Professor Kan's Book Wins Joan Paterson Kerr Award

Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies Sergei Kan published A Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country: Vincent Soboleff in Alaska in 2013. His book recently won the Joan Paterson Kerr Award for the best illustrated book on the American West by the Western History Association. 

"This book is a rich record of life in small-town southeastern Alaska in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is the first book to showcase the photographs of Vincent Soboleff, an amateur Russian American photographer whose community included Tlingit Indians from a nearby village as well as Russian Americans, so-called Creoles, who worked in a local fertilizer factory. Using a Kodak camera, Soboleff, the son of a Russian Orthodox priest, documented the life of this multiethnic parish at work and at play until 1920. Despite their significance, few of Soboleff’s photographs have been published since their discovery in 1950. Anthropologist Sergei Kan rectifies that oversight in A Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country, which brings together more than 100 of Soboleff’s striking black-and-white images." Read more about Professor Kan's book here.

The Western History Association announces a prize of $500 for the Joan Paterson Kerr Book Award. This award is presented biennially for the best illustrated book on the history of the American West. 

Read more about the Joan Paterson Kerr Award.