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Heeding Headless Thoughts

Eduardo Kohn

This afterword reflects on how the Matsutake Worlds Research Group project can be considered as ontological. The multispecies ethnographic engagements presented in this special issue manifest not only the concepts inherent in the worlds of others that defy the categories of Western metaphysical thought (e.g., life forms seen as ‘events’ rather than mere things), but also the way in which non-human life forms themselves can demand that we practice another kind of thought and embrace another vision of our own selves. By succumbing to the allure of the matsutake fungus, the Matsutake Worlds Research Group has begun one of the most suggestive and original conceptual enterprises today, a practice that perhaps could be named ‘heeding headless thoughts’.

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Conceptualising Posthuman Religion

Michael W. Scott

Tricholoma fungi and pine trees. Religence, I conclude, is best understood not as a single pervasive mode of relating that can eliminate negligence, but as a plurality of religence–negligence complexes. This conclusion, I acknowledge, provides no clear

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Euphoric Anomaly

Matsutake’s Elusive Elusiveness in 2010 Japan

Lieba Faier

Elusiveness can itself be elusive. This article considers why matsutake draw over-the-top excitement as an elusive commodity even in years of prolific harvests. In 2010 Japan, an unexpectedly copious domestic matsutake harvest prompted a precipitous drop in the mushroom’s price and made the mushroom readily accessible. The article traces the sources of consumer excitement that year, showing how matsutake commodity elusiveness is itself produced through contingent coordinations among trees, fungi, weather, pickers, mycology, popular media, and consumers. It suggests that, in 2010, media outlets and consumers resolved the contradictions of this elusiveness—celebrating matsutake’s elite status as an elusive commodity while enjoying its accessibility—by treating the bumper harvest as a euphoric anomaly.

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Book Reviews

Çağla Ay, Tayeba Batool, Arita Chakrabarty, Bill Derman, Ipsita Dey, Alexandra Holdbrook, Amy Leigh Johnson, Wangui Kimari, Daniel J. Read, Sailen Routray, Gabe Schwartzman, Noah Theriault, and Caroline White-Nockleby

J. Read World Wildlife Fund, US Hathaway, Michael J. 2022. What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 270 pp. ISBN 978-0691225883. Yes. Fungi are good to think with. This is

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Is the ethnography of mushrooming the royal pathway to the anthropology of the Capitalocene?

Laurent Berger

wage labor and innovations as by the “free gifts” offered by the ecosystem (such as the cost of maintaining and reproducing the multiscalar interdependences between the animalia, fungi, plantae, protista, bacteria, and archaea kingdoms) 1 . Capitalists

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Precarious Provisioning: Three Explorations of Food after Progress

Patrick McEvoy

artisan cheesemakers, who are much more comfortable working with diverse assemblages of generally benign bacteria and fungi. Novel concepts are found throughout The Life of Cheese , and Paxson structures some of the book’s chapters around the most

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Earth Stalked by Man

Anna Tsing

and washed the trees to deter insects and fungi. Still, almost no rubber was produced throughout the entire experiment. To this day, no one produces rubber in plantations in Brazil; rubber plantations are limited to Asia and Africa, where Brazilian

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Coronavirus, Democracy and the Challenges of Engaging a Planetary Order

Milja Kurki

negotiations with fungi, trees, trucks, and financial algorithms, not just “between human actors.” Indeed, what we call “humans” themselves are made in relation to non-humans. In other words, humans are already “more than human”; that is, made by solar energy

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The Mobile Itineraries of Knowledge-scapes

Mimi Sheller

., Cultures in Motion , 9–11. 6 Ibid., 15. 7 Mimi Sheller, Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (London: Routledge, 2003), 5 (first two quotes), 6, 7, 9. 8 Mimi Sheller, “Globalizing of Bananas: Of Rhizomes, Fungi, and Mobility Systems,” in

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English Wetland Immersions

Encountering, Slowing, Navigating, Imagining in Terrestrial Water Worlds

Mary Gearey

which highlights our reliance on processes beyond our ken—the role of fungi, 93 of microbial networks, 94 of soil structures, 95 of mosquitoes and other awkward pollinators 96 —champions close attention to detail in specific sites as a means to