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  • Introduction / Eben Kirksey, Craig Schuetze, and Stefan Helmreich 1

    Part I. Blasted Landscapes

    1. Hope in Blasted Landscapes / Eben Kirksey, Nicholas Shapiro, and Maria Brodine 29

    R. A. W. Assmilk Soap / Karin Bolender 64

    3. Blasted Landscapes (And the Gentle Arts of Mushroom Picking) / Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, for the Matsutake Worlds Research Group 87

    Part II. Edible Companions

    Interlude. Microbiopolitics / Heather Paxson 115

    Recipe 1. Plumpiñon / Lindsay Kelley 122

    Recipe 2. Human Cheese / Miriam Sumin 135

    Recipe 3. Multispecies Communities / Eben Kirksey 145

    Recipe 4. Bitter Medicine is Stronger / Linda Noel, Christine Hamilton, Anna Rodriguez, Angela James, Nathan Rich, David S. Edmunds, and Kim TallBear 154

    4. Life Cycle of a Common Weed / Caitlin Berrigan 164

    Part III. Life and Biotechnology

    5. Life in the Age of Biotechnology / Eben Kirksey, Brandon Costelleo-Kuehn, and Dorion Sagan 185

    6. Invertebrate Visions: Diffractions of the Brittlestar / Karen Barad 221

    7. Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture's Generations: Taking Care of Unexpected Country / Donna J. Haraway 242

    Acknowledgments 263

    Bibliography 271

    Contributors 289

    Index 295
  • Karen Barad

    Caitlin Berrigan

    Karen Bolender

    Maria Brodine

    Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn

    David Edmonds

    Christine Hamilton

    Donna J. Haraway

    Stefan Helmreich

    Angela James

    Lindsay Kelley

    Eben Kirksey

    Nathan Rich

    Dorion Sagan

    Craig Schuetze

    Nicholas Shapiro

    Miriam Simun

    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

    Kimberly Tallbear

  •  "Shines a valuable light on the crucial but understudied question of human relationships with non-human beings." 

    “Eben Kirksey's wonderful new volume is an inspiring introduction to a kind of multispecies ethnography where artists, anthropologists, and others collaborate to create objects and experiences of great thoughtfulness and beauty. … This is a volume that I will be returning to, recommending, and assigning for years to come.”

    “[A]n instant academic hit. Bringing together the voices of many exciting and innovative artists and scholars, the book advocates a radical decentering of anthropocentrism; one surpassing in scope and complexity the reorientations already operated by animal studies over twenty years.”

    “Through insouciant writing and art making, multispecies ethnographers push, poke, glean, and poach ideas to confront received wisdoms. What ‘microbiopolitical entanglements’ are possible, they ask, given ‘that 90% of the genetic material in "us" is "not us"' and instead belongs to individual and community biomes?  ‘Genre-bending’ topics range from the Rural Alchemy Workshop making soap from human and she-ass milk to harvesting delectable mushrooms in the ‘blasted landscapes’ of thoughtlessly plundered environments and the glories of common weeds to the serpentine symmetries of brittle stars. Patricia Piccinini’s multispecies sculptures interleave the essays in ways that some will find provocative and others distressingly—yet appropriately—unsettling. … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”

    "Everything about The Multispecies Salon is unusual, arresting, and thought-provoking. . . . The editorial team have done a wonderful job – the diversity of thinking, writing and artistic output is formidable." 

    "The volume in general is a fascinating read, and although the contributions have grown out of an art exhibit that evolved as it traveled from San Francisco to New Orleans and later to New York City, the book works well on its own and can already be regarded as a core work"

    "What's more revolutionary than contemplating the rights and interconnectedness of plants, animals, fungi, even microbes — and then aspiring to a more expansive post-humanist society? This collection's contributors include such radical thinkers as Karen Barad and Donna Haraway. Reading it, my heart enlarges and my mind breaks free of its ruts."
     

    Reviews

  •  "Shines a valuable light on the crucial but understudied question of human relationships with non-human beings." 

    “Eben Kirksey's wonderful new volume is an inspiring introduction to a kind of multispecies ethnography where artists, anthropologists, and others collaborate to create objects and experiences of great thoughtfulness and beauty. … This is a volume that I will be returning to, recommending, and assigning for years to come.”

    “[A]n instant academic hit. Bringing together the voices of many exciting and innovative artists and scholars, the book advocates a radical decentering of anthropocentrism; one surpassing in scope and complexity the reorientations already operated by animal studies over twenty years.”

    “Through insouciant writing and art making, multispecies ethnographers push, poke, glean, and poach ideas to confront received wisdoms. What ‘microbiopolitical entanglements’ are possible, they ask, given ‘that 90% of the genetic material in "us" is "not us"' and instead belongs to individual and community biomes?  ‘Genre-bending’ topics range from the Rural Alchemy Workshop making soap from human and she-ass milk to harvesting delectable mushrooms in the ‘blasted landscapes’ of thoughtlessly plundered environments and the glories of common weeds to the serpentine symmetries of brittle stars. Patricia Piccinini’s multispecies sculptures interleave the essays in ways that some will find provocative and others distressingly—yet appropriately—unsettling. … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”

    "Everything about The Multispecies Salon is unusual, arresting, and thought-provoking. . . . The editorial team have done a wonderful job – the diversity of thinking, writing and artistic output is formidable." 

    "The volume in general is a fascinating read, and although the contributions have grown out of an art exhibit that evolved as it traveled from San Francisco to New Orleans and later to New York City, the book works well on its own and can already be regarded as a core work"

    "What's more revolutionary than contemplating the rights and interconnectedness of plants, animals, fungi, even microbes — and then aspiring to a more expansive post-humanist society? This collection's contributors include such radical thinkers as Karen Barad and Donna Haraway. Reading it, my heart enlarges and my mind breaks free of its ruts."
     

  • "This timely anthology offers a substantial and engaging introduction to the field of multispecies studies, clearly presenting the core concepts of an important and influential area of scholarship, which will become increasingly central to anthropology, science studies, environmental studies, and social theory. At the same time, The Multispecies Salon is in many ways an art book. It features an extraordinary range of remarkable art projects, which are fascinating in their own right and beautifully written up." — Sarah Franklin, author of Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

    "The Multispecies Salon is an ambitious, important book, an excellent read, full of energy and imagination. I teach art and anthropology courses, and this volume will be a key pedagogical text for me. I am certain that The Multispecies Salon will also be an attractive text in science studies, environmental anthropology, and cultural studies courses. It's an enthralling collection." — George Marcus, coauthor of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary

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  • Description

    A new approach to writing culture has arrived: multispecies ethnography. Plants, animals, fungi, and microbes appear alongside humans in this singular book about natural and cultural history. Anthropologists have collaborated with artists and biological scientists to illuminate how diverse organisms are entangled in political, economic, and cultural systems. Contributions from influential writers and scholars, such as Dorion Sagan, Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, are featured along with essays by emergent artists and cultural anthropologists.

    Delectable mushrooms flourishing in the aftermath of ecological disaster, microbial cultures enlivening the politics and value of food, and nascent life forms running wild in the age of biotechnology all figure in this curated collection of essays and artifacts. Recipes provide instructions on how to cook acorn mush, make cheese out of human milk, and enliven forests after they have been clear-cut. The Multispecies Salon investigates messianic dreams, environmental nightmares, and modest sites of biocultural hope.

    For additional materials see the companion website: www.multispecies-salon.org/

    Contributors. Karen Barad, Caitlin Berrigan, Karin Bolender, Maria Brodine, Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, David S. Edmunds, Christine Hamilton, Donna J. Haraway, Stefan Helmreich, Angela James, Lindsay Kelley, Eben Kirksey, Linda Noel, Heather Paxson, Nathan Rich, Anna Rodriguez, Dorion Sagan, Craig Schuetze, Nicholas Shapiro, Miriam Simun, Kim TallBear, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
     

    About The Author(s)

    Eben Kirksey is a permanent faculty member in Environmental Humanities at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power, also published by Duke University Press.
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