Environmental Humanities Colloquium: “What a Mushroom Lives For”
Michael Hathaway, Professor of Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, will present “What a Mushroom Lives For” for the third talk in the spring 2023 Environmental Humanities and Social Transformation Colloquium.
This talk tells the fascinating story of one particularly prized species, the matsutake, and the astonishing ways it is silently yet powerfully shaping worlds, from the Tibetan plateau to the mushrooms’ final destination in Japan. Many Tibetan and Yi people have dedicated their lives to picking and selling this mushroom—a delicacy that drives a multibillion-dollar global trade network and that still grows only in the wild, despite scientists’ intensive efforts to cultivate it in urban labs. But this is far from a simple story of humans exploiting a passive, edible commodity. Rather, the talk reveals the complex, symbiotic ways that mushrooms, plants, humans, and other animals interact. It explores how the world looks to the mushrooms, as well as to the people who have grown rich harvesting them.
The Environmental Humanities and Social Transformation Colloquium is co-sponsored by the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Department of Anthropology.
- This event has passed.