It’s a sad day. I received word over the weekend that my mentor, committee member, and friend Ivan Karp had passed away. He and Cory were two of the most generous people I’ve met, and I am a better person and a much, much better thinker for knowing Ivan. I will miss you.
Here is the message from Dr. Cory Kratz:
Many of you know about Ivan's critical illness this last month and that he was battling back from systemic sepsis of an unknown origin. He was regaining strength and making great progress with physical therapy, and regaining his lucidity from the cognitive effects of his long term stay in an ICU. Last week, Ivan was transferred to a critical care rehabilitation hospital in Albuquerque. He began physical therapy, and a number of other therapies to regain strength and functioning. Saturday he had an excellent day, he took more steps and had wonderful visits with me and friends. Saturday night he suddenly died. No one is clear about the cause, except that he was very weak, and that perhaps his heart gave out or he had an embolism. Next week, on Monday, 26 September, Lisa Tedesco and David Kuehn will open their home in Atlanta from 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm for those of you who wish to visit with me. They live at 480 Emory Circle, walking distance from campus, about 3 blocks from the North Decatur Building. The first of several tributes to Ivan will take place in Washington, DC on Friday, 18 November at/near the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, during the annual meetings of the African Studies Association. It will take place at the Ripley Quad auditorium with a tribute program from 5-6 pm, followed by a reception. I will send more precise directions when I have them. Other tributes will be planned in future, including one likely at the 2012 meetings of the American Anthropological Association in San Francisco. At University of New Mexico, the International Business Students Global group has already renamed one of their programs as the Ivan Karp Emerging Economies Program. The book, Translating Knowledge, which Ray Silverman is editing on museum-community relations and connections will be dedicated to Ivan and I will complete the piece he was going to write for the volume. I am sure there will be more.... I know you join me in mourning Ivan's passing, and take solace in knowing that he made a difference for so many, was widely respected and loved, made major contributions to African Studies, Anthropology, Museum Studies, Public Scholarship and more. We will miss him, but his spirit and influence are still with us. With sadness, Corinne A. Kratz Professor of Anthropology and African Studies Emory University