Professor J. Mark Kenoyer Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and joining them this year is UW-Madison professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer.

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

Kenoyer is a professor in anthropology, who teaches archaeology and ancient technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at Madison since 1985, and also serves as director of the university’s Center for South Asia.

Dr. Kenoyer has been excavating at Harappa, Pakistan since 1986 as field director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the government of Pakistan.  His main focus is on the Indus Valley Civilization and he has worked in both Pakistan and India since 1974. His interests are in ancient technologies and crafts and socio-economic and political organization, as well as religion.  These interests have led him to study a broad range of cultural periods in South Asia, as well as other regions of the world. His publications include monographs on the Indus civilization, as well as numerous articles, a grade school book on ancient South Asia, and even a coloring book on the Indus cities for children.

Dr. Kenoyer was born and raised in eastern and northern India. He has a BA in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed his MA and PhD (1983) in South Asian Archaeology from the same university.  He has studied Sanskrit and speaks Bangla, Urdu, and Hindi fluently, and is currently studying Pashto. Dr. Kenoyer has conducted archaeological research and excavations at both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, two of the most important early sites in Pakistan, and has also worked in western and central India on sites ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Harappan period.

Dr. Kenoyer was guest curator with the Asia Society for the exhibition on the Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, which toured the U.S. in 1998-1999. He was a special consultant for the Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus exhibition curated by Joan Aruz at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2002. His work has been featured in the National Geographic Magazine and Scientific American and on the website

“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Leslie Berlowitz, Academy president and William T. Golden chair. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity – and responsibility – to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 1, 2011 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. Congratulations, Dr. Kenoyer!