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Alexander Mikhailovich

Candidate of Sciences (equiv. Ph.D.) - History
(01.08.1932 — 29.05.2009)
Born on August 1, 1932. In 1956, graduated from Leningrad State University, the Faculty of Oriental Studies, the Department of Chinese Philology, and was admitted to the doctoral course at the Institute of Ethnography, the USSR Academy of Sciences. Soon he went to China for the academic training and spent there several years. In 1960, he started his work at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Ethnography and immediately took an active part in the edition of issues Peoples of Eastern Asia [Народы Восточной Азии] and Peoples of South Eastern Asia [Народы Юго-Восточной Азии] published by the Institute as a part of the series Peoples of the World [Народы мира]. In 1967, he defended the PhD Dissertation, The Puyi. An Historical and Ethnographic Account [Буи. Историко-этнографический очерк], supervised by Dr N.N. Cheboksarov, a well-known Russian ethnographer and anthropologist.

At the same time, he started his fieldworks. First he explored Siberia and Central Asia, especially the areas populated by the Uigurs and Dungans. During late 1970s through early 1980s, he took part in the Soviet Mongolian research expedition. He brought a number of artifacts to the Museum of anthropology and ethnography (MAE).

During the 1960s through 1970s, his major research interests were in ethnography of various ethnic groups of China, Mongolia, the Far East. He contributed much to the description and popularization of relevant rich collections kept at the MAE. It resulted in a series of his papers published at the MAE’s academic issues.

During the 1970s, he contributed to the study of general ethnography, its theory and methodology, editing two books of essays such as The Hunters, Gatherers, Fishers [Охотники, собиратели, рыболовы] and The Early Farmers [Ранние земледельцы].

Starting from mid-1980s, he concentrated also on the history of Russian ethnography and Oriental studies and published more than 100 papers on both well-known scholars and those whose names were undeserved forgotten. Thanks to him the names of many Russian ethnographers, anthropologists and Orientalists, including the emigrants of the first wave who worked mostly in Harbin and the scholars oppressed by the Stalinists were returned. During the last years of his life, Dr A.Reshetov worked on the fundamental Biobliographic Dictionary of Russian Ethnographs and Anthropologists. The 20th Century [Биобиблиографический словарь отечественных этнографов и антропологов. XX век] that he was not destined to complete.

Moreover, Dr A.Reshetov organized many important conferences. During many years, he was the academic secretary of the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Ethnography, then headed its Department of Foreign Asian Studies.

Based upon the obituary by V.N. Kislyakov



Countries and Peoples of the East [Страны и народы Востока] / General editor of the series M.N.Bogolyubov. Ed. by I.F.Popova and A.M.Reshetov. Vol. 33. Moscow, Vostochnaya Literatura Publishers 2010.

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