May 15, 2023
Michael J. Hathaway |Simon Fraser University
3:00 PM in Haskell Hall

ABSTRACT: In this talk, Michael J. Hathaway will introduce us to his new book, What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make, which was published last year by Princeton University Press. He will explain how this book, the second in a trilogy by the Matsutake Worlds Research Group, came into being and how the research was carried out. The book draws equally on fieldwork in the mountains of Southwestern China and an anthropological analysis of scientific studies of fungal  lives. In this talk, Hathaway will highlight a few of the major concerns that animated this book, and ask how anthropologists might form critical relationships with the scientists we study and collaborate with? How might anthropologists contribute to new forms of scientific knowledge making in ways that expand our role from critic to interlocutor?

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BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Michael J. Hathaway is a Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Associate Member of the School for International Studies, and the Director of SFU's David Lam Centre for Asian Studies. He is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow and author of What a Mushroom Lives For (2022) and Environmental Winds (2013).

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Hathaway is a cultural anthropologist with two central interests. First, he is deeply interested in China’s place in the modern world, looking at how little-known dynamics there have created world-spanning effects in surprising realms such as feminism, environmentalism, and Indigenous rights. His aim is to disrupt the typical assumptions that globalization emerges solely from the West. Second, Hathaway is doing what he can to foster a transformation in scientific understandings based on colonial assumptions of the natural world.

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Please join us for a reception on Haskell’s mezzanine immediately following Dr. Hathaway’s talk.