Miklouho-Maclay's Legacy in Russian- and English-Language Academic Research, 1992-2017

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    Abstract

    This article provides an overview of recent research dedicated to the legacy of the Russian scientist and traveler Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay. The first part deals with the so-called "classic" approach of the second half of the 20th century, which tended towards a mythologized and idealized portrait of Miklouho-Maclay, as evidenced by the publications of D.D. Tumarkin and the second edition of the Complete Works of N.N. Miklouho-Maclay, published in the 1990s. The second part addresses articles published during the 1990s and 2000s that have sought to "demythologize" and reevaluate standard perspectives on Miklouho-Maclay. Some authors, rather than overestimating his achievements, tend to understate the impact of his work. The third part deals with English-language articles about Miklouho-Maclay's legacy. These are mostly translations of Miklouho-Maclay's archival texts from Russian, with scholarly commentary. However, an ongoing Australian research project conducted by Chris Ballard and Elena Govor has begun a sustained program of fieldwork with descendants of the Melanesian source communities with which Miklouho-Maclay worked, seeking new insights into his texts and especially his drawings as a form of dialogic approach to culture. We propose to study Miklouho-Maclay's legacy using modern approaches to anthropological theory. This will hopefully result in a unified image of the scientist, rather than separate images of an anthropologist, an artist, a humanist, etc. Also, the use of Miklouho-Maclay's drawings, in addition to his texts, will be an important step toward a dialogic study of Oceanic cultures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-121
    JournalArchaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
    Volume47
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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