Elusive Fungus?

Forms of Attraction in Multispecies World Making

in Social Analysis
Author:
Michael J. HathawaySimon Fraser University michael_hathaway@sfu.ca

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This article explores how attraction, a companion term to elusiveness, reveals insights into multispecies worlds by showing how different organisms such as the matsutake mushroom interpret the world and interact with each other, whether or not humans are involved. Building on scholarly interest in the ‘animal turn’ (explorations of the human-animal relationship), this article moves beyond human-centered scholarship by using, but also modifying, the concept of umwelt introduced by the Baltic German biologist Jakob von Uexküll. Employing a critical social scientific reading of the biological literature that analyzes its findings, as well as challenges its animal-centric models of agency and behavior, I argue that this perspective helps us better understand ourselves as humans in a world that is much more than human.

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Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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