College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Kimberly Christen

Associate Professor, WSU-Pullman

Kim Christen

Kim Christen is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, the Associate Director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program and Director of Digital Projects at the Plateau Center for Native American Programs at Washington State University. Her work explores the intersections of cultural heritage, archival access, traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights, the ethics of openness, and the use of digital technologies in and by indigenous communities globally. Dr. Christen received her Ph.D. from the history of consciousness department at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2004. Her academic work focuses on contemporary global articulations of indigeneity as they relate to the ethics of openness and access to knowledge and cultural materials. Her academic research and grant-funded projects focuses on the intersection of digital technologies, intellectual property rights, archival process, and cultural heritage movements within indigenous communities and the global commons. More of Dr. Christen's work, including publications and projects, can be found at her website, and you can follow her on Twitter @Mukurtu.


Research Interests
Dr. Christen's research interests include issues such as open access, digital technologies, cultural heritage management, sovereignty, and intellectual property rights as they intersect with indigenous peoples rights and relations globally. She is the Director of the Plateau Peoples' Web Portal a collaboratively curated site of Plateau cultural materials, Mukurtu CMS a content management system and community digital archive platform built around the particular needs of indigenous peoples globally and co-Director with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts, an educational website for innovative traditional knowledge licenses and labels for indigenous cultural heritage. Her work has been funded by the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the American Council of Learned Societies.


Teaching Interests
Dr. Christen enjoys teaching a range of classes focusing on the ethics of access and openness in relation to knowledge sharing and in particular on the practices and processes around digital humanities and museum and archival access. Her classes stress critical thinking and making.


Selected Publications


- Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town. School for Advanced Research Press, 2009.

Representative Articles:

- Christen, K. 2012. Does Information Really Want to Be Free?: Indigenous Knowledge and the Politics of Open Access. vol 6: 2870-2893 the International Journal of Communication.

- Christen, K. 2012. Balancing Act: The Creation and Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge and Culture Inside and Outside the Legal Frame" in Traditional Culture in the Internet Age, edited by Adam Candeub and Sean Pager, Elger Publishing Ltd. Pp.316-345.

- Christen, K. 2011. Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation. American Archivist 74 (1): 185210.

- Christen, K. 2009. Access and Accountability: The Ecology of Information Sharing in the Digital Age. Visual Ethics, special issue, Anthropology News, 50 (4): 45.

- Christen, K. 2008. Anthropology In/Of Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies. Cultural Anthropology 23 (3): 559-588.

- Christen, K., C. Kelty, A. Golub, J. Brown, J. Jackson, and M. Fischer. 2008.

- Christen, K. 2008. Archival Challenges and Digital Solutions in Aboriginal Australia. SAA Archaeological Record, 8 (2): 2124.

- Christen, K. 2007. Following the Nyinkka: Relations of Respect and Obligations to Act in the Work of Aboriginal Culture Centers. Museum Anthropology 30 (2): 101124.

- Christen, K. 2006. Tracking Properness: Repackaging Culture in a Remote Australian Town. Cultural Anthropology 21 (3): 416446.

- Christen, K. 2005. Gone Digital: Aboriginal Remix in the Cultural Comments. International Journal of Cultural Property 12:315344.


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