In this special issue, we draw on our collaborative research
as the Matsutake Worlds Research Group to explore the world-making
dynamics of multispecies encounters. We center our exploration on
matsutake, a gourmet mushroom eaten primarily in Japan. Drawing on
cases from around the world, we suggest that the cosmopolitan worlds
of matsutake cannot be accounted for by any single agent or individual
set of cultural or political economic processes. Rather, we propose that
contingent multispecies attunements and coordinations knit together
the various world-making processes that allow matsutake to flourish.
We use the notion of ‘elusiveness’ to capture these shifting dynamics of
attraction, coordination, and elusion.
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