Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing: The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015)
Filed under book | Tags: · anthropology, bioculture, capitalism, collaboration, ethnography, forest, multispecies, mushrooms, precarity
“Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made?
A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.
By investigating one of the world’s most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.”
Publisher Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2015
ISBN 0691162751, 9780691162751
Reviews: Stefan Helmreich (Am Ethnologist, 2016), Eleana J. Kim (Current Anthropology, 2016), Emily Yates-Doerr (Medicine Anthropology Theory, 2016), James P. Verinis (Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, 2016), PD Smith (The Guardian, 2017), Joshua A. Bell (Anthropological Q, 2017), William E. O’Brien (AAG Review of Books, 2018), Jason Cons (J Asian Studies, 2016), Jim Igoe (Am Anthropologist, 2016), Eugene N. Anderson (Ethnobiology Letters, 2015), Justine Williams (Transforming Anthropology, 2016), Brandon Bodenstein (Anthropology and Humanism, 2017), Hjorleifur Jonsson (Asia Pacific J Anthropology, 2017), Danya Glabau (J Cultural Economy, 2017), Sian Sullivan (Dialogues in Human Geography, 2018), Frédérique Aït-Touati (Critique, 2019, FR).Comment (0)
Filed under journal | Tags: · animal, biology, botany, environment, ethnography, multispecies
“The emerging field of multispecies studies, grounded in passionate immersion in the lives of fungi, microorganisms, animals, plants, and others, is opening up novel ways of engaging with worlds around us. This issue brings together some of the leading scholars in this field to explore what is at stake—epistemologically, politically, ethically—for different forms of life caught up in diverse relationships of knowing and living together. The collection takes us into the worlds of sheep and shepherds; of stones, worms, salmon, and forest-devouring beetles; of viruses and their elephants; of seals, crows, and lava flows in Hawaii; and finally of frogs-as-pregnancy-tests and possible agents of pathogenic fungal spread. Each of the contributors explores what difference curious and careful attention to others might make in our efforts to inhabit and coconstitute flourishing worlds in these difficult times.”
Edited by Thom van Dooren, Ursula Münster, Eben Kirksey, Deborah Bird Rose, Matthew Chrulew, and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Publisher Duke University Press, May 2016
Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Filed under book | Tags: · anthropology, commodity, economics, ethnography, gift, political economy, value
“C. A. Gregory’s Gifts and Commodities is one of the undisputed classics of economic anthropology. On its publication in 1982, it spurred intense, ongoing debates about gifts and gifting, value, exchange, and the place of political economy in anthropology.
Gifts and Commodities is, at once, a critique of neoclassical economics and development theory, a critical history of colonial Papua New Guinea, and a comparative ethnography of exchange in Melanesian societies. This new edition includes a foreword by anthropologist Marilyn Strathern and a new preface by the author that discusses the ongoing response to the book and the debates it has engendered, debates that have become more salient in our evermore neoliberal and globalized era.”
First edition published by Academic Press, London, 1982.
Foreword by Marilyn Strathern
New Preface by the Author
Publisher HAU Books, Chicago, 2015
ISBN 0990505014, 9780990505013