A talk by: Michael Hathaway
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Simon Fraser University
Over the last few decades, scholars from several disciplines have shown increasing interest in moving beyond anthropocentric studies to explore how animals have played a role in their own right in shaping larger social and historical outcomes. At present, China studies scholars have just begun this work. Dr. Hathaway’s talk describes some of these efforts and introduces his own studies on how wild elephants motivate and challenge international conservation efforts, as well as how a wild mushroom is shaping an important part of the rural economy in Southwest China, thus expanding attention beyond our animal kin.
Michael Hathaway received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2007, and shortly thereafter began teaching at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada. He is currently an Associate Professor, director of SFU's David Lam Centre for the Asia-Pacific, and the editor-in-chief of "American Ethnologist" (with Stacy Pigg). His award-winning first book, "Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China," was published in 2013 by the University of California Press. One of the three core members of the anthropological collaborative, the Matsutake Worlds Research Group, he has led research in China on the social worlds made through the creation of the wild matsutake mushroom economy. Anna Tsing's book, The Mushroom at the End of the World was the first book in the trilogy, and Dr. Hathaway has just completed the second volume.