Print This Page

College of Arts and Sciences » Simpson Center for the Humanities

Mushrooms in Translation: Reassembling Science and Economy in Changing Ecologies
WhenFriday, Apr. 5, 2019, 12:30 – 3 p.m.
Campus locationDenny Hall (DEN)
Campus room313
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsAnthropology, Japan Studies Program
Description

Mushrooms in Translation: Reassembling Science and Economy in Changing Ecologies

Shiho Satsuka

Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Matsutake, the charismatic wild mushroom highly valued in Japan, thrive in human-intervened landscapes. Yet, it has evaded centuries of human effort at deliberate cultivation as they require a complex symbiotic relationship with its living host trees. This talk examines the recently launched government-led “artificial cultivation” project. In particular, it focuses on the multidimensionality of interspecies and intraspecies translation practices of scientists and collaborating farmers. Their practices raise questions about what count as “artificial” and “cultivation” as well as human-nonhuman relationships. The multidimensionality of their practices place the project in an ambivalent position between the manipulation of the fungus for capitalist resource extraction and the development of the art of interspecies cohabitation as a response to the rapid industrialization, energy infrastructure development and climate change that the country has experienced since the mid-twentieth century.

Printed: Monday, July 22, 2019 at 1:53 AM PDT