Sergei A. Kan
Professor of Anthropology
Faculty Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Affiliated Faculty, University of Haifa, Israel
As a scholar of Native American ethnology and ethnohistory, I have been interested in ways in which Alaska Native (particularly Tlingit) cultures have changed over time while preserving some of their core values and maintaining a distinct indigenous identity. I have also researched the history of American and Russian anthropology, particularly the interaction between Boasian and Russian anthropology from the early 1900s through the 1940s. Recently I completed an intellectual biography of Alexander Goldenweiser (1880-1940), a porminent American anthropologist of Russian-Jewish descent. Currently I am also preparing for publication an annotated book of photographs taken in Sitka, Alaska by Elbridge W. Merrill(1897-1929). A new project in the history of anthropology that I have recently began is an intellectual biography of another major American anthropologist of the first half of the 20th centruy -- Paul Radin (1883-1959).
- Moscow State University
- B.A. Boston University
- M.A. University of Chicago
- Ph.D. University of Chicago
A Maverick Boasian: The Life and Work of Alexander Goldenweiser. University of Nebraska Press. Forthcoming in 2022.
Book Sharing Our Knowledge: the Tlingit and Their Coastal Neighbors. University of Nebraska Press. 2015.
The 2015 Western History Association Joan Patterson Kerr Award for the best illustrated book on the American West.
Book Symbolic Immortality: the Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century. Second Edition (Revised and expanded). University of Washington Press. 2015.
[1990 Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award].
Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, October 14, 2020
"Alexander Goldenweiser: An American Anthropologist with Russian Jewish Roots."
Annual Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Nashville, TN, 2016
"Moisei Krol's Return to the Jewish People via Ethnographic Research among the Buryats."
Paper presented at the 2020 Meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. Lisbon, Portugal, July 22, 2020.
Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, 2015
Fr. Andrew Kashevaroff (1863-1940), an Ethnologist of Alaska Native Cultures.
Paper presented in the Americanist Seminar, Moscow, Russia, November 21, 2020
International Conference “Going to the People: Jews and the Ethnographic Impulse.” Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2013
Fifth International Conference on Russian America, Mariehamn, Finland, 2012
Tlingit Clan Conferences; Sitka, Alaska, 2012; Juneau, Alaska, 2017, 2015, 2013
Annual Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Indianapolis, IN, 2014
Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, 2012
Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association, Vancouver, Canada, 2019
American Society for Ethnohistory, Annual Meeting, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2018
A Russian Amercan Photographer in Tlingit Country: Vincent Soboleff in Alaska
Lecture (in Russian) Sponsored by the United States Embassy, Russia. Moscow, Russia, May 17, 2017
Works In Progress
Book: A Multi-Ethnic Alaska Town: Sitka as Depicted by Elbridge W. Merrill's Photographs (1890s-1920s) (book)
A Russian translation of my 2009 book Lev Shternberg: Anthropologist, Russian Socialist, Jewish Activist. Academic Studies Press.
An intellectual biography of Paul Radin (1883-1959), a major figure in American anthropology of the first half of the twentieth century.
Selected Works & Activities
As a member of the Organizing Committee: preparing the Fall 2021 Conference "Sharing Our Knowledge": a venue that brings together academic and tribal scholars and activists working on Tlingit culture and history