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Professor, WSU-Pullman Kimberly Christen

Kimberly Christen

Kim Christensen


Kim Christen is a Professor in the Department of English, the Director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program, the Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and the Director of Digital Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University.  Dr. Christen received her Ph.D. from the history of consciousness department at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2004. Her academic research and grant-funded projects focus on the intersection of digital technologies, intellectual property rights, archival process, cultural heritage movements and the ethics of openness within Indigenous communities, and with and by libraries, archives, and museums.  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, the Andrew Mellon Foundation 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. 2015, “Tribal Archives, Traditional Knowledge, and Local Contexts: Why the “s” Matters,” Journal of Western Archives.  Vol. 6 (1): Article 3.

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

Christen, K. 2011. “Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation,”  American Archivist Vol. 74 (1): 185–210.

Christen, K. 2009. “Access and Accountability: The Ecology of Information Sharing in the Digital Age. Visual Ethics, special issue,” Anthropology News, 50 (4): 4–5.

Christen, K. 2008. Archival Challenges and Digital Solutions in Aboriginal Australia. SAA Archaeological Record, 8 (2): 21–24.

Christen, K. 2007. Following the Nyinkka: Relations of Respect and Obligations to Act in the Work of Aboriginal Culture Centers. Museum Anthropology 30 (2): 101–124.

Christen, K. 2006. Tracking Properness: Repackaging Culture in a Remote Australian Town. Cultural Anthropology 21 (3): 416–446.

Christen, K. 2005. Gone Digital: Aboriginal Remix in the Cultural Comments. International Journal of Cultural Property 12:315–344.