Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ivan Karp Online Archive

Online Archive of Ivan Karp’s Publications Launched at Emory University

Emory University recently launched an online archive of Ivan Karp’s
(1943–2011) published papers in order to keep his work widely available. Karp
was a social anthropologist and a leading scholar of social theory, museum and
heritage studies, and African studies. He began his long-term research with Iteso
communities in western Kenya in 1969. Karp wrote extensively about power,
personhood and agency, about African societies and systems of thought, and he
published groundbreaking work about museums and exhibitions.

The new online archive includes complete lists of Karp’s books and of the
works published in the two book series for which he served as editor: the African
Systems of Thought series at Indiana University Press and the Smithsonian
Series in Ethnographic Inquiry at Smithsonian Institution Press. Important
features of the archive include: a) downloadable links to Karp’s published papers,
b) video clips from his presentations, and c) an In Memoriam section with a praise
poem written about him in Kenya and audio from the memorial held in his honor
at the National Museum of African Art in November 2011. The archive organizes
Karp’s papers thematically, with sections devoted to Social Theory and African
Systems of Thought; Museums, Exhibitions and Public Scholarship; African
Philosophy; and the Iteso People of Kenya. The archive can be found online at:

Karp was the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor at Emory
University before his death in September 2011. He served previously as the
Curator of African Ethnology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural
History and as a professor at Indiana University and Colgate University. He
founded the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship at Emory and for over a
decade co-directed it with Corinne Kratz, fostering ongoing collaboration with
colleagues in universities, museums, and other cultural institutions in South Africa through the Institutions of Public Culture program. Plans are under way for Karp’s unpublished papers to be deposited with the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution.

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