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The ethnography of an ethnographer: Dmitry Arzyutov on the life of Andrej Danilin (1896-1942)

Our division has a very international setup, which is also reflected in the diversity of languages we publish in. Our colleague Dmitry Arzyutov (Candidate of Sciences in the field of anthropology, Kunstkamera St. Petersburg, and PhD-student at KTH in History of Science/ Environmental History) has just now published an article in the Russian journal “Siberian Historical Investigations” (Sibirskie istoricheskie issledovaniya). In this article Arzyutov uncovers the difficult archival situation one encounters while doing research on the life of one of the most prominent Soviet ethnographers of the inter-war period.

Andrej Grigor’evich Danilin (1896-1942) was a leading Russian scholar conducting ethnographic research on the people living in the Altaj region. In their article, Arzyutov reconstructs the archival situation concerning Danilin’s life and creates a map, of how Danilin archived his documents in his personal archive. The co-author of this article is Lidiya Danilina, the daughter of ethnographer Andrej Danilin. Together, they propose what they call an “ethnography of the ethnographer”, which turns the investigator-investigated matrix of earlier times upside down.

How did Danilin correspond with different people? How were bureaucratic situations dealt with? How can one find Danilin’s personal voice in his papers? If you want to find out more, check out the publications entry in DiVA.

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