Fungi and Culture

HON 498 - Professor Hannah Reynolds

Modes of Inquiry: Textual Analysis, Scientific and Mathematical Analysis, Artistic Creation and Analysis, Historical, Social and Cultural Analysis

Course Description:

Fungi, including mushrooms and molds, have been revered and feared in multiple human societies. Whether pursued as delicacies, exploited for poisonous medicinal properties, or used in religious/cultural ceremonies, they have played a critical role in shaping culture and inspiring art. This course will examine fungal biology (diversity, ecology, and evolution), the impact fungi have had on human history, their portrayal in literature, and use in the fine arts as both medium and inspiration. The goals of the class are for students to learn to find and identify wild fungi, experiment with them in the lab to understand their biology, and to gain a broad understanding of how fungi have affected history, literature, and the arts.