Short Portrait: Klaus-Peter Koepping

Klaus-Peter Koepping
Klaus-Peter Koepping

Prof. Dr. em Klaus-Peter Koepping was born in Cottbus in 1940. At the end of World War II his family was evacuated and eventually resettled in Kassel. Koepping grew up in a rather artistic and academic background. Furthermore, he developed an early interest in literature, music and foreign cultures. After his family moved to Aachen Koepping finished school in 1959.

Eventually Koepping began to study Law at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn but also attended lectures on Art History and Japanese Studies. Moreover, Koepping took courses at the Institute for Ancient American Studies and Ethnology, where Hermann Trimborn was among his teachers.

In 1966 Koepping moved to Cologne and attended lectures at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Helmut Petri and Enno Beuchelt were among his teachers. Due to his interest in Eastern Asia, Koepping also deepened his knowledge on Chinese and Japanese culture. Moreover, he did not only participate in student field researches (e.g., in Corsica) but went to Japan in 1966/67. There he worked as a journalist and collected ethnographic data on modern millenarian and nativistic religious movements.

In 1969 Koepping moved to the USA and eventually took up an assistant professorship in Fullerton, California. Moreover, he completed his PhD thesis in 1971 and became associated professor.

Koepping moved to Australia in 1972, where he became senior lecturer at the Department for Sociology and Anthropology at the university in Brisbane, Queensland. He not only lectured but continuously did field researches in Japan. In 1984 Koepping took up a professorship at the newly founded Chair of Anthropology at the Melbourne University. Besides lecturing and researching he established the »School of Asian Studies« and was responsible for a number administrative tasks. Furthermore, Koepping held visiting professorships, for example in Aachen and Mainz.

In 1991 Koepping took up a professorship at the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology in Heidelberg. Throughout the following years he lectured (e.g., on Applied Anthropology) and participated on several Collaborative Research Projects. Furthermore, Koepping held further visiting professorships (.e.g. in Japan) until his retirement in 2005.

Between 2005 and 2007 Koepping was Visiting Professor at the Goldsmiths College in London, where he was not only lectured at the Post-Colonial Studies but also worked at the Centre of Cultural Studies. Moreover, Koepping was visiting fellow as part of the international research project »Interweaving Performance Cultures« in 2008/09.

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