Michael Malpass

Dana Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
Specialty: South American archaeology

I am an anthropologically trained archaeologist with major interests in South American prehistory, ethnohistory, prehistoric agricultural systems, complex societies, and teaching techniques in anthropology. I have a Masters and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I am a Full Professor of Anthropology, and I was honored by being selected as the Charles A. Dana Professor in the Social Sciences at Ithaca College in the spring of 2008.

I have been a faculty member at Ithaca College since 1989. I came as the first permanent archaeologist in the department, and, like all of us, was asked to wear many hats. As our department expanded, I have focused my teaching energies on Latin American prehistory courses, our introductory world archaeology course and a First Year Seminar on Great Mysteries of Humanity. I have also taught at the College of William and Mary, St. Lawrence University and Washington and Lee University.

My main research program has been in Peru, where I am currently involved in studies of the early occupants of the south Andes and how central coastal societies developed social inequalities.  Previous research was focused on Inca and pre-Inca cultures as well. I have written or edited four books on the Incas, two published by the University of Iowa, Provincial Inca. Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Assessment of the Impact of the Inca State and a related volume (co-edited with Sonia  Alconini), Distant Provinces in the Inka Empire: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Inka Imperialism.  Greenwood Press published Daily Life in the Inca Empire in 1996 and a revised edition in 2009. An edition in the Iraqi language was published in 2012. I contributed several articles to the recent ​Encyclopedia of the Inkas (2015) as well. My textbook on western Andean prehistory, entitled Ancient People of the Andes, was published by Cornell University Press in 2016.

I love to teach and interact with students, and have taken IC students on my research in Peru many times. I find Anthropology a fascinating field, and try to impart that interest to my students. I emphasize collaborative teaching and learning in my classroom, with the expectation that students be active learners.

I am married to Susanne Kessemeier and have a son, Soren.