Books        Africa List         Essays and Scholarly Articles         Poetry


As an anthropologist and theorist, Rosalind Morris devotes her work to two areas: South Africa and mainland Southeast Asia (mostly Thailand). Her writings about both places traverse a wide field of practical and theoretical concerns: from the histories of political and economic order to the transformations wrought by the mass media; from questions of desire and the ideologies of sexual difference to the enigmas of language and the politics of representation; and from the visual arts to poetry and literary fiction.



  • On Contemporary Media Culture

2013     ‘Theses on the New Offentlichkeit’ PDF here.

2012      ‘O, Loss Vegas’ (from the ‘American Mythologies’ series), convolution 1(122-35).

2011     ‘The Library Walk,’ PMLA, 126.1(2011):9-37.

2008     ‘Witchcraft,’ Social Text 95 (2008):113-33. PDF here.

2007     ‘The War Drive: Image Files Corrupted,’ Social Text, Special Issue on War, edited by Patrick Deer.  91:103-42. PDF here.

2007     ‘The Age of Dinosaurs,’ /nor [New Ohio Review], 1.1:175-9 (from the ‘American Mythologies,’ series).

2004     ‘Images of Untranslatability in the US War on Terror.’ Interventions 6(3):400-423.

2002     ‘Theses on the Questions of War: Media, History, Terror.’ Social Text, Special Issue on “September 11,” 20.3 (Fall 2002):   149-75. PDF here.


  • On South Africa:

2012     Cinema (noir) and Vernacular (black) Modernism in South Africa.’  Encyclopedia of Global Modernisms. Ed. Mark Wollaeger.  Oxford: Oxford                             University Press.

2011     ‘In the Name of Trauma: Notes on Testimony, Truth-Telling and the Secret of Literature in South Africa,’ Comparative Literature Studies,                                      48.3(2011):388-416. PDF here.

2011     Crowds and Powerlessness: Reading //kabbo and Canetti with Derrida in (South) Africa.’ In Demenageries. Thinking (with) Animals after                                       Derrida, ed. Anne Berger and Marta Segarra, (Amsterdam: Rodopi, a Critical Studies book), pp.167-212.

2010     ‘Accidental Histories: Post-Historical Practice? Re-reading Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance in the Actuarial Age.’  Special issue of                                                  Anthropological Quarterly 83.3 (Summer), ed. Jesse Shipley, pp. pp. 581-624. PDF here.

2010     Style, Tsotsi-style and Tsotsitaal: The Histories, Politics and Aesthetics of a South African Figure.  Social Text 103, Volume 28, No.2                                                 (Summer):85-112. PDF here.

2008     ‘The Miner’s Ear,’ Transition 98 (2008): 96-115 PDF here.

2008     ‘Rush/Panic/Rush: Speculations on the Value of Life and Death in South Africa’s Age of Epidemic,’ Public Culture. 20:2 (2008):199-231. PDF here.

2007     ‘Legacies of Derrida: Anthropology,’ Annual Review of Anthropology, Volume 36:355-89. PDF here.

2006     ‘The Mute and the Unspeakable: Political Subjectivity, Violent Crime, and ‘the Sexual Thing’ in a South African Mining Community,’ for Law and                            Disorder in the Postcolony, edited by Jean and John Comaroff.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2005     ‘Apparitions of Desire: Clive van den Berg and the Art of Historical Unknowability’. Gender and History, Special Issue: Violence, Vulnerability                                 and Embodiment, eds. Shani D’Cruze and Anupama Rao, Volume 16, No. 3: 813-24. PDF here.


  • On Asia:

2012     ‘Populist Politics in Asian Networks: Positions for Rethinking the Question of Political Subjectivity, Special 20th anniversary issue of positions.                              Ed Tani Barlow. 20.1(2011):37-65. PDF here.

2008      ‘Giving up Ghosts.’ Invited submission for special issue on Trauma Theory in Asian Studies, Positions, edited by Tani Barlow, Spring 2008,                                     pp.209-37. PDF here.

2007      ‘Imperial Pastoral: The politics and aesthetics of translation in British Malaya,’ in Representations, Special Issue on ‘Transpacific Modernisms,’                               edited by Colleen Lye, Volume 99 (Summer): 159-93. PDF here.

2004     ‘Intimacy and Corruption in Thailand’s Age of Transparency,’ in Off Stage, On Display: Intimacy and Ethnography in the Age of Public Culture,                              edited by Andrew Shryock.  Stanford: Stanford University, pp.225-43.

1998     ‘Surviving Pleasure at the Periphery: Chiang Mai and the Photographies of Political Trauma in Thailand, 1976-1992.’  Public Culture                                              10(2):341-70. PDF here.

1994     ‘Three Sexes and Four Sexualities: Rethinking the Discourses on Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Thailand.’  positions: east asia cultures                             critique 2(1):15-43. PDF here.