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The ‘Cross of Gold’ revisited: Money and Populism in the Age of Empire

Rosalind Morris, Columbia University

February 23, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · Green Hall 0-S-6

Center for Culture, Society and Religion

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 and a half decades; her early work was centered on mainland Southeast Asia, especially Thailand.

Believing that ethnography is a mode of extended listening and learning from others, and that textual practice is a dimension of analytic practice, Morris’s work encompasses a variety of forms and media, from scholarly articles to essayistic prose, and ethnographic monographs. Her media works included documentary film and expanded cinematic installation, as well as narrative film. Among her recent works are the documentary film, We are Zama Zama, which premiered as an official selection of the ENCOUNTERS International Documentary Film Festival in 2021, and the flexible multi-media installation, ‘The Zama Zama Project,’ which was an official selection of the Berlinale Forum Expanded in 2021. Morris’s poetry has appeared in venues such as Ideas and Futures, Literary Imagination and the Capilano Review, among other publications. Artistic collaborations have been central to Morris’s creative practice. In addition to her monograph on Clive van den Berg and her co-authored volumes with William Kentridge, her libretti, co-written with Yvette Christiansë, have been the bases of two operas by the Syrian-born composer, Zaid Jabri.

The Doll Lecture on Religion and Money was established in 2007 by Henry C. Doll ’58 and his family. It reflects the family’s longstanding interest in the subject of philanthropy and its relationship with religion.

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