Lucy Norris is an anthropologist based until recently at University College London.
Her interests include the anthropology of waste and value, in particular practices of disposal, transformation and recycling. Grounded in studies of materiality and material culture, her work on the circulation of worn clothing links domestic practices of ridding and recycling to the creation of second-hand markets locally and internationally, with a focus on India and the UK. Current research includes the global circulation of cast-offs and the shoddy recycling industry in India.
Lucy formerly worked with the ethnographic collections at the Horniman Museum, London, and obtained her MA (Distinction) in the Anthropology of Art at UCL. She was granted an ESRC PhD fellowship to research the life cycle of clothing in India, spending a year doing fieldwork in Delhi. She was then awarded an ESRC Post-doctorate for dissemination of her work, and worked as a researcher on two European research projects: an Open Access initiative to make museum data available online, the other on sustainability and the arts. She has just completed a five-year post-doctorate on textile waste, funded as part of the ESRC’s Waste of the World project. This included a year’s fieldwork in north Kerala researching a declining local hand-loom industry trying to compete against mass-produced home furnishing textiles in the global market, focusing upon ruined factories.
Now an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UCL, she currently lives with her family in Berlin, Germany.
Selected recent publications
· Norris, Lucy. 2010. Recycling Indian Clothing: Global Contexts of Reuse and Value. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
· Norris, Lucy (in press 2012). ‘Mutilated hosiery, shredded rags and the regeneration of yarn:perceptions of textile recycling in north India’ in Alexander, Catherine and Reno, Josh (Eds.). Economies of Recycling: The global transformation of materials, values and social relations, London: Zed Books.
· Norris, Lucy and Botticelli, Julie. (Eds.) (forthcoming 2012). Trade and Transformations of Worn clothing. A special issue of Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, Vol. 10, Issue 2.
· Crang, Mike, Alex Hughes, Nicky Gregson, Lucy Norris & Farid Ahamed (forthcoming). ‘Rethinking governance and value in commodity chains through global recycling networks’ in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.
· Norris, Lucy (forthcoming, 2012). ‘Economies of moral fibre: materializing the ambiguities of recycling charity clothing into aid blankets’ in Journal of Material Culture, Vol. 17(4).
· Norris, Lucy (2011).‘Creating fame and fortune from the ruins of handloom in Kerala’ in McAnany, Patricia & Walter Little (Eds.) Textile Economies: Power and Value from the Local to the Transnational. Lanham, MD, Altamira Press.
Collaboration with Tim Mitchell (photographer) to produce visual documentation of textile recycling industries in India (2004). Photographs exhibited in ‘India Recycled’ (Horniman Museum 2008-9) and ‘Everything Must Go’ (Bargehouse, 2012).
Executive producer of short documentary Unravel, produced and directed by Meghna Gupta. The film was based upon our research into the shoddy recycling industry in north India, and the perceptions of the women working in textile recycling factories.
Everything Must Go, exhibition showcasing imagery and artefacts generated during the Waste of the World project, with a central focus on the fate of second-hand clothing in the UK, and shoddy textile industry in India. Including associated artworks, workshops and talks. Co-curated with Clare Patey. Bargehouse, Southbank, London. January 20-22nd, 2012.
India Recycled, Horniman Museum, May 24th 2008 – January 25th 2009. Photographs taken during fieldwork in Delhi and Panipat of the recycling clothing industry by Tim Mitchell, researched and curated by Lucy Norris.