the nexus of publishing, prestige and commercial interests from different national perspectives. The aim is to grapple with the problem of intellectual hegemony in anthropology, and to sketch out possible solutions. This panel is convened on behalf of the World Council of Anthropological Associations.