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Native American Studies Program

37 North Main Street
The Sherman House
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-3530
Fax: (603) 646-0333
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Native American Studies: Faculty

Sergie KanName: Sergei Kan (e-mail)

Title: Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies

Education: Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, 1980

Courses Taught: NAS 10, NAS 37, NAS 49

Curriculum Vitae [Word Document]

Professor Kan has been teaching in the NAS and Anthropology at Dartmouth since 1989. Prior to that he taught at the University of Michigan. He has regularly taught an introductory course "Peoples and Cultures of Native North America" as well as the following other courses: "The Land of the Totem Poles: Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast," "Native Americans and Christianity," "Native American Autobiography," a seminar "Sacred Objects, Sacred Persons: Native American Spirituality Through Artifacts," which utilized Dartmouth's Hood Museum collection, and a senior seminar "American Indians, American Anthropologists." Since 2009 he has offered a new course "Alaska: American Dreams and Native Realities." His teaching and research interests include the culture and history of Native Alaskans and Native Americans of the Northwest Coast, Native American religion, indigenous Siberian cultures, ethnohistory, ethnicity and nationalism, anthropology of death and dying, anthropology of religion, and history of anthropology (including relations between Native Americans and anthropologists). Since 1979 he has been conducting ethnographic and archival research among the Tlingit people of southeastern Alaska (his most recent visit there occurred in the summer of 2010); he has been adopted into two Tlingit clans, participates regularly in conferences sponsored by local tribal governments, and does occasional research projects for the Tlingit community. In 2006 he helped secure an NSF grant for a major conference held in Sitka, Alaska in March 2007 ("Sharing Our Knowledge: a Conference of Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian Tribes and Clans"). The conference was the largest gathering of tribal and academic historians, cultural activists, clan leaders, and tradition bearers. A similar conference was held in 2009 and another one will take place in 2011. Prof. Kan has been a co-organizer of both of them.

Professor Kan is the author of numerous articles on the past and present Tlingit culture, the effects of Russian Orthodox missionary activities on Native Alaskans, and the history of non-Native images of Native Alaskans. In 1989 Smithsonian Institution Press published his book Symbolic Immortality: Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century that received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. His second monograph Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity Through Two Centuries was published by the University of Washington Press in 1999. In 2001 the University of Nebraska Press published a volume of essays edited by him, entitled Strangers to Relatives: the Adoption and Naming of Anthropologists in Native North America. Three years later the same press produced a volume of essays he co-edited, entitled Coming to Shore: Northwest Coast Ethnology: Traditions and Visions. In 2006 New Perspectives on Native North America: Culture, History, and Representation, another major collection of essays, co-edited by Prof. Kan, came out with University of Nebraska Press. In 2009 the same pressed published his book Lev Shternberg: Anthropologist, Russian Socialist, Jewish Activist. Currently Prof. Kan is completing an annotated book of photographs taken by an amateur Russian-American photographer in the Tlingit communities of Killisnoo and Angoon in the early 1900s. In addition he preparing for publication a collection of papers presented at the 2007 conference of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes and clans.

Professor Kan is involved in co-organizing Sharing our Knowledge: A Conference of Tlingit Tribes and Clans 2012. The call for papers, presentations and sessions are available in doc and pdf format. Please click the respective links below [doc][pdf].

He helped organize "Sharing Our Knowledge Conference" 2012, that will be held on March 28-April 1 2012. This year's theme is "Haa eetí káa yís," which means "for those who come after us" in the Tlingit language. Read an article about the conference from the "Juneau Empire":

Last Updated: 3/27/12