"Balzer, one of the first western-trained scholars to undertake ethnographic fieldwork in Siberia, is uniquely positioned to write this book. Here she argues that far from fading away, shamanism is being revitalized in Central and Far Eastern Russia following the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. One of the many strengths of this volume is the elegant way she positions her analysis in both Russian and Euro-American anthropological theories." - Julie Cruikshank, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of British Columbia"A remarkably sensitive collection of essays spanning three decades of research. The breadth and depth of shamanic practice from across the north Asian landscape comes into vivid focus." - Bruce Grant, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New York University
Shamans, Spirituality, and Cultural Revitalization: Explorations in Siberia and Beyondby M. Balzer
Many voices clamor to be heard in debates about whether shamans cure, and whether shamanic spirituality is worth continuing or recovering in the twenty-first century. This book provides newinsights into the fascinating resurgence of shamanism through an exploration of the politicalrepression of religion and its transcendence
Meet the Author
Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer is a Research Professor in the Anthropology Department at Georgetown University and at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES). She is the editor of the M. E. Sharpe journal, Anthropology and Archeology of Eurasia, and of the books Religion and Politics in Russia (2010); Shamanic Worlds: Rituals and Lore of Siberia and Central Asia (1997); Culture Incarnate: Native Anthropology from Russia (1995); and Russian Traditional Culture (1992). She is also the author of The Tenacity of Ethnicity: A Siberian Saga in Global Perspective (1999). She has taught at Grinnell College, the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania, and has held post-doctoral research appointments at Harvard, Columbia, and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute.
Her fieldwork since 1986 has focused primarily on the Turkic-speaking Sakha (Yakut) of the Russian Federation, and in the 1990s she helped organize exchanges of Native American and Native Siberian leaders. In 1976, while on the official US-USSR cultural exchange (through the International Research and Exchanges Board), she was one of the first Americans allowed into Siberia since the 1917 Revolution. She has since made many return trips.
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