If you submit an article to a journal, they always ask you to list your “affiliation.” Typically this means name, academic department, name of college/university, email and mailing addresses. Here’s an example from my friend Jess Falcone’s paper on The Hau of Theory:
JESSICA MARIE FALCONE
Kansas State University
204 Waters Hall
Manhattan, KS 66502
Here’s another example, from Bonnie Urciuoli’s paper on neoliberal workplace language:
> Department of Anthropology
> Hamilton College
> Clinton, NY 13323
To be sure, there are good reasons for this information to be available. If you want to ask the author a question, it helps to know their contact information. If you want to get a sense of which universities are supporting certain research topics, it helps to know where a given scholar is working. Or even, if you are trying to do meta-research on academic prestige and hierarchy, it’s pretty handy to be able to see who gets represented and who doesn’t, or maybe to get a really crude measure of gender and racial representation based on the scholars’ names (which inevitably encode certain social characteristics).
That was the case for listing affiliation. But I think there is a strong case that we should stop listing affiliations in journal articles.
In brief: the naming of affiliation is also the creation of stigma. What kind of stigma, you ask? The stigma of precarious employment. The stigma of being out of work, “unaffiliated.” The stigma of career ambiguity. The stigma of not having an affiliation to put in this box.