Michael Hathaway

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Dr. Michael Hathaway received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the spring of 2007 and began teaching at Simon Fraser University that fall. He is now Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Member of the School for International Studies, and the Director of SFU’s David Lam Centre for Asian Studies.

His first research project examined global environmentalism and the politics of indigeneity. This research was based on multi-sited fieldwork in rural and urban Southwest China. It explored how local residents, Chinese scientists and expatriate conservationists forge new constellations of meanings, practices, and forms of governance in contemporary China. This work examines changing understandings of nature, social categories, and power. It was published as Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China (University of California Press, 2013).

Current CV and articles :


Research Interests

China, Social Studies of Science, Globalization, Indigeneity, Postcolonial Theory, History and Anthropology, Social Movements (Indigenous, Social Justice and Environmental), Gender Studies, Critical Studies of Development, Critical Studies of Race and Racial Formation, Multispecies ethnography, More-than-human studies.


2013    Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China.
Berkeley: University of California Press.

Recent Publications

  • 2016   “Chinese Indigenous Peoples? How Global Environmentalism Unintentionally Smuggled the Notion of Indigeneity into China.” Humanities 5(3): 54. Doi:10.3390/h5030054.
  • 2016   “Animals as Historical Actors? Southwest China's Wild Elephants and the Worlds they Shape.” In Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research. Edited by Jocelyn Thorpe, Stephanie Rutherford, and L. Anders Sandberg. New York: Routledge.
  • 2016   “Rethinking the Legacies of ‘Subsistence Thinking’ ” for Subsistence Under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Edited by James Murton, Dean Bavington and Carly Dokis. Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queens University Press, 234-253.
  • 2016   Review of Tuner, S, ed. 2013. Red Stamps and Gold Stars: Fieldwork Dilemmas in Upland Socialist Asia. Journal of Asian Studies 75(1): 210-211.
  • 2015   “Wild Elephants as Actors in the Anthropocene: The Role of Non-humans in Shaping Animal Welfare Movements.” In Animals in the Anthropocene: Critical Perspectives on Non-human Futures. Edited by Dinesh Wadiwel, Nikki Savvides, Agata Mrva-Montoya, Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, Chris Degeling, Matthew Chrulew, Madeleine Boyd, and Celeste Black. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 221-242.
  • 2015   “Wild Commodities and Environmental Governance: Transforming Lives and Markets in China and Japan.” Conservation and Society. 12(4): 398-407.
  • 2014   Global Environmental Winds: Chinese legacies of an ostensibly North American creation. Anthropology and Environment Society. Invited submission. http://www.aaanet.org/sections/ae/index.php/category/engagement-blog/
  • 2014   “Transnational Matsutake Governance: Endangered Species, Contamination, and the Reemergence of Global Commodity Chains for Mapping Shangri-la: Nature, Personhood and Polity in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. Edited by Chris Coggins and Emily Yeh. Seatte: University of  Washington Press, 153-173.
  • 2012   The Politics of Making Biocultural Diversity in China. Rachel Carson Center Perspectives: 37-41.
  • 2011   Preliminary Observations on Matsutake Worlds in Yunnan. Edible Fungi of China 3 (Supplement): 114-117. [Also translated into Chinese].
  • 2011   “The Rise and Fall of the Indigenous in Southwest China.” In Anthropology of Extinction: A View to Life on the Brink. Genese Sodikoff, Editor.   Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 103-126.
  • 2010   “The Emergence of Indigeneity: Public Intellectuals and an Indigenous Space in Southwest China.” Cultural Anthropology.
  • 2010   “Global Environmental Encounters in Southwest China Fleeting Intersections and ‘Transnational Work’.” The Journal of Asian Studies.
  • 2009   “Postcolonial Science Studies and the Making of Matsutake Science in China.” American Ethnologist. 36(2): 393-397.
  • 2009   Co-author of chapter, “Strong Collaboration as a Method for Multi-sited Ethnography: On Mychorrizal Relations.” In Multi-sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis, and Locality in Contemporary Social Research. Mark-Anthony Falzon, Editor. New York: Routledge, 197-214.

Current Research Grants

Project: Matsutake Worlds
Funding: Toyota Foundation
Involvement: Co-Investigator
Institution of Co-Investigator(s): Tim Choy (University of California, Davis), Lieba Faier (University of California, Los Angeles), Miyako Inoue (Stanford University), Shiho Satsuka (University of Toronto), Anna Tsing (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Project: The Emergence of Indigenous Knowledge: Gender, Generation, and Markets in China
Funding: SSHRC
Involvement: Principal Investigator