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The Internet version (www-numbers) of Anthropological Abstracts (AA) is published at irregular intervals, probably two to five issues per year, and tries to cover most of the material published in German. AA introduces these publications in English abstracts to provide a convenient source of information for scholars not familiar with the German language. It includes journals, monographs, exhibition catalogs, yearbooks, etc., published in German. Occasionally, publications in English, or French, are included as well if the publisher is less well-known and when it is likely that the publication will not be noted abroad.
For the near future, because printing costs are high and resources/subsidies scarce, AA will be communicated through the Internet only. No. www-1.1999 supersedes the printed version No. 25.1997 of the former "Abstracts in German Anthropology".
From now on, the old title will be dropped, and a new one,"Anthropological Abstracts: Cultural/Social Anthropology from Austria, Germany, Switzerland "will be adopted. This has several reasons:
Scientific disciplines define themselves intrinsically according to their own rules, not according to territory. Though there are American, British, and other concrete histories of the field of anthropology, the title "German Anthropology" may be misleading.
Despite the fact that theories and methods always originate from somewhere, that is, a territory, the primacy of a scientific discipline and the present publication is not territory, but it is persons who bring forth and shape a discipline - even if certain schools and methods are always connected with the countries from where they have emerged. Presently, I would say, trends at least among many younger scholars of anthropology in Austria, Germany and Switzerland are international, rather than "German". International reception, however, is meager: partly because of lack of knowledge due to language (hence, the present publication), partly because of the standard, a certain impermeability of Anglo-American anthropology, and last but not least because of behavioral and institutional reasons - which are too complicated to elaborate on in this place.
So, although the earlier "German Abstracts" did not pertain to a specific German form of anthropology, such as forms of diffusionism in the first half of the 20th century, but to the language they are published in, the term "German anthropology" may be ambiguous. And in the same way as there is, strictly speaking, no "French mathematics" or "Caucasian physics" the title of the present publication will be changed to "Anthropological Abstracts" - to be clear.
"Anthropological Abstracts" would like to be acknowledged as emerging from the geographical area indicated in the title, but being part of the one, big discipline. The major idea is, as noted above, to provide the service of communicating material (mainly) published in the German language to non-German speaking scholars.
Finally, some technical instructions:
If there are papers of different languages in anthologies, e.g. in English, French, etc., besides German, the former will be marked accordingly, e.g., (E), (F). Abstracts supplied by authors are marked by ## before and after the abstract. Due to space limitations they may be abbreviated. Up to three editors of an anthology will be listed, added by "et al."
Only those papers in journals, yearbooks, catalogs and anthologies will be abstracted that are relevant to anthropology - which is mainly applicable in the case of interdisciplinary publications. AGA generally tries to cover related subjects if they are relevant for present discourses anthropology. Thus, there may be material from history, folklore studies, linguistics, sociology, philosophy, etc., if there is an intersection with present debates in anthropology.
To indicate that there are separate abstracts for individual papers of a book there is a note preceding the Keywords line: *Abstracts of these papers appear under the names of the authors*. Keywords after each abstract serve as an "abstract of the abstract" - for quick reference.
The publishers, museums and research institutions must be thanked for their generally prompt deliveries of the books we request for Anthropological Abstracts. You are welcome to contact us, comment on, and make suggestions concerning AA. We hope you may profit from this service.
Dr. Ulrich Oberdiek
Phone+Fax: Germany: 0761/70 72 344