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Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack

Principal Investigator

Karoline Noack

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Department for the Anthropology of the Americas 
Oxfordstr. 15
53111 Bonn
Tel.: +49 228 73-4414

Current Position 

Professor for Anthropology of the Americas and Director of the Ancient America Collection Bonn


1983-1988        Diploma Studies in Anthropology and History, Humboldt University of Berlin
1988-1991        Doctoral Thesis, Anthropology of the Americas, Academy of Sciences of the GDR (Doctoral Fellowship)
1991-1996        Doctoral Thesis at the Freie Universität Berlin
 2010                Habilitation and Venia legendi for Cultural Anthropology and Anthropology of the Americas

Academic Positions

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

Participation in Academic Centers and Consortium Projects: 

Full member of the German Archaeological Institute (since 2015); Head of the collaborative project "Mensch-Ding-Verflechtungen in indigenen Gesellschaften/Man-Object Entanglements in Indigeneous Societies” (BMBF, since 2014); 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, since 2016)

Additional Academic Activities: 

Member of the editorial board of the journal “Indiana” and the series “Estudios Indiana” (since 2012); Member of the editorial board of the series “Early Americas: History and Culture” (since 2015)


KN 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. 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 MA and 54 BA theses as supervisor/first reviewer.

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 – a total of 2,100.950 million euros ad personam.

Selected Publications:

  1. 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/M./Berlin/Bern 1996.
  2. With W. Dresler and 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 and México 2007.
  3. 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.
  4. With B. Binder and 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]. Münster/ Hamburg/London 2008.
  5. With K.Bahrs, A. Ebert and 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.
  6. With E. Tietmeyer, C. Hirschberger and J. Redlin (eds.), Die Sprache der Dinge. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf die materielle Kultur [The Language of Things. Cultural Studies Perspectives on Material Culture]. Münster/New York/ München. Berlin 2010.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. With M. Barnes, I. de Castro, J.F. Espinoza and 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.
  10. 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.
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