Ivan Karp's Publications: Books

In his eight books, Ivan Karp addressed a range of topics that parallel the foci of his published articles. His first book, Fields of Change (1978, 2004), remains a classic ethnography about the Iteso people of Kenya and an important analysis of social organization and transformation. Four influential co-edited books examine key issues in social theory, African systems of thought, and African philosophy: African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry (2000), Personhood and Agency (1990), The Creativity of Power (1989) and Explorations in African Systems of Thought (1980, 1987). The trilogy of books that Karp co-edited about museums, exhibitions, and public culture were groundbreaking, each based on major interdisciplinary workshops and conferences. Exhibiting Cultures (1991), Museums and Communities (1992), and Museum Frictions (2006) continue to have enormous impact across fields and around the globe.

Karp also edited two significant book series for over twenty years: the African Systems of Thought series at Indiana University Press and the Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry at Smithsonian Institution Press. Through his editorial work, Karp supported a wide range of important, innovative and interdisciplinary scholarship and helped shape the fields of anthropology, African Studies, African philosophy and other related areas of research.

Ivan Karp's Books:

2006   Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations, edited by Ivan Karp, Corinne A. Kratz, Lynn Szwaja, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto with G. Buntinx, B. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and C. Rassool. Durham NC: Duke University Press.

2000 African Philosophy as Critical Inquiry, edited by Ivan Karp and D. A. Masolo. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

1992 Museums and Communities: the Politics of Public Culture, edited by Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine.  Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. Italian Edition: Musei e identity: Politica cultural delle collettivita. Bologna: CLUEB, 1995.

1991 Exhibiting Cultures: the Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, edited by Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine.  Washington:  Smithsonian Institution Press. Italian Edition: Culture in mostra: Poetiche e politiche dell'allestimento museale. Bologna: CLUEB, 1995.

1990 Personhood and Agency: the Experience of Self and Other in African Studies, edited by Michael Jackson and Ivan Karp. Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell and Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

1989 The Creativity of Power: Cosmology and Action in African Societies, edited by W. Arens and Ivan Karp.  Washington:  Smithsonian Institution Press. 

1980 Explorations in African Systems of Thought, edited by C. Bird and Ivan Karp.  Bloomington:  Indiana University Press.  Reprinted, with a new introduction, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987.

1978 Fields of Change among the Iteso of Kenya. International Library of Anthropology.  London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Reprinted 2004 in Routledge Library Editions.