Resurgent life: How to flourish with what's left


  • Matthew D Thompson The Mariners' Museum


In this essay I review Anna Tsing's recent work The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015). This creatively written ethnography explores how the matustake mushroom is differently conceived and experienced in Oregon, Japan, Yunnan, and Finland. The mushroom emerges as a symbol of the renewal of life after destruction, as they are primarily found in forests that have been subjected to industrial logging. Tsing makes important theoretical advances in the anthropology of value and the anthropology of exchange. She also connects her cultural critique of capitalism to a critique of science.

Author Biography

Matthew D Thompson, The Mariners' Museum

Matthew Thompson is project cataloger for The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. He has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of North Carolina and a Masters in Information Science from the University of Tennessee. He is currently working on a CLIR 'hidden collections' grant to digitize the museum's historical photographs.


Yudice, George

The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era. Durham: Duke University Press.