Kathleen D. Morrison

Kathleen D. Morrison
University of Pennsylvania | UP · Department of Anthropology

Ph.D. California, Berkeley

About

107
Publications
64,714
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1,782
Citations
Citations since 2017
29 Research Items
885 Citations
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Introduction
My research addresses the formation and transformation of anthropogenic landscapes; the causes and consequences of agricultural change; colonialism and imperialism; and the interplay between political power, economic organization, and social strategies of production and exchange. Most recently, I have begun working on the expansion of rice agriculture and the development of elite cuisines in southern India and on the long-term history of biodiversity.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • Chair
July 1996 - present
University of Chicago
Position
  • Professor
July 1994 - July 1996
Northwestern University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 1987 - August 1992
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
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In this paper we are concerned with some issues of inter-colonial dependency, especially in food and with a focus on rice that both directly linked the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds and that highlight some structural issues of colonialism, globalization, and food security more generally. This paper examines rice as a staple commodity, one that b...
Article
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he present and future landscapes and waterscapes of South Asia consist, in part, of many residues of the past—soils, slopes, and a range of water-related infrastructure. As such, many problems related to irrigation and rural water use are directly linked to the embodied histories of this region. Beyond lineal connections, many contemporary problems...
Article
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In the 12,000 years preceding the Industrial Revolution, human activities led to significant changes in land cover, plant and animal distributions, surface hydrology, and biochemical cycles. Earth system models suggest that this anthropogenic land cover change influenced regional and global climate. However, the representation of past land use in e...
Chapter
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THIS IS AN EXPANDED REVISED VERSION OF THE ESSAY PUBLISHED IN SEMINAR, 2015 In press, Provincializing the Anthropocene: Eurocentrism in the Earth System, in Nature in History, edited by G. Cederlöf and M. Rangarajan, Delhi: Oxford University Press. The argument that we have entered a new geological era, the >Anthropocene,= an era in which humans, f...
Article
The work of time-making is always a work of the present, and even in its driest form, the archaeological chronology, is a political process. Archaeological practices which make time from space necessarily dissect unified material landscapes into temporal slices, ‘cuts’ of time and space that can either mute or give voice to past interactions with m...
Article
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Human beings are an active component of every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Although our local impact on the evolution of these ecosystems has been undeniable and extensively documented, it remains unclear precisely how our activities are altering them, in part because ecosystems are dynamic systems structured by complex, non-linear feedback proc...
Article
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Food lumps are becoming an increasingly important part of the ‘foodways’ turn in archaeobotanical analysis. These amalgams of plant materials allow insights into more than the taxa lists of plants used or even just present on a site; they represent how people engaged with and created food items out of plants, in turn shining a light on notions of f...
Article
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Archaeologists and historians of South Asia have long emphasized the significance of large-scale irrigation reservoirs to historical developments and precolonial land use. However, comparatively little attention has been directed at an extensive corpus of small-scale water-retention features, such as culturally modified weathering pans and rock poo...
Article
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This paper is based on studies of the use and modes of production of high carbon iron alloys in relation to surface finds from Iron Age and early historic sites in southern India, in particular the site of Kadebakele where recent excavations have revealed finds of iron and steel, some of which according to preliminary studies, seem to be of a highe...
Article
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Anthropogenic changes in land use and land cover (LULC) during the pre-industrial Holocene could have affected regional and global climate. Existing scenarios of LULC changes during the Holocene are based on relatively simple assumptions and highly uncertain estimates of population changes through time. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental recons...
Presentation
Part of the session: Upscaling palaeoecological, archaeological and historical records of land-use and land-cover change 1. Chair Marie-Jose Gaillard. Presentation abstact :The PAGES LandCover6K group is concerned with whether prehistoric human impacts on land cover were sufficiently large to have had a major impact on regional and global climate...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic changes in land use and land cover (LULC) during the pre-industrial Holocene could have affected regional and global climate. Current LULC scenarios are based on relatively simple assumptions and highly uncertain estimates of population changes through time. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions have the potential to...
Presentation
The LandCover6K group is concerned with whether prehistoric human impacts on land cover were sufficiently large to have had a major impact on regional climates. Climate model simulations have shown that land use data sets can have large regional impacts on climate in the recent past and may have also done so during prehistory. However, there are ma...
Preprint
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Calls to eliminate nature/culture dualities in favor of nondualist ontologies present analytical challenges; how might we approach entangled socionatural worlds in ways that neither reduce the complexity and diversity of human experience and yet also allow nonhuman agents their 'voices'? The disparate analytical vocabularies of the human and natura...
Article
Calls to eliminate nature/culture dualities in favor of nondualist ontologies present analytical challenges; how might we approach entangled socionatural worlds in ways that neither reduce the complexity and diversity of human experience and yet also allow nonhuman agents their ‘voices’? The disparate analytical vocabularies of the human and natura...
Chapter
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Cambridge Core - Prehistory - Globalization in Prehistory - edited by Nicole Boivin
Chapter
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Morrison argues that narratives of progress and narratives of decline rely on common assumptions about a prior, unexamined period of stability, balance, or stasis. By analyzing the stories that scientists, environmental activists, and educators tell about primeval forests in India, Morrison shows how the assumption that India was once forested dist...
Article
div class="title">Sheena Panja , Arun K. Nag & Sunando Bandhopadhyay . Living with floods: archaeology of a settlement in the Lower Ganga Plains, c. 600–1800 CE. 2015. xvi+292 pages, numerous colour and b&w illustrations. Delhi: Primus; 978-93-84082-59-8 hardback INR 1900. - Volume 90 Issue 354 - Kathleen D. Morrison
Article
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Professor of Anthropology Kathleen Morrison on humans’ impact on the earth system, interview by Pranay Sharma
Chapter
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This chapter outlines some aspects of agrarian change in the semi-arid interior of peninsular India, a large region that consists of parts of the present-day states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Seemandhra (formerly Andhra Pradesh), and Tamil Nadu. In broad strokes, I outline some of the major transformations in agriculture with a focus on the conscio...
Article
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Essay published in Seminar, 2015. Is the Anthropocene a truly global concept, or is it a new form of extending Eurocentric histories? In this essay I consider the science of the Anthropocene from a methodological perspective, considering how preoccupations with specific time frames structures analysis. Like history, parts of the science of global c...
Conference Paper
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With a nod to Milton Singer’s When a Great Tradition Modernizes: an Anthropological Approach to Indian Civilization, this paper reconsiders the legacy of Redfield and Singer’s ‘comparative civilizations’ project and Redfield’s ‘great’ and ‘little’ traditions framework for the anthropology, archaeology, and history of India. Although this particular...
Book
Forests are in decline, and the threats these outposts of nature face—including deforestation, degradation, and fragmentation—are the result of human culture. Or are they? This volume calls these assumptions into question, revealing forests’ past, present, and future conditions to be the joint products of a host of natural and cultural forces. More...
Chapter
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http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo16382078.html
Article
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The eponymous capital of Vijayanagara was largely abandoned following the defeat of the imperial army at Talikota in 1565. The city was burned and looted and its monumental temple complexes, gateways, and images left in ruins. Despite large-scale damage to architecture in the city, however, the level and focus of destruction was strikingly variable...
Article
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This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the cont...
Article
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This article discusses the archaeology of Hinduism. While archaeological analysis of religious belief and practice is never straightforward, the record of that broad and diverse category that falls under the rubric of Hinduism has left us a rich material record. While research has been dominated by the rich iconography and styles of sculptures, bro...
Article
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In India, environmental historians have promoted the view that human impact on regional environments was relatively modest prior to the advent of colonization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While this orthodoxy does highlight the significance of recent changes, it is based on unsupportable assumptions about human-environment relationsh...
Article
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As international attention continues to focus on large dam projects across Asia, it is worth noting that conflicts over the politics of and environmental changes caused by dams in India are not new. Population dislocation, siltation, disease, floods caused by catastrophic dam failure, raised water tables, high costs and low returns-all of these con...
Article
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The city of Vijayanagara was the capital of a vast south Indian empire from the 14th through 16th century A.D. The authors use historic, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence to examine Vijayanagara control at the imperial capital. They argue that imperial control should best be viewed as multidimensional and variable in emphases and success over...
Chapter
Perspectives on Agriculture and ForagingWhy Foraging?Occupational History: Irrigated Lowlands, Forested Uplands, and BeyondResources: Forest Products, Manufactures, and CultigensHolocene Foraging in South AsiaDiscussionReferences
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Gifts of Power: Lordship in an Early Indian State. James Heitzman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.278 pp.
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After Collapse . The Regeneration of Complex Societies. Glenn M. Schwartz and John J. Nichols, Eds. . University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ, 2006. 295 pp. $50. ISBN 97808165096. The contributors discuss a series of case studies from around the world to explore how some early complex societies reappeared after periods of decentralization and disru...
Chapter
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The environmental dimensions of South Asian history have attracted a great deal of attention in the last decade or so, with the result that we now have a greatly improved understanding of, for example, the ecological as well as social and political consequences of European colonialism and the contin-uing impact of differential power relations on bo...
Chapter
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The environmental dimensions of South Asian history have attracted a great deal of attention in the last decade or so, with the result that we now have a greatly improved understanding of, for example, the ecological as well as social and political consequences of European colonialism and the continuing impact of differential power relations on bot...
Chapter
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I n nearly all discussions of the intensification of production, and especially of agricultural intensification, questions of cause have dominated. Even in my own previous work (Morrison 1994a, 199 5, in press), which focused on process, and in particular on what I referred to as the courses (or trajectories) of change, critical discussion (e.g., S...
Chapter
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Most archaeological discussion of intensification has centered around identifying the conditions under which it emerges — that is, around problems of cause. Secondarily, disciplinary effort has focused on the consequences of intensification, most notably its supposed undergirding of complexity, by which we often simply mean institutionalized inequa...
Article
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Nothing lasts for ever, not least human civilizations. There are many reasons why societies stand or fall, and these lessons from the past require investigation at various places and on various timescales.
Chapter
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Indian sites (e.g. Wheeler 1976). At Arikamedu, Wheeler found Roman pottery (terra sigillata, amphorae) and Roman coins in association with both an indigenous ceramic type he called "Andhra ware" after the Early Historic Andhra kingdom and with a ceramic type, Rouletted Ware (RW), he erroneously believed to be Mediterranean in manufacture (cf. Gogt...
Article
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▪ Abstract This review examines aspects of the trajectory of economic change in South Asia, particularly the development of markets, money, commercial production, and certain specialized economic institutions, in light of the longer historical experience of posturban polities. A review of archaeological and historical evidence from the Early Histor...
Chapter
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There is a longstanding history in South Asia of relations of exchange and interdependence between agriculturalists and peoples involved in the hunting of wild animals and the gathering of wild plants. These relationships, far from being an historically fixed and immutable, were instead marked by a high degree of variability and flexibility with sp...
Chapter
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In both South and Southeast Asia, many upland groups make a living - in whole or part - through gathering and hunting, producing not only subsistence goods but commodities destined for regional and even world markets. These forager-traders have had an ambiguous position in ethnographic analysis, variously represented as relics, degraded hunter-gath...
Article
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This paper examines one assemblage of texts from southern India, stone inscriptions of the Vijayanagara period, and considers both how these texts have been studied and how that history of research has structured our understanding of the past. We ask how these texts might be interpreted differently, (1) under different conditions of sampling and re...
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Anthropological conceptions of the nature and course of agricultural change have been strongly influenced by the seminal work of Ester Boserup. In this paper I suggest that the Boserup model is best viewed as one example of a unilineal and universalizing cultural-evolutionary stage typology. As such it evinces many of the same weaknesses as other n...
Article
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The western Deccan is well‐known for its spectacular rock‐cut Buddhist architecture and its extensive Buddhist monastic complexes. Many of these structures were cut during the Satavahana period, the first large‐scale state polity in western India. In order to understand how Buddhist monastic institutions were integrated into the social, political,...
Article
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Article
The quantitative analysis of microscopic charcoal from stratified lake, swamp or reservoir deposits can provide a record of fire history at a number of spatial scales. Recent research on charcoal particle production, dispersal and deposition indicates that fires at varying distances from a sediment source and of varying intensities will contribute...
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Elite claims of power and authority may take material expression in both the archaeological and historical records. Such claims may be expressed through the renovation, rebuilding, realignment, or construction of monumental architecture; the appropriation of symbols of power and authority; or may be made outright in verbal and written media. The So...
Article
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In this paper I reexamine the Boserup model of agricultural intensification and archaeological reaction to it. Although causes have been extensively debated, little attention has been paid to process, and even those who reject the causal efficacy of population may adopt other aspects of the Boserup model. These unexamined aspects include the assump...