LAS News

UIC Anthropologist Waud Kracke Dies at 74

Feb 10, 2014
UIC News reports that Waud Hocking Kracke, University of Illinois at Chicago professor of anthropology who applied psychoanalytic theory to the understanding of culture, died of cancer December 31 in his Chicago home. He was 74. A memorial service will be held March 14.

Kracke joined the UIC faculty in 1970 and continued to work at the university until just a few days before his death. A dedicated teacher, his courses focused on cultural anthropology and the application of psychoanalytic theory to the understanding of culture. He had a particular interest in cross-cultural dream analysis and in the psychology of leadership.

"His students found him an inspirational influence," said Dylan Lott, a UIC graduate student who worked with Kracke. He was a "devoted and patient teacher," Lott said, who "invited students to reconsider thoughts dismissed, or elements forgotten, and to give voice to dawning insight."

In the 1960s, Kracke did field work in Brazilian Amazon basin with the Parintintin, an indigenous tribe. He continued to make periodic visits there throughout his life, working to defend the rights and culture of the Parintintin and other indigenous peoples and helped legally preserve tribal lands.

He was recently honored at the dedication of a new museum, Centro Cultural Parintintin, Traira Amazonas, to which he donated his archives of research materials on traditional indigenous beliefs and practices, including recordings of languages that are no longer spoken. Those resources are now helping young people to relearn their tribe’s language and customs.

The March 14 memorial service will be at 10 a.m. in UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library, 801 S. Morgan St., Room 1-470. Parking is available in the Halsted Street Parking Structure at Halsted and Taylor streets.

Read the full obituary here.

Source: UIC News - Jeanne Galatzer-Levy