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Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology



Book Review Information

Books for review should be sent to:
Christopher Krupa
Department of Social Sciences
University of Toronto
1265 Military Trail
Scarborough, Ontario
Canada M1C 1A4

Focaal Guidelines for Review Articles
Focaal's review article section seeks to bring to its readers' attention innovative publications of relevance to the kind of intellectual discussions that Focaal engages with in general. Review articles discuss and compare several books or edited volumes and reflect on the wider implications of their argument. No preference is given to a particular area of the world in the selection of reviewed works, but we do encourage reviewers to take into account a comparative regional perspective.

Review articles are expected to provide a balanced discussion of the works reviewed, taking into account their intrinsic value. Although the editors welcome critical contributions to ongoing debates, we discourage inappropriate remarks, such as gratuitous or personal attacks, and reserve the right to reject reviews deemed unfitting or unsubstantial. Fairness is a paramount criteria in Focaal reviews.

Reviews should be submitted electronically to Focaal's book review editor, Christopher Krupa, at ckrupa@utsc.utoronto.ca. We ask reviewers to check for acknowledgement of receipt within two weeks. The book review editor, sometimes assisted by other members of Focaal or experts on the topic, will go through the submitted reviews and ask the reviewer for revision of the article where necessary.

Focaal's policy is to commission review articles to specialists on a given topic. In some cases, authors of the works reviewed may also be invited to send in a response for publication in Focaal. We do welcome spontaneous offers of reviews/responses that are relevant to Focaal. We ask contributors, however, to coordinate such initiatives with the book review editor.

When writing your review article, please follow the following guidelines:

  • A review article should be 3,000 words max (including references and notes).
  • At least two books should be discussed. We encourage the review of works with contrasting approaches to a given topic.
  • For reasons of fairness articles should first offer a sensitive commentary on the main argument of the different books before engaging in critical, comparative debate with the authors on their theoretical or ethnographic conclusions.
  • Rather than simply summarizing or listing each chapter of the books or edited volumes, we expect the reviewer to offer substantive reflections on, for example, the soundness of the theory and methodology, the style of argumentation, the possible impact of the work on ongoing debates, the ethical/political implications of the chosen approach, or the relevance of the work for particular research agendas. When reviewing an edited volume, do not feel that you must write about, or even mention, every chapter. Instead please describe the overall focus of the volume, pick a few significant contributions, and discuss those in detail.
  • We ask reviewers to avoid lengthy direct quotations.
  • For correct referencing, placement of notes, and other style guidelines please see the Style Guide for samples.
  • Though we welcome the review of books from any social science discipline, we do ask authors to be explicit about the relevance of works from outside the discipline of anthropology to ongoing debates within anthropology broadly defined.

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