Ep. 51 – Anna L. Tsing on Capitalism, Mushrooms, and the End of the World

In this episode, Emily and John are joined by a new guest and friend of the podcast Joseph Bookman for a lively discussion of Anna L. Tsing‘s book The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Join us as we try to unpack Tsing’s conceptualization of “salvage capitalism,” as we think through her use of “precarity,” and as we ruminate on the relationship between form and content in the book. Is there a politics of salvage capitalism and precarity to be drawn out of this work? Does the book’s form – a “riot of short chapters” – change the way we might critically engage with its arguments? Is capitalism always already about ruin and salvage? Plus, a very on-topic dream about a fancy cabin in the woods (capitalism, nature, and Freud – oh my!).

Thanks to listener @conteanth for the request to discuss Tsing.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, to Bad Infinity for the music in between segments, and always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Anna L. Tsing
New Republic review of the book.
Interview with Anna Tsing for “Allegra Laboratory”
Anna Tsing keynote on “Landscapes and the Anthropocene”
Epistemic Unruliness 14: Joanna Steinhardt on mushrooms and ecological movements
Matsutake mushrooms




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