What do we know about the fieldwork of the ethnographers/
anthropologists of the North? How did they organize their
research and what ideas have they left behind in their now archived
field notes? Historians of anthropology along with anthropologists
attempt to find answers to these questions through the analysis of field
notes, diaries, letters, and reports, as well as published and unpublished
works from the fieldworkers of the past. Despite the thousands of
field notes and multiple narratives about how pre-Soviet and Soviet
anthropologists heroically conducted their research in “uncivilized
conditions” in remote areas, and how they were captured by ideologies
of evolutionism, Soviet modernization and development, we still know
little about their field research as a practice. This issue titled, “Beyond
the Anthropological Texts: History and Theory of Fieldworking in the
North” aims to start a discussion on the history and ethnography of
ethnographic fieldworking in the North and Siberia.
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