Franz Boas PapersWestern Social Science

Sergei Kan

Sergei Kan

Contact Information



Research Areas

History of anthropology, Russia, USSR, Boas, Boasians, Jesup Expedition, American anthropology and the American Left, Soviet anthropology and Stalinism.


Sergei A. Kan was born in Russia and in 1974 immigrated to United States where he completed his undergraduate education and received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1982.  He is currently Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. His research interests include Native American and particularly Alaska Native culture and history as well as history of anthropology.  He is the author of several books on Tlingit ethnology and ethnohistory, including the award-winning Symbolic Immortality: the Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century, and Lev Shternberg: Anthropologist, Russian Socialist, Jewish Activist, an intellectual biography of a leading Russian anthropologist of the late imperial and early Soviet era.  More recently he has become particularly interested in the relationship between Franz Boas and his Russian/Soviet colleagues and, as a participant in the Franz Boas Papers Project, will be editing the volume of letters Boas exchanged with them between the early 1900s and the end of his life.