Monday, April 12, 2010

Has Latin American Antiquity abandoned book reviews?

The new issue of Latin American Antiquity (vol 21, no. 1, March 2010) just arrived, and it continues the pattern that ended 2009 (vol. 20, no. 4) of having NO BOOK REVIEWS. Sorry to keep harping on this; if you are interested, check out some of my previous posts on this topic:

"The book review crisis in Latin American archaeology." (August 21, 2009)

"Is there a book review crisis in Latin American archaeology?" (July 27, 2008)


Jason Baird Jackson said...

We just published a new issue of Museum Anthropology Review--4(1). Its got twenty-one new reviews. Not our strongest issue for archaeology, but maybe something there will be of interest to those who are missing book and other reviews elsewhere in the journal literatures.

Maybe American archaeology needs a project comparable to (1) Bryn Mar Classical Review, (2) Journal of Folklore Research Reviews, and (3) the Medieval Review. These efforts generate, for their fields, scores of high quality (OA) reviews each year.

Michael E. Smith said...


I really like the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (and the Medieval one too), and I have thought about doing something along those lines. Such a project is probably somewhere around #14 in my list of worthy projects to do. But LAA has a new editor and a new book review editor (since I wrote this post) and I am optimistic.

Jason Baird Jackson said...

All the changes, developments and possibilities are interesting. I share your views on the disciplinary importance of book reviews.

JFRR (inspired by BMCR) was our response in folklore studies. As in other fields, the mainline journals (including JFR) had been giving less and less attention to book reviews and this was leading publishers to question book publishing in the field.

Folklorists (and busy people in general, I think) like the publish-the-review-when-it-is-ready format a lot. It speeds things up and also makes reviews "bite-sized." You can know in an instant if it is a review you need to read or not.