Karoline Noack
Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack

Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack

University of Bonn
Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology
Department for the Anthropology of the Americas
Oxfordstraße 15
D-53111 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 4414

Current Position

  • Professor for Anthropology of the Americas
  • Director of the Ancient America Collection Bonn
  • Co-Speaker of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies


Karoline Noack focuses on the categories of social dependency of the Inca Empire: resettled persons (mitimaes), specialists (camayoc), dependent employees (yanaconas) and “selected women” (aqllakuna). These categories do not designate social groups and there are no clear dividing lines between them. However, the groups can be distinguished by their specific forms of dependency from the Inca elite, as well as by their specialized or non-specialized services. They are also characterized by the manner of their community involvement. The Inca activated cultural/religious differential criteria by the relations of the members of these social categories with the regions of origin and their representation in state rituals. Very little is known about the mitimaes and the other categories. Karoline Noack tries to develop methods for an interlinkage of archaeological, ethno-historical and ethnological sources and approaches.

1 book, 35 book contributions, 15 (selected) journal contributions and reviews; numerous lectures, 5 completed (first reviewer 3 times, second reviewer twice at other universities), 27 ongoing doctorates, 45 Magister, 12 M.A. and 54 B.A. theses as supervisor/first reviewer.


  • 2010                         Habilitation and Venia legendi for Cultural Anthropology and Anthropology of the Americas
  • 1991–1996             Ph.D. at the Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 1988–1991             Ph.D. in Anthropology of the Americas, Academy of Sciences of the GDR (Doctoral Fellowship)
  • 1983–1988             Diploma Studies in Anthropology and History, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2009–present         Professor for Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2005–2009              Research Associate at the Institute for Latin American Studies (Anthropology of the Americas), Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 1997–2005              Lecturer at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University and at the Institute for Latin American Studies of the Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 1996–1997              Research Fellowship of the Berlin Senate Department for Labor, Project Application for Historical Gender Research in Latin America
  • 1991–1995              Doctoral Fellowship DAAD, Friedrich Ebert Foundation

Participation in Centers and Collaborative Projects

  • 2016–present          Head of the collaborative project "Die Sammlungen – ein Kosmos. Von der Vernetzungswissenschaft Alexander von Humboldts zu objektbasierten
                                       Wissensanordnungen im Netzzeitalter" ["The Collections – One Cosmos. From the Networking Science of Alexander von Humboldt to Object-Based Knowledge
                                       Arrangements in the Network Age”] (BMBF)
  • 2015–present          Full member of the German Archaeological Institute
  • 2014–present          Head of the collaborative project "Mensch-Ding-Verflechtungen in indigenen Gesellschaften" ["Man-Object Entanglements in Indigeneous Societies”] (BMBF)

Additional Academic Activities

  • 2015–present           Member of the editorial board of the series "Early Americas: History and Culture"
  • 2012–present           Member of the editorial board of the journal "Indiana" and the series "Estudios Indiana"

Third-Party Funding

  • German Research Foundation (DFG) (individual project, 2015–2019)
  • BMBF (2 joint projects 2015–2018, 2016–2019)
  • VW Foundation (individual project 2016–2018)
  • Landesverband Rheinland (Regional Rhineland Association)
  • several minor fundings
    total sum of 2,100.950 million euros

Selected Publications

  • Monica Barnes, Inés de Castro, Javier Flores Espinoza, and Doris Kurella, eds. 2015. Tribus Special Edition. Perspectives on the Inca. International Symposium at Linden-Museum Stuttgart in Cooperation with Universität Bonn, Abteilung für Altamerikanistik, from March 3rd to March 5th 2014. Stuttgart: Linden-Museum Renningen.

  • and Michael Kraus, eds. 2015. Quo vadis, Völkerkundemuseum? Aktuelle Debatten zu ethnologischen Sammlungen in Museen und Universitäten. Edition Museum 16. Bielefeld: transcript.

  • and Martin Künne, eds. 2014. Die Sammlung Walter Lehmann am Ethnologischen Museum Berlin. Eine Einführung in die Archäologie des südlichen Zentralamerika. Bonner amerikanistische Studien 50. Aachen: Shaker Verlag.

  • and Susan E. Ramírez, eds. 2011. Contextualizando la Ciudad en América Latina. Reflexiones desde la Academia y el Movimiento Ciudadano. Quito: Abya Yala.

  •  Elisabeth Tietmeyer, Claudia Hirschberger, and Jane Redlin, eds. 2010. Die Sprache der Dinge. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf die materielle Kultur. Museum Europäischer Kulturen 9. Munster: Waxmann.

  • Karoline Bahrs, Anne Ebert, and Maria Lidola, eds. 2009. Differenz und Herrschaft in den Amerikas. Repräsentationen des Anderen in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Kultur- und Medientheorie. Bielefeld: transcript.

  • and Stefanía Kron, eds. 2008. “¿Qué Género Tiene el Derecho?” Ciudadanía, Historia y Globalización en América Latina. Fragmentierte Moderne in Lateinamerika 5. Berlin: Tranvía.

  • Beate Binder, and Dagmar Neuland-Kitzerow, eds. 2008. Kunst und Ethnographie. Zum Verhältnis von visueller Kultur und ethnographischem Arbeiten. Berliner Blätter 46. Munster: LIT-Verlag.

  • Wiltrud Dresler, and Bernd Fähmel, eds. 2007. Culturas en Movimiento. Contribuciones a la Transformación de Identidades Étnicas y Culturales en América. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

  • 1996. Die Visitation des Gregorio González de Cuenca (1566/67) in der Nordregion des Vizekönigreiches Peru. Gesellschaftliche Relevanz von Rechtsordnung und Rechtsanwendung. Europäische Hochschulschriften 3: Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften 717. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

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