Cite as: Claudia Peppel, Introduction to the lecture Rosalind Morris, Anatomy Lessons for a Postindustrial Age, ICI Berlin, 26 November 2018, video recording, mp4, 05:27 <>
26 Nov 2018


By Claudia Peppel

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:05:27
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Lecture

Anatomy Lessons for a Postindustrial Age / Rosalind Morris

A lung cemented with rock dust. An earth that breathes. A machine that does not cough but grows weary nonetheless. A thumb in the shape of a shovel. A pick in the shape of an arm. A leg that might or might not be mine. These anatomical figures, drawn from conversations with informal migrant miners in southern Africa, comprise elements of an idiom in which the haunting effects and residual violence of natural resource extraction are experienced in an era of postindustrial ruin. In this lecture, Rosalind Morris reflects on the complex temporality that haunts the history of natural resource extraction economies, and especially mining, in which the dream of progress is written against a horizon of finitude, and where the past leaks forward as a toxic residue but also as a lure for return. The lecture is accompanied by video clips and photography from her ongoing research and filmmaking.

Rosalind Morris is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. Her work addresses questions of the relationships between value and violence; aesthetics and the political; the sexualization of power and desire; and the history of anthropological thought and social theory. Her books include The Returns of Fetishism: Charles de Brosses’s The Worship of Fetish Gods and its Legacies, with Daniel Leonard (Chicago 2017); Accounts and Drawings from Underground: East Rand Proprietary Mines, 1906, with William Kentridge (Chicago and Kolkata 2014); That Which is Not Drawn: William Kentridge in Conversation with Rosalind Morris (Chicago and Kolkata 2013). She is currently fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.


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