Following the Mushroom: The Transnational Commodity Chain between China and Japan

Within the social sciences over the last decade, there is much interest in research that “follows the object,” especially drawing on Actor-Network-Theory and other influences. In this talk, Michael Hathaway demonstrates how his work with the Matsutake Worlds Research Group, a collaborative group of six anthropologists, has drawn on and also deviated from some of the main tendencies from these approaches.
  • Michael Hathaway, Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Tuesday, October 27, 5-6:30 pm
    in the series
    Eurasian States and Societies: Past and Present
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  • Within the social sciences over the last decade, there is much interest in research that “follows the object,” especially drawing on Actor-Network-Theory and other influences. In this talk, Michael Hathaway demonstrates how his work with the Matsutake Worlds Research Group, a collaborative group of six anthropologists, has drawn on and also deviated from some of the main tendencies from these approaches.

    This larger group explores how the presence of a wild, often highly valued mushroom helps foster distinctive social worlds in particular locales with the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Scandinavia, China and Japan, as a wide range of people engage with the mushroom—as pickers, dealers, scientists and consumers. In particular, Hathaway engages with the ways the mushroom’s active materiality shapes the ways a commodity network is built up with and around it, especially as it moves between the high mountains of Southwest China to urban markets in Japan.

    For instance, he examines how the presence of other species, such as insects, create new challenges for humans. As well, Hathaway looks at how the mushroom’s strong attraction to radioactivity impinged upon its circulation following the disastrous Fukushima accident. In light of this, he explores the potentials and limitations of studying non-humans as actors in a more-than-human world.
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  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

 

When
October 27th, 2015 5:00 PM   through   6:30 PM
Location
Piano Lounge
6201 Cecil Green Park Road
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1
Canada
Contact
Phone: 604-822-8660
Email:
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Speaker Series Eurasian States and Societies: Past and Present
Short Title The Transnational Commodity Chain between China and Japan
Speaker (new) Michael Hathaway, Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
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Speaker Last Name Hathaway
Speaker Affiliation Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
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