“The world of publishing, especially academic-related publishing, is in a state of flux. The changes that have resulted from the advances in digital computing and communication technology have revolutionized the way we write, the way we read, the way we present our information, and the way we disseminate our information. Not surprisingly, the economics of publishing have been turned upside down. All of these factors are impacting the way that scholars—especially young scholars—write. The impact on disciplines such as anthropology, for which technical books and academic journals are very much the lifeblood, has been, and will continue to be, significant.” (Stapp and Longenecker 2019:1)
Journal of Northwest Anthropology (JONA) Volume 53, Number 1 (Spring 2019), concluded with a set of essays written by nineteen colleagues discussing why they write (an idea brought to us by Tiffany J. Fulkerson and Shannon Tushingham of Washington State University). The purpose was to collect experiences, insights, and suggestions from experienced authors to assist other professionals in writing and publishing their own research. The essays were well received by those who participated in the effort.
The collection of essays got us thinking—how can JONA further facilitate writing in the anthropological discipline? Enter, ECTNA.
Essays on Current Topics in Northwest Anthropology (ECTNA) is a platform encouraging anthropologists (from seasoned professionals to students/recent graduates just entering the discipline) to write. This idea was initially brought to us by Tom King, who wrote in his essay, “JONA has not only a distinguished journal but a fine worldwide website with lots of links; maybe there are ways to make that site more accessible, more widely used by the community, and use it to encourage writing of all types.” That is what we aim to do.
A few times a year, JONA will provide a prompt and solicit essays from anthropologists in the Pacific Northwest to encourage others in our discipline to simply write more. We encourage you to submit a ~750-word (really, 1,000 words or less) essay to our email; we’ll post it to ECTNA (anonymously, if you prefer) to help facilitate further discussion on the topic. We hope you take on the challenge.
“Clearly, this group of prolific writers feels strongly on the need for anthropology to continue its strong tradition of documenting and sharing what we learn. We can only hope that the new generations of anthropologists will follow in their footsteps and adapt to this rapidly changing world where new technology is upending the way we communicate.” (Stapp and Longenecker 2019:4).
Stapp, Darby C., and Julia G. Longenecker. 2019. Introduction. In Why Don’t We Write More? Essays on Writing and Publishing Anthropological Research, edited by Darby C. Stapp, Julia G. Longenecker, Tiffany J. Fulkerson, and Shannon Tushingham, pp. 1–5. Journal of Northwest Anthropology special reprint, https://www.northwestanthropology.com/publications. Richland, WA: Northwest Anthropology LLC.