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Accepted Paper:

Troubled Waters off the Northwest Coast (on Collaboration between Franz Boas and Julia Averkieva)  
Igor V. Kuznetsov

Paper short abstract:

History of the coexistence of Russian and American anthropologies cannot be described as plain. Once upon a time, Russian anthropologists, focusing on European trends, did not notice their American colleagues who were just taking initial steps. Then, after the crucial political change, scholars in the Soviet Union felt themselves in a besieged fortress, and their ideological speculations, on the contrary, lost all attractiveness to the American audience.

Paper long abstract:

The paper is devoted to a narrow, but extremely important period, when both traditions came closest. The US has just begun to establish academic exchanges projects with Soviet Russia, and Franz Boas had Julia Averkieva as one of his students. He even took the young Russian researcher to accompany him for fieldwork amongst Kwakwaka’wakw. The advanced age of the ‘heroic mentor’ and the impending Cold War were to blame for their communication quickly ended. Averkieva would soon become the founder of American Indian studies in the USSR, in which Boasian legacy would be doomed to oblivion. The topic of her own doctoral dissertation will change from one to another, in the spirit of the Marxist classist approach. And all this will happen despite her personal sympathy for Papa Franz. Averkieva survived Mordovia camps, a decade in Siberia, and she was only able to return to New World for the International Congress of Anthropological and Etiological Sciences in Chicago during the Thaw in 1973. Paradoxically, the effect of Marxist ethnography’s short-term intervention began to show in Pacific Northwest studies mostly after the collapse of the country that Averkieva served. The sharp confrontation of two political systems faded away; what Soviet scientists and their few Western supporters did ceased to be a bogey or an example of how not to conduct research.

Panel P03b
Collaborations and Confrontations during the Cold War and Into the Future
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -