Office: Bunnell 307B
Phone: 907 474-7133
Email: dckoester @ alaska.edu
2014-15 Academic Year: David Koester is the recipient of a research grant in the program “Research in Paris” sponsored by the city of Paris, Office of the Mayor. Through this program he is a senior visiting researcher with a group called “Groupe Société, Religion, Laïcité,” under the auspices of the French National Research Center (GSRL UMR 8582 CNRS—Centre national de la recherche scientifique) and affiliated also with the Ecole pratique des hautes études. His project, entitled “The Shaman, the Saint and the General Secretary as Historical Effects in the Social Dynamics of Life in Rural Kamchatka” continues in Paris for four months, November to February.
My main interest as a socio-cultural anthropologist has been to understand the effects that the past has on how people live in the present and how individuals and communities go about shaping their futures. This interest in the past combined with a general specialization in the circumpolar North has led to a number of historical and ethnohistorical projects from Iceland to the Russian Far East. My dissertation research on historical consciousness in Iceland led me to study of the early history of ethnographic writing, nationalism and to a great fondness for Old Norse literature and early Icelandic history. Over the past two decades I have been conducting research in and about Kamchatka, Russia, primarily with Itelmen people. My research has ranged from Itelmen music to political identity to religious revival , hunting and language documentation. I have been working for many years on a life history of Itelmen educator and performer Tatiana Petrovna Lukashkina.
Please see also my personal website.