Office: Bunnell 307B
Phone: 907 474-7133
Email: dckoester @ alaska.edu
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.
In 2016 David Koester was a Research Fellow at Le STUDIUM, the Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies. He was affiliated there with the research group CiTerES (Cités,Territoires, Environnement et Sociétés). His project for the year was “Social Values in the Vision of a Hydrogen-Based Society in France: A Comparative, Social Study of Discourses and Institutions.”