About

‘Roz Morris Projects’ is the website of anthropologist, cultural critic, writer and filmmaker, Rosalind Morris.

Rosalind Morris studied literature, philosophy and anthropology as an undergraduate, and received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1994.  Since then, she has taught at Columbia University, where she is currently Professor of Anthropology and a member of the executive of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She has also taught at Cornell University and the University of Witwatersrand, and has lectured widely, both in the United States and internationally. Among her many prizes and awards, Morris has been honored with the Lenfest Prize at Columbia University and the Lichstern lectures at the University of Chicago. She has also received fellowships from the Institutes for Advanced Study in Princeton and Stellenbosch (South Africa), as well as the Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM), in Weimar, Germany.

As Steve Biko once said, “I write what I like.”  Morris’s writing includes non-fiction prose (books and essays), fiction, poetry, libretti and film scripts. Her work ranges across a wide array of topics, media and genres. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The Capilano Review, Literary Imagination, and Carapace; her literary essays in New Ohio Review, PMLA, and Convolution 1. She is the author of several scholarly monographs and critical essays based in her anthropological fieldwork in both Southeast Asia and South Africa. And she writes frequently about media and contemporary politics.

Morris’s recent books include a volume of “conversations” with William Kentridge, and a new collaboration with the artist entitled Accounts and Drawings from Underground: The East Rand Proprietary Mines Cash Book, 1906, both published by Seagull Books. Her extended monograph on the art of Clive van den Berg, The Art of Clive van den Berg: Unlearning the Grounds of Art, was published by the Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg) in September 2011. Other books include Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea, Photographies East: The Camera and its Histories in East and Southeast Asia, In the Place of Origins: Modernity and its Mediums in Northern Thailand, and In the Place of Origins: Film, Ethnography and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cultures.

Devoted to collaboration, Morris has been involved in editorial work on several major journals and book series. She was a founding co-editor, with Radhika Subramaniam, of CONNECT: art, politics, theory practice, and is the founder and editor of the ‘Africa List,’ for Seagull Books. She also serves on the editorial boards of the series, Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society for Duke University Press (with Rey Chow, Harry Harootunian and Michael Dutton), and Critical Studies for Rodopi (with Myriam Diocaretz, Anne Berger and Marta Segarra).

In 2011, Morris created ‘RoCaM Productions LLC,’ to make her first narrative feature film. Starring Bill Griffin and Eric T. Miller, Gertrude Stein’s Brewsie and Willie is based on her own adaptation of Stein’s last novella (published in 1946), and will be released in 2014.  With co-librettist Yvette Christiansë and composer Zaid Jabri, she is also the co-creator of a major new opera entitled Cities of Salt, based on the novel by Abdelrahman Munif.  A selection of scenes from the opera will be featured as part of the Shubbak Festival at the Royal Opera House, Linbury Theatre, in July 2015.

Born in Canada, Morris has travelled, lived and worked in Asia (mostly Nepal and Thailand) and South Africa. She makes her home in New York City.