Ivan Izosimovich Potekhin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Potekhin, Ivan Izosimovich


Born Sept. 18 (Oct. 1), 1903, in the village of Krivosheino, now in Novoselovo Raion, Krasnoiarsk Krai; died Sept. 17, 1964, in Moscow. Soviet africanist. Doctor of historical sciences (1955). Member of the CPSU from 1922.

Potekhin graduated from the Leningrad Oriental Institute in 1932. From 1932 to 1937 he was a research worker with the Scientific Research Association (Institute, 1936–37) for the Study of National and Colonial Problems, located in Moscow.

After his demobilization from the Soviet Army, Potekhin was a senior research worker in the Institute of Ethnography of the

Academy of Sciences of the USSR from 1946 to 1949 and the institute’s deputy director from 1949 to 1959. In 1959 he became director of the academy’s Africa Institute. He was chairman of the Soviet Association for Friendship With the Peoples of Africa beginning in 1959.

Potekhin was one of the founders of Soviet African studies. His chief works dealt with Africa’s modern and contemporary history, economics, and ethnography. Potekhin was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Formirovanie natsional’noi obshchnosti iuzhno-afrikanskikh bantu. Moscow, 1955.
Gana segodnia: Dnevnik, 1957. Moscow, 1959.
Afrika smotrit ν budushchee. Moscow, 1960.
Stanovlenie novoi Gany. Moscow, 1965.
African Problems. Moscow, 1968.


“I. I. Potekhin.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, l964, no. 6. (Contains a supplementary list of works by Potekhin.)
“Spisok osnovnykh nauchnykh trudov I. I. Potekhina.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1963, no. 5.
Davidson, A. B. “I. I. Potekhin i sovetskaia afrikanistika.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1974, no. 4.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.