Michael Hathaway (Anthropology, Simon Fraser University) draws on Foucault’s understandings of biopolitics and biopower to examine more-than-human assemblages. In particular, he explores a particular economy in Southwest China, the harvest of wild mushrooms, which has become the region’s most important agricultural export. These mushrooms, called matsutake, present a number of challenges. Although the fresh mushrooms are highly valued in Japan, they attract a range of non-human species, from deer to insects, which humans contend with and accommodate in a variety of ways. Matsutake, now officially listed as endangered in China and influenced in forest conservation politics, are increasingly linked to forms of environmental governance. Hathaway's book, Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China was recently published by the University of California Press. This talk stems from his long-term collaborative research with the Matsutake Worlds Research Group.
Sponsored by the Biological Futures in a Globalized World’s “Biosecurities, Reterritorializations, and Para-Human Populations” series.