Shiho Satsuka

Shiho Satsuka

Shiho Satsuka, Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004)
Associate Professor, St. George Campus

(416) 978-7787
Office: AP 236

Research Keywords: politics of knowledge, cultural translation, nature, science, environment, capitalism, work, subjectivity, tourism, translocal interactions, popular culture, gender

Research Region: Japan, Canada, USA

Research Bio

Shiho Satsuka’s research concerns the politics of knowledge, discourses of nature and science, and cultural practices of capitalism. She is interested in how divergent understandings of nature are produced, circulated, contested and transformed in translocal interactions shaped by the global expansion of capitalism. Her first book, Nature in Translation: Freedom, Subjectivity and Japanese Tourism Encounters in Canada, analyzes the way Japanese tour guides translate ecological knowledge in national parks in the Canadian Rockies. The book examines how the guides’ translation of nature is related to the construction of their subjectivity, both as transnational flexible workers and as embodiments of Japanese cosmopolitan desire. She is currently working on her second book project examining the social role of scientists in the emerging global scientific and commercial networks associated with matsutake, a highly valued wild mushroom. In particular, she focuses on satoyama movements that aim to revitalize the traditional agrarian forests that produce matsutake, the politics of translation between expert science and other forms of knowledge, and the emerging discourses of “new commons” that envision alternative social and human-nonhuman relations. This research is also part of a collaborative, multi-sited ethnographic project, “Matsutake Worlds”. She was a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Germany in 2012.



2018. The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds. Co-edited with Keiichi Omura, Grant Jun Otsuki and Atsuro Morita. New York: Routledge.

2015.  Nature in Translation: Freedom, Subjectivity, and Japanese Tourism Encounters in Canada. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Articles and Book Chapters

In Press. “Rhapsody in the Forest: Wild Mushrooms and the Multispecies Multitude”.  Forthcoming in How Nature Works, Sarah Besky and Alex Blanchette, eds. Albuquerque, NM:University of New Mexico Press.

2018. “Sensing Multispecies Entanglements: Koto as an ‘Ontology’ of Living”. Special Issue, Matsutake Worlds. Social Analysis 62(4).

2018. Grant Jun Otsuki, Shiho Satsuka, Keiichi Omura and Atsuro Morita. “Introduction”. In The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds, 1-17. New York: Routledge.

2018. “Translation in the World Multiple”. In The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds, 219-232. New York: Routledge.

2016. Grant Jun Otsuki and Shiho Satsuka. “Hikaku towa nanika: Kanada no tabunkashugi to nihon no kyosei no hikaku o toshite.” (“What is Comparison? : Translating Canadian Multiculturalism and Japanese Kyōsei). Mirai Kyosei: Journal of Multicultural Innovation 3: 151-176.

2014   “The Satoyama Movement: Envisioning Multispecies Commons in Post-industrial Japan.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 3: 87–93.

2014. “Hospitality and Detachment: Japanese Tour Guides’ Affective Labor in Canada.” In The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in Contemporary East Asia, edited by Jie Yang, 82-96. New York and London: Routledge.

2013. “The Charisma of the Wild Mushroom.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 5: 49-54.

2012. “Biodiversity in Satoyama Conservation: Aesthetics, Science and the Politics of Knowledge.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 9: 79-82.

2011. “Eating Others Well/ Eating Well with Others.” in “Poaching at the Multispecies Salon,” Kroeber Anthropological Society Journal (Special 100th issue) 99/100: 134-138.

2009. “Populist Cosmopolitanism: the Predicament of Subjectivity and the JapaneseFascination with Overseas.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 10(1): 67-81.

2009. Matsutake Worlds Research Group (Timothy Choy, Lieba Fair, Michael Hathaway, Miyako Inoue, Shiho Satsuka and Anna Tsing.) “A New Form of Collaboration in Cultural Anthropology: Matsutake Worlds.” American Ethnologist 36(2): 380-403.

2009. Matsutake Worlds Research Group (Timothy Choy, Lieba Faier, Michael Hathaway, Miyako Inoue Shiho Satsuka and Anna Tsing). “Strong Collaboration as a Method for Multi-sited Ethnography: on Mycorrhizal Relations.” In Multi-Sited Ethnography, edited by Mark-Anthony Falzon, 197-214. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

2008. Anna Tsing and Shiho Satsuka.“Diverging Understandings of Forest Management in Matsutake Science.” Economic Botany 62(3): 244-256.

Book Reviews

2017.  Review of Tourist Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches, edited by Noel Salazar and Nelson Graburn. American Ethnologist 44(1); 146-148.

2013.  Book Forum Article, “Politics of Environmental Knowledge Translation.” (Review of Ecologies of Comparison: An Ethnography of Endangerment in Hong Kong by Tim Choy, Forest Guardians, Forest Destroyers: The Politics of Environmental Knowledge in Northern Thailand by Tim Forsyth and Andrew Walker, and Instituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests by Andrew Mathews). BioSocieties 8: 374–379.

Graduate Students

Nicholas Feinig

Antony Zelenka

Janita Van Dyk

Yang Liu

Patrick Lee