Antiquities Compared. (Special Section)

By Kohler, Timothy A. | Antiquity, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Antiquities Compared. (Special Section)


Kohler, Timothy A., Antiquity


Whenever I pick up a copy of ANTIQUITY (which for purposes of clarity one of my colleagues refers to as Un-American Antiquity) I am struck by its contrast with the journal I edit. ANTIQUITY is more colourful (both literally, as of late, but also metaphorically, for some time now), more diverse in its subject matter and nationality of contributor, reflecting its world-wide scope; and more informal, especially of course in its editorials, but also in its format, including News & Notes, Notes, longer articles, short notes on new books, review articles, relatively standard book reviews, and even (it takes an editor to notice) a nice index. American Antiquity by contrast looks a bit earnest and perhaps even slightly stodgy--the greatest of ironies considering that Americans traditionally consider Brits to be stodgy! So perhaps these editorial stances are mere compensatory screens on both sides. (According to Fustel de Coulanges (1980 [1864]: 213), following the disastrous engagement of Sparta at Leuctra, relatives of those who survived had to show themselves publicly in tears, whereas those whose sons had perished were to be seen publicly `with gay countenances'.) I want to use my allotted space to prospect a bit for the reasons behind these perceived differences--in case that explanation is either incorrect or incomplete--drawing on the education I received reading these papers.

Many of the contributors to this symposium make much of the fact that ANTIQUITY is not beholden to any institution or society. My own experience is that the responsibilities of American; Antiquity to the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) are not very onerous; in over two years of editorship I have yet to be lobbied by the President or by the Chair of the Publications Committee (himself a former ANTIQUITY editor) to accommodate a `Society viewpoint' on any issue, or to have my decisions on content in any way questioned. (That's not to say that individual members have not felt free to voice such opinions!) The constraints, to the extent that they exist, are more subtle than that. One important factor in the differences between the journals is that they were founded with somewhat different mandates, and both have been fairly faithful to their respective founding visions. That of ANTIQUITY, as I understand it from Renfrew, Malone and Darvill, was to serve the needs of a then relatively small archaeological profession for a worldwide coverage, yes, but even more, to engage an educated non-specialist public around the world in the world of archaeology. And I mean that broadly: the editorials are full of little gossipy bits about famous figures in archaeology that American Antiquity would never dream of publishing. So ANTIQUITY speaks to the same wide public interest in archaeology and related exotic things that Barbara Pym knew existed when she set Less than angels (1955) in a community of anthropologists, or that Agatha Christie developed so well in a number of mysteries (e.g. Christie 1951) that profited from her intimate knowledge of the archaeology and archaeologists of the Near East.

By contrast, American Antiquity has never seriously tried to reach out to the general public, although one of the concerns at its inception in the mid 1930s (we are only 67 years old) was to provide a platform for cooperation between a large avocational archaeological community and a very small professional community. If ANTIQUITY, especially in the Glyn Daniel years, seems a trifle clubby to the American reader, we can perhaps see that the journal thrived in part by giving non-archaeologists (who would not aspire to be part of that club) the vicarious pleasures of a look into the club. American Antiquity would not want (or dare, if it did want) to take such a stance. Whether because of a more egalitarian American ethos, or because there really was not much of a club, the preferred vision was (and remains) one of a shared goal with amateurs in which the specific status of the participants was subordinated to the daunting tasks of preserving and interpreting the record. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Antiquities Compared. (Special Section)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.