So You Want to Write for The Geek Anthropologist?

You ever see those quippy article titles–the perfect combination of academic punnery and inside theory humor–pop up on your newsfeed, only to click through and discover that your elevated expectations of incisive analysis and critique aren’t met? In the midst of conference presentations, journal article rewrites (more substantive revisions from Reviewer 3?!), and grant applications, do you find yourself wishing the ethnographic turn provided more opportunities for journalistic experimentation, creative writing, and interaction with other anthropos of the same ilk? Here at The Geek Anthropologist, we like to think of our platform as a testing ground for new ideas, a space of circumambulation, if not circumspection. Amidst renewed debates of academic precarity and the inevitability of politics and politicization, we recognize that anthropology blogs are one critical tool among many to address the breach between academe and alternative facts. Many anthropologists must often abide by the model of “publish or perish” in an industry exacting and brutal in its expectations of writers, where ideas for publications or projects are often discarded on the path to tenure.

Whether you’re at the beginning of your career as a student, learning the difference between habitus and doxa; an anthropologist working outside of universities or the classroom; a professor in the prime of your prestige; or a social scientists engaged in what it means to conduct ethnography in the 21st century, we welcome contributions and pitches from guest writers. We are always looking to publish novel takes, thought experiments, even admonishments of how anthropology can do better, be better, think better. We ask that contributors have some background in anthropology and the social sciences, but degree and professional title should not serve as gatekeepers to publication. While we are not able to financial reimburse writers for their articles, we offer editorial insight and digital visibility to your ideas, acknowledging that many of us undertake free labor throughout our careers. You also retain ownership of your piece after publication. 

Things we’d like you to pitch us about:

  • Dystopias and heterotopias–how alternative visions of the past and future in sci fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction help us to contend with and clarify conditions of resistance today;
  • Public anthropology in the classroom–how are teachers explaining anthropological principles to their students, incorporating geek culture into their pedagogical strategies, and reframing ethnographic scholarship in the Anthropocene;
  • Adaptations of conference presentations or panels related to digital communities; ethnographic experimentation; technological affordances; theories of imagination; and interpretations of current events through an ethnographically-grounded framework
  • Insights from the field, particularly if your fieldsite verges away from typical notions of traditional fieldwork
  • A series of posts written by collaborating authors unified under a singular theme–think magical realism and truthiness; alien encounters and extraterrestrial communication; cthulhu and crisis, etc.

This is a short, though not necessarily comprehensive, list of topics the editors are interested in exploring, but we also want to ensure that The Geek Anthropologist is responding to the interests of our readers. Our Mission is to continue to build a corpus of stories and insights through the multifarious modalities of geek culture and identity.

How to pitch us:

  • Send an email to thegeekanthropologist@gmail.com with your idea for a blog post or story. Keep the pitch to about a paragraph in length. What do you want to write about, what’s the argument or thesis you’d like to make, and why do you have the expertise to write about this topic?
  • Include a sentence or two introducing yourself, including your name, your interests, and your exposure to anthropology and/or the social sciences.
  • Let us know how long you’d think the article would be and how quickly you could turn-around a draft. If you expect that the article will be longer than 1,500-2,000 words, we can also discuss the possibility of a series (multiple blog posts spaced over several weeks).
  • Please do not send us an email simply saying that you want to write something for us without pitching a particular idea or story. We have editors prepared to help writers through the revision and publication process, but we need you to come to us with a coherent and convincing take.

For more information, you can also visit our Contribute page.  Pitch away Merrill, pitch away!

Useful guides to writing a pitch:

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About Emma Louise Backe

PhD student in Medical Anthropology at the George Washington University and independent consultant, focusing on the intersections of international development, global health, reproductive health justice, gender-based violence, and the politics of care. Social justice sailor scout working on behalf of survivors of sexual violence, gender equity, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health among vulnerable populations.

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