The Anthropology Book Forum is awarded the GAD New Directions Award

 The Anthropology Book Forum has been awarded the 2022 New Directions Award (group category), presented by the General Anthropology Division, a sub-section of the American Anthropological Association.

The New Direction award recognizes work that presents anthropological perspectives to publics beyond the academy across diverse forms of media, with methodological rigor and ethical engagement.

The ABF was founded by the American Anthropological Association as an experimental digital platform aimed at accelerating the scholarly book review process and expanding conversations around newly published work. As an open access journal, committed to a set of principles that aims to reduce barriers to accessibility, the Forum publishes reviews of newly published work in multiple formats every Monday, 52 weeks a year. 

Based on the idea that book reviews are not just summaries of academic texts, but engagements with scholarship, ideas and authors, the Forum seeks to facilitate connections and exchange between authors and readers within and outside of anthropology. With an online readership of around 3,000 per month, and a contributor base of 1300 and growing, we are constantly exploring and experimenting with new modes of engagement and new forms of written, audio and visual review formats. Our Facebook page, where we disseminate reviews, recently published work and new titles available for review, currently has over 2,200 followers. 

Previously, the ABF shared a site with Anthropology News. In 2021, we moved to our new home, a site dedicated entirely to the Forum. Here, we have developed and expanded multiple ways to engage with recent scholarship and film other than through text alone. See our most recent Year in Review to check out what we have been up to in our work to expand review modalities and accessibility.

Working with over 100 publishers around the world, we continuously seek to make available a broad range of texts relevant to anthropological audiences, broadly conceived. As the number of academic presses that we work with continues to expand, we have increasingly built relationships with several smaller independent publishing houses, including a number of minority- and women-owned publishers. We also work in collaboration with the editors of Open Anthropology to publish reviews relevant to their quarterly themes on the AAA site.

We believe that spaces such as the Anthropology Book Forum play a crucial role in facilitating a vibrant exchange of knowledge, particularly in a time increasingly characterized by exclusion and remote virtual connectivity brought on both by the pandemic and ongoing political, economic and academic boundaries. Moreover, we are constantly in conversation with our readers, authors and publishers in order to refine the Forum to best serve the scholarly community. As the new site grows, it will facilitate the expansion of new review formats, cross-disciplinary conversations and a space for ongoing experimentation and dialogue. 

This award means a lot for the Anthropology Book Forum, as a recognition that we are on the right path towards our aim of making anthropological knowledge as widely accessible as possible, to audiences within and outside of academic. As editors, we are excited to for this recognition, and for the future growth of the Anthropology Book Forum. We will be present at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Seattle, USA, where the Forum will showcase some of our reviews and offer other interactive opportunities. We’ll be present in the Exhibit Hall – please come visit us!

We send a huge thank you to the GAD Award Committee, and especially to our readers, publishers and contributors.

You can read more about the award and view the original announcement here.

Your editors,

Emilia Groupp and Rasmus Rodineliussen

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