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Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack

Principal Investigator

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


Karolina 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 Academic Centers and Consortium 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 ad personam.

Selected Publications

  • With M. Barnes, I. de Castro, J.F. Espinoza, D. Kurella (eds.): 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 2015.
  • With M. Kraus (eds.): Quo vadis, Völkerkundemuseum? Aktuelle Debatten zu ethnologischen Sammlungen in Museen und Universitäten. [Quo vadis, Völkerkundemuseum? Recent Debates on Ethnological Collections in Museums and Universities]. Bielefeld 2015.
  • With M. Künne (eds.): Die Sammlung Walter Lehmann am Ethnologischen Museum Berlin. Eine Einführung in die Archäologie des südlichen Zentralamerika. [The Walter Lehmann Collection at the Berlin Ethnological Museum. An Introduction to the Archaeology of Southern Central America]. Aachen 2014.
  • With S. E. Ramírez (eds.): Contextualizando la ciudad en América Latina. Reflexiones desde la academia y el movimiento ciudadano. [Contextualizing the City in Latin America. Reflections from Academia and the Citizen/Urban Movement]. Quito 2011.
  • With E. Tietmeyer, C. Hirschberger, J. Redlin (eds.): Die Sprache der Dinge. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf die materielle Kultur. [The Language of Things. Cultural Studies Perspectives on Material Culture]. Munster/New York/ Munich/Berlin 2010.
  • With K.Bahrs, A. Ebert, M. Lidola (eds.): Differenz und Herrschaft in den Amerikas: Repräsentationen des Anderen in Geschichte und Gegenwart. [Difference and Dominance in the Americas: Representation of the "Other“ in History and Present Time]. Bielefeld 2009.
  • With S. Kron (eds.): “Qué género tiene el derecho?” Ciudadanía, Historia y Globalización en América Latina. [Which Gender has the Law? Citizenship, History and Globalization in Latin America]. Berlin 2008.
  • With B. Binder, D. Neuland-Kitzerow (eds.): Kunst und Ethnographie. Zum Verhältnis von visueller Kultur und ethnographischem Arbeiten. [Art and Ethnography. On the Relationship between Visual Culture and Ethnographic Work]. Munster/Hamburg/London 2008.
  • With W. Dresler, B. Fähmel (eds.): Culturas en movimiento. Contribuciones a la transformación de identidades étnicas y culturales en América- [Cultures in Movement. Contributions to the Transformation of Ethnic and Cultural Identities in the Americas]. Berlin/México 2007.
  • Die Visitation des Gregorio González de Cuenca (1566/67) in der Nordregion des Vizekönigreiches Peru. Die gesellschaftliche Relevanz von Rechtsordnung und Rechtsanwendung. [The Visitation of Gregorio González de Cuenca (1566/67) in the Northern Region of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The Social Relevance of Legal Order and Legal Application]. Frankfurt am Main/Berlin/Bern 1996.
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