Leonard Kamerling


Alaska Center for Documentary Film


University of Alaska Museum

ljkamerling [at] alaska.edu


907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
United States

Brief Biography

Alaska filmmaker Leonard Kamerling has produced numerous critically acclaimed, award winning documentary films on Northern cultures and issues. His film The Drums of Winter, about Yup'ik music and dance, was named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2006. He is Curator of Film at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

Kamerling has thirty years of experience producing ethnographic and cultural documentary films with Alaska Native communities. Throughout his career, Kamerling has been committed to exploring issues of cultural representation and the role that both documentary and fiction film can play in eliminating stereotypes and credibly translating one culture to another.

Currently, Kamerling is heading a long-term visual study on the global problem of indigenous urban migration. He is experienced in speaking to a wide range of audiences and is available to speak during the academic year.

Some representative lectures include:

Hollywood and the Idea of North: How the North and Native People are Represented in American Cinema

Treasures from the University of Alaska Museum Film Collection: Keeping the Visual History of Alaska Alive

Thirty Years of Collaborative Filmmaking with Alaska Native Communities: An Illustrated Lecture

Recording Culture: A History of Ethnographic Cinema from 1895 to the Present

Hammer or Kiss? The Propaganda Films of World War II

Science Specialties

Inuit culture, ethnology

Current Research

Ethnographic films on contemporary Alaska Native cultures and northern Japan.