Michael J. Hathaway

Michael J. Hathaway

Fellow: Awarded 2022
Field of Study: Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Competition: US & Canada

Michael Hathaway is a cultural anthropologist with two central interests. First, he explores China’s place in the modern world, looking at how little-known dynamics there have created world-spanning effects in surprising realms such as feminism, environmentalism, and Indigenous rights. His prize-winning first book, Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China (California, 2013), challenges long-standing assumptions that globalization emerges solely from the West. Second, his scholarship helps to foster a transformation in scientific understandings of the natural world. His second monograph, What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton, 2022), opens up a surprising world that reveals the lively agency of all living beings, including the often ignored fungus among us. This book draws on almost two decades of collaborative transnational work with the Matsutake Worlds Research Group.

For a quarter-century, he has lived in, worked, and traveled in China and increasingly in Japan, exploring the entangled and emerging worlds of transnational environmentalism and Indigenous rights. This fellowship allows him to devote time and energy to work alongside colleagues to examine many hidden histories of Indigenous-led activism across the Pacific Rim and how their actions have inflected the contemporary world.

Photo Credit: Walker Hathaway-Williams

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