Anna Tsing will share her creative approach to studying the environment and climate crisis. The discussion will focus on Anna Tsing’s award-winning book, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, and her critically-acclaimed collaborative digital project, Feral Atlas, which combines rigorous research from the natural and social sciences with compelling artwork and testimonials to form an interactive online experience of the Anthropocene. Anna Tsing’s work faces the overarching and urgent problem of how we can sustain life on earth among the environmental casualties of capitalism. She is devoted to the principle of human coexistence with other species, the prerequisite for future life on the planet. In The Mushroom at the End of the World, she delves into the relationship between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival by following the rich and wonderful life of the matsutake mushroom. Learning from the unlikely source of this rare mushroom, which thrives in areas impacted by human activity, she makes powerful claims about the nature and future of humanity’s existence within multispecies landscapes. This event is an opportunity to think with Anna Tsing about the contradictions that define our changing planet, and our role within it.
Anna Tsing, Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz
Response by Sarah Cole, Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Dean of the Humanities at Columbia University
Chaired by Ruth DeFries, Co-Founding Dean of the Climate School at Columbia University
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