chapter  three
20 Pages

Transformations in Siberian Anthropology

An Insider's Perspective
WithNikolai Vakhtin

Siberian anthropology was particularly reinforced by the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, intellectually designed and led by Franz Boas. Siberian anthropology has once again become internationalized through fieldwork done in Siberia by scores of Western anthropologists, as well as by intensive academic contacts. This new development has revealed interesting discrepancies between the two traditions, such as different approaches to the object of study, contrasting theoretical frameworks, different attitudes toward sharing outcomes of research and different ethical procedures and requirements. One of the inevitable consequences of the claustrophobic development of the Soviet state was the isolation of scholars, including those who did ethnographic and linguistic research in Siberia. Russian scholars are feeling much more confident about getting international research grants and scholarships, which put them financially on a more equal basis with their Western colleagues.