For The Wild Podcast

DR. PATRICIA KAISHIAN on Queer Mycology /262

December 1, 2021

How might a mushroom challenge global control? In this episode, Dr. Patricia Kaishian encourages us to think of mycology as a revolutionary and political practice. Diving into queer mycology, we see the ways that fungi challenge binaries of gender, family structure, and even traditional biological classification. Queer theory teaches us that difference is necessary and fluidity is vital. Queer mycology shows us this applies to the more-than-human. Fungi do not make easy subjects of capitalism. In the tradition of queer theory, how might we learn from fungi rather than being threatened by their binary and definition-defying presence? Dr. Kaishian, then, guides us to challenge science to maintain its integrity in the face of capitalistic incentives, and through this guidance brings us to a better understanding of the possibilities for ethical science that addresses the vital concerns of a changing climate. In this vein, Dr. Kaishian shares her experience in the Armenian diaspora and the need for explicitly political science and mycology in the wake of settler colonialism and genocide through her work with the International Congress of Armenian Mycologists. Dr. Patricia Kaishian is a Mycologist and postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, where she serves as a curator of the Arthur Fungarium and Kriebel Herbarium. Dr. Kaishian is a fungal taxonomist and received her PhD in Mycology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY, in 2020.


Music by The Musicteller, Madelyn Ilana, Kendra Swanson. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

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