Rosalind C. Morris

Rosalind C. Morris

Research Interest

Research Sub-interest

Social Theory and Philosophical Anthropology, Resource Extraction, Photography, Film and Media, Literature and Translation

Regions

Southern Africa, Southeast Asia; Thailand

Biography

Rosalind Morris’ work is addressed to the histories and social lives—including the deaths and afterlives—produced in the interstices of industrial and resource-based capitalism in the Global South. Those interests extend to the technological and media forms that attend or undergird these economies, and the forms of subjectivity produced in their midst. They also encompass the racialized and sexualized political logics and structures of desire accompanying these phenomena. Morris’ recent writings on these subjects are grounded in deep ethnographic research in Southern Africa, an engagement that now stretches over more than two decades; her early work was centered on mainland Southeast Asia, especially Thailand.

Across these areas, and with occasional essays and a film devoted to questions of American war-making, her work has taken a variety of forms: from scholarly monographs to critical essays. Some of her writings are specifically theoretical, influenced by classical anthropological theory, Marxism, deconstructionism and feminist psychoanalysis; others are more ethnographically descriptive.  

Education

University of Chicago, PhD in Anthropology, 1994
York University, MA in Anthropology, 1989

2018. “Chiang Mai: Looking Back at the Nineties.” In Chiang Mai Social Installation, 84-91. Exhibition Histories. London: Afterall.

2018b. “Death and the Miner.” Berlin Journal 23: 6-11.

2017. “Conflicts and Crisis in the Faculties: The Humanities in an Age of Identity.” Social Research 84, no. 3: 601-633.

2017b. “Drawing the Line at a Tree-Search: The New Landscapes of William Kentridge.” In William Kentridge, October Files #21, edited by Rosalind Krauss, 113-146. Cambridge: MIT Press.

2017c. “Mediation, the Political Task: Between Language and Violence in Contemporary South Africa.” Supplement, Current Anthropology 58: 123-134.

2017d. The Return of Fetishism: Charles de Brosses and the Afterlives of an Idea. Translation and Translator’s Introduction by Daniel Leonard. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2016. “Deconstruction’s doubt.” Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6, no. 1: 69-76.

2016b. ‘“Dialect and Dialectic in ‘The Working Day’ of Marx’s Capital.” Special issue, Boundary 2 43, no. 1: 219-248.

2016c. “Unpopular Politics: the Collective, the Communist and the Popular in Recent Thai History.” In The Idea of Communism, 3: The Seoul Conference, edited by Alex Taek-Gwang Lee and Slavoj Žižek, 212-239. New York: Verso. 

2016d. “Ursprüngliche Akkumulation: The Secret History of an Originary Mistranslation.” Special issue, Boundary 2 43, no. 3: 29-77.

2014. Coauthor with William Kentridge. Accounts and Drawings from Underground: East Rand Proprietary Mines, 1906. Chicago and Kolkata: Seagull, University of Chicago.

2014b. “On the Subject of Spirit Mediumship in the Age of New Media.” In Trance Mediums and New Media, edited by Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke and Martin Zillinger, 25-55. New York: Fordham University Press.

2013. That Which is Not Drawn: William Kentridge in Conversation with Rosalind Morris. Kolkata: Seagull.

2013b. “Theses on the New Öffentlichkeit.” Grey Room 51: 94-111.

2011. The Art of Clive Van den Berg: Unlearning the Grounds of Art. Johannesburg: Goodman.

2011b. “Crowds and Powerlessness: Reading // Kabbo and Canetti with Derrida in (South) Africa.” In Demenageries/Animals, edited by Anne Berger and Marta Segarra, 167-212. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2011c. “In the Name of Trauma: Notes on Testimony, Truth-Telling and the Secret of Literature in South Africa.” Comparative Literature Studies 48, no. 3: 388-416.

2011d. “Populist Politics in Asian Networks: Positions for Rethinking the Question of Political Subjectivity.” Special issue, Positions 20, no. 1: 37-65.

2010. “Accidental Histories, Post-Historical Practice? Re-reading Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance in the Actuarial Age.” Anthropological Quarterly 83, no. 1: 581-624.

2010b. "Can the Subaltern Speak?": Essays on the History of an Idea. New York: Columbia University Press.

2010c. “Style, Tsotsi-style and Tsotsitaal: The Histories, Politics and Aesthetics of a South African Figure.” Social Text 10328, no.2: 85-112.

2009. Photographies East: The Camera and its Histories in East and Southeast Asia. Durham: Duke University Press.