Guide for Contributors

The following notes are provided as a guide for potential contributors of Analytical Essays.

  • Each essay should be between 1,500–4,000 words long and should critically engage with and analyze the role played by reference to ancient American art and/or culture in a specific modern (art or pop-cultural) context.
  • Each essay should focus on a singular example of modern art or popular culture in which ancient American art or culture is represented or alluded to. 
  • Essay titles should be some variation of “Artist’s Name, Artwork Title (Year)” or “Film Title (Year)” or “Series Name, ‘Episode Title’ (Year).”
  • Follow the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for most conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, numbers, abbreviations, etc.). This includes capitalizing the adjectives “Indigenous,” “Native,” and Black” any time they are used to refer to people, groups, or culture (but not when they are used in other ways such as the color black or the flora and fauna indigenous to a region).
  • Cite sources with footnotes following CMS formatting; online sources can be linked to rather than cited with footnotes. Try to keep the number of footnotes to a minimum while being sure to acknowledge any debt to sources you are drawing from. A list of a few select sources “For Further Reading” can also be provided at the end of an essay.
  • Submit essay with a clear indication of the desired organization of text and images. Essays should be well illustrated and, as far as possible, images should be well distributed throughout the texts. Images, which can include details or comparative materials, are placed individually or in groups of two or three between paragraphs, and they usually appear just after or just before a paragraph making reference to what they show.
  • Each image should be accompanied by a caption that contains pertinent information (e.g. artist, title of artwork, date, medium, current collection information OR Still from [film / television episode and series / video game title], creator[s]'s name, year, distributor) and a link to the source of the image if available.
  • Essays should avoid using the first person (“I”), and should generally maintain a formal / analytical tone.
  • Essays should avoid using jargon as far as possible, and the first use of any specialized terminology or uncommon non-English words should be immediately defined or translated in the text.
  • Names of individuals should be given in full the first time they are mentioned, with just the last name(s) used for subsequent mentions.
  • Titles of artworks or publications (etc.) should be given in full the first time they are mentioned and, for titles longer than a few words, they should be shortened in subsequent mentions in a similar manner to the shortened notes in CMS footnotes.
  • Titles of artworks or publications (etc.) should be given in their original language followed (if necessary) by the English translation in parentheses.
  • Names of institutions should be given in full in their original language (including their location if relevant) the first time they are mentioned and, shortening the name for subsequent mentions (e.g. “the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City” becomes “Museo Nacional” or “MNA.” If the latter, introduce the abbreviation in parentheses as part of the initial mention).