Home Tek 101: cross-kingdom intimacy and the re-domestication of the lab, November 2017

Monotubs in the basement.

Tubs in the basement of one of my interlocutors growing culinary mushrooms.

“Home Tek 101: cross-kingdom intimacy and the re-domestication of the lab” was a paper I presented as part of “The Mushroom Multiple,” a panel I co-organized at the annual meeting of the American Anthropology Association, November 2017, in Washington DC.

Peter Oviatt and I organized this panel for the 2017 annual meetings of the AAAs in DC. We got the dreaded 8am time slot on the last day of the conference but nonetheless it was a blast to hang out with these academic mycophiles.

In my presentation, “Home Tek 101: cross-kingdom intimacy and the re-domestication of the lab,” I spoke about the spatial dimension of the domestication of fungal life among DIY mycologists and the intimacy and ambivalence involved in these practices.

Madeline Brown spoke about on the communal partnerships among Yi households in Yunnan for gathering matsutake, and how the mushroom creates temporal, spatial, and social patterns in these communities, from her dissertation on the same topic.

Peter discussed truffle farmers through the lenses of alternative forms of capital such as leisure capital. He is currently researching truffle farming in the Pacific Northwest and France in the context of the science of mycorrhiza (i.e., fungi that live symbiotically with plant associates, like truffles) and multispecies collaborations in truffle farming.

Nate Greenslit read a paper about how to make sense of this transformative encounter with the Other in the psychedelic experience and the whiteness and colonial logic implicit in this narrative. He is currently working on a book project on the subject of psychedelia and questions of race.

Pierre du Plessis presented a paper about gathering Kalahari Truffle with the San tribe in South Africa by way of traditional tracking skills, thinking about what it means to track-gather rather than track-hunt. Unfortunately, Pierre couldn’t make it to the conference so his paper was read by Filippo Bertoni.

🥁… And the award for best anthropology-mushroom pun goes to…. Pierre du Plessis for “Staying With The Truffle” (for the Haraway fans)! 🏆