Kathleen Morrison

Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology

University Museum Room 513


My research focuses on thehistorical ecology of Southern Asia, especially changes in agriculture, landuse, and environment, integrating approaches from archaeology, history, and environmental science. Current projects include: (1) work on the long-term relationships between biodiversity and human land use; (2) Land Cover6k, a ‘big data’ project using archaeological, historical, and paleoenvironmental evidence to improve climate models; (3) network and spatial analysis of Middle period South Indian inscriptions and archaeological sites; and (4) ongoing work on the archaeology of farming, food, and power relations in South India from the Neolithic to the Early Modern period.


Ph.D.: Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1992, M.A. University of New Mexico 1987; BA.: University of Notre Dame 1984.

Research Interests

South Asia, historical anthropology, colonialism and imperialism, archaeological method and theory, agriculture, landscape history, political ecology, water and irrigation, pollen analysis, stable isotope analysis, anthropology of food, conservation and heritage, biodiversity.

Selected Publications

2016, K.D. Morrison. On Putting Time in its Place: The Practice of Archaeology and the Politics of Time, Cambridge Archaeological Journal,26(4):619-641

2015, Gaillard, M., K.D. Morrison, and N. Whitehouse. Past Anthropogenic Land-Use and Land-Cover Changeat the Global Scale for Climate Modelling Studies: PAGES LandCover6k Working Group, Quaternary Perspectives.22(2):25-27.

2015, Morrison, K.D.  Archaeologies of Flow: Water and the Landscapes of Southern India Past, Present, and Future, Journal of Field Archaeology. 40(5):560-580.                                              

2015, Morrison, K.D. and Mark W.Hauser. Risky Business: Rice and Inter-Colonial Dependencies in the Indian andAtlantic Oceans, Atlantic Studies12(3):371-392.

2015, Morrison K.D. Provincializing the Anthropocene, Seminar. 673: 75-80                     

2016, K.D. Morrison, M.T. Lycett, and M. Trivedi. Megaliths and Memory: Excavations at Kadebakele and the Megaliths of Northern Karnataka, in Proceedingsof the 20th Conference of the European Association for South Asian Archaeologyand Art, Vol. 2, ed. Widorn, Verena & Ute Franke. Turnhout: Brepols,241-252.        

2016, K.D. Morrison.  From Millets to Rice (and Back Again?): Cuisine, Cultivation and Health in Early South India, in A Companion to South Asia in the Past, ed. Gwen Robbins Schug andS. Walimbe. New York: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 358-373.

2014, S.B. Hecht, K.D. Morrison,and C. Padoch, eds. The Social Lives of Forests: Past, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

2013, Lycett, Mark T. and K.D. Morrison. The “Fall” of Vijayanagara Reconsidered: Political Destruction and Historical Construction in South Indian History, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 56(5):433-470.

2010, Morrison, K.D.  Dharmic Projects, Imperial Reservoirs, and New Temples of India: an Historical Perspective on Dams in India. Conservationand Society 8(3):182-195.



Faculty Status