AO: Tsing mentions several binaries: to describe their work: two models of collaboration “big science” model and intimate authorship arrangements (their collabo is somewhere in between). Collaboration between humans - non-humans, between making knowledge and social practice, and both within and beyond the academy (383).
AO: Tsing citing Mogu mogu collaboration notes that collaboration like jazz: “with insights flying back and forth in emergent, improvised rhythms.” (383)
AO: Faier uses the notion of “contingency” to think about how “local” and “global” knowledges are connected (389) (“Too often, social an- alysts follow globally oriented science and approach the globe as a patterned and predictable whole. We overlook differences and participate in creating a myth of a homo- geneous globe. Attending to contingency helps us see the possibilities of difference in interconnection”) (393)
AO: Arguing against, “big science” model, Tsing notes that since good fieldwork is supposed to change the fieldworker’s research questions, standardized questions, goals, and methods block this kind of ethnographic learning, in which goals and methods change in the research process. Therefore, such an approach loses the point of ethnographic analysis (381).
AO: Smell. “Can humans and mushrooms really be collaborators? Might all knowledge, then, require collaboration? If so, what might we gain by making these necessary collaborations apparent?” (382)
AO: The analysts interestingly reflect very much on their processes and rationales for collaboration but fail to discuss the data and information infrastructures that underly their processes. Where do they store their files? How do they collaboration on a day to day basis (via google docs? Skype? handwritten letters? email?)
AO: The group looks at phenomena of “contingent connection” to trace the comparative cases over time and space. However, they do not detail how they do this technically.
AO: Tsing notes : “taking the knowledge claims of scientists—which focus on connection, not difference—at face value as well as training ourselves (anthropologists) in mycology and forest ecology) is important since these dis- ciplines teach us new ways to appreciate the mushrooms. (381).
AO: Tsing notes that the various language expertises were important and sharing that talent without dividing the labor was important to share the gift of immersion fieldwork, the shifting research object (382).
AO: The analysts argue that every contributor should be able to draw the project into new and original directions and that the project should continually shift because of its collaborative innovations. They use their Matsutake Research Group to discuss how they have separate and well-defined areas of expertise and combine their expertises towards the project. They note that collaborative experiments (at their best) are more about the process than the race. (383).
AO: The analysts note that “our works may show that we are not assimilable to others and that we may have productive tension among our conclusions.” They note that they may not come to a consensus and that “we are often better off agreeing to disagree” (398).
“We welcome the method of “looking several ways” (Clifford 2004) and see multivocality as a productive outcome of collaborations with each other.” (399)
AO: “Specialists on research teams recognize that value comes from interdisci- plinary or interspecialty dialogue, but there is generally little sense that disciplines or specialties might change their basic relations with each other or undergo internal reorga- nization on the basis of dialogue” (399)
AO: They describe various collaborative experiments that they have undertake as academics working with other academics on knowledge production which they call “strong collaboration” - a form of collaboration in which explicit attention to the process is part of the project. Specifically they detail overlapping and joint fieldwork; analyzing data in tandem; collaborative writing (381). They are not tackling collaboration with interlocutors which is “another can of worms” (398).
AO: They note collaboration between humans - non-humans, between group members, between making knowledge and social practice, and both within and beyond the academy.
AO: This group thinks of how to move away from connections as understood in terms of the functional requirements of capitalism or an integrated world system. They note: “that is precisely how one should not be trying to understand phenomena of connection. Localities—“places,” as geographers call them— are sui generis; some of them are more powerful than others and have the ability to tie the others to them—and some- times to remake the others—in ways the less powerful have little choice over. What are those ways that powerful places have at their disposal, and how do less powerful places re- spond? How do less powerful places get caught up with the more powerful places to begin with?” (399).
AO: The analysts note that university institutional requirements for junior scholars in social cultural anthro make collaboration difficult. “Collaboration is difficult in cultural anthropology … [becuase] of the accounting system of big science [which] gives individual researchers only partial credit for collaborative work, yet creative collaboration takes much more effort than is required in single authorship.” (383).
AO: Analysts note that contemporary translocal political-economic processes (“globalization”) have made it necessary either to develop new methodologies for spanning “scales” of analysis (but see below) or otherwise find- ing “phenomena of connection” (see again below) or to critically recover and adapt appropriate methodologies from our disciplinary ancestors.” (398)