Maya Vase Photography copyright Justin Kerr File #K1183

Gregory Duff Morton

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Gregory Duff Morton
Phone: 845-758-7217
E-mail: gmorton@bard.edu
Office: Hopson 301

Program Affiliations: Latin American & Iberian Studies

Gregory Duff Morton is an economic anthropologist. He studies the movements of money through Northeastern Brazil. He engages with the urban-to-rural migrations of agricultural laborers, the wanderings of itinerant merchants, and the payouts that come from the world’s largest national cash welfare program. He is working on a manuscript entitled Leaving Labor: Reverse Migration, Welfare Cash, and the Specter of the Commodity in Northeastern Brazil.

His current project begins by traveling alongside workers who quit urban jobs and return to homes in rural Brazil. In this migration, a key resource turns out to be the government money disbursed through Bolsa Família, a giant conditional cash transfer. His research tracks the money in order to uncover the durable forms of value that it funds. These value forms have implications for social policy, since they change the gendering of household ownership and ultimately re-channel the flow of resources from one generation to the next.

He also sustains an interest in linguistic anthropology methods, examining meeting-speech inside Brazil’s social movements. In this research, he explores the meeting’s most mundane gestures – hand-raising, talking out of turn, the use of the word “I” – in an effort to understand how these gestures enact and create the foundational principles of representation.

Selected writing
Morton, Gregory Duff. “Neoliberal eclipse: Donald Trump, corporate monopolism, and the changing face of work.” Dialectical Anthropology, pre-publication (2017).
Morton, Gregory Duff. “Managing transience: Bolsa Família and its subjects in an MST landless settlement.” Journal of Peasant Studies, 42 (6): 1283-1305 (2015).
Republished as a chapter in Tarlau, Rebecca and Anthony Pahnke, eds. Brazilian Agrarian Social Movements. Abingdon: Routledge (2016).
Morton, Gregory Duff. “Modern meetings: Participation, democracy, and language ideology in Brazil’s MST landless movement.” American Ethnologist, 41(4): 728-42 (2014).
Morton, Gregory Duff. “Protest before the protests: The unheard politics of a welfare panic in Brazil.” Anthropological Quarterly, 87(3): 925-933 (2014).
Morton, Gregory Duff. “Acesso à permanência: Diferenças econômicas e práticas de gênero em domicílios que recebem Bolsa Família no sertão baiano.” (“Accessing permanence: Economic difference and gender practice among households that receive Bolsa Família in the backlands of Bahia, Brazil.”) Política e Trabalho, 38: 43-67 (2013).