Historicizing Theories, Identities, and Nations

Historicizing Theories, Identities, and Nations

Historicizing Theories, Identities, and Nations

Historicizing Theories, Identities, and Nations

Excerpt

This is our fourth volume since Histories of Anthropology Annual returned from the journals to the book division at the University of Nebraska Press. This may seem nothing but a structural question of production, but there are real distinctions between journals and books that are quite significant to the ways we conceived and continue to produce HoAA. After more than a decade we find ourselves reflecting on the peculiarities of an annual cycle of publication geared to professional colleagues in anthropology and history (broadly defined to include ethnohistory and history of science) and in Native studies and other specific cultural studies, as well as to a more generalist audience. On the one hand, the book division attracts readers whose curiosity about ideas, cultural communities, and those who study them leads them to explore the wide variety of topics and themes in each issue. On the other hand, we have developed a fairly specialized audience whose members look to our regular publication to keep them in touch with the emergence of new ideas about the discipline and where its ideas come from and how their continuities are shaped. HoAA has become for many a reflexive practice within their understanding of the discipline(s); it functions like a journal to reflect current research.

Reading a journal is a very different experience from reading a singleauthored book or an integrated series of topical essays in which multiple authors have coproduced the work. the book format allows the author to develop the ramifications of an argument and to present detailed evidence in its support. the book composed of essays also imposes an order in advance. a journal issue does not stand alone in the same way. Even though many of its articles may eventually become books, ideas in a journal are presented in a framework of the ideas that surround them. Very few academics write papers without thinking about what . . .

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