2020 LSA Collegiate Fellow (Anthropology)
Alyssa Paredes is a socio-cultural anthropologist with research interests in the human, environmental, and metabolic infrastructures of transnational trade. She uses multi-sited, multi-scalar, and multi-lingual methods to carry out immersive and socially engaged fieldwork in the Philippines and Japan. She holds a PhD in anthropology from Yale University.
Dr. Paredes aspires to produce and support scholarship that welcomes marginalized voices into intellectual circulation, while engaging the personal interests and concerns of diverse groups of student learners. Recognizing that disparities often emerge in the course of ethnographic research between the global North and South, she has used her work to inform the advocacy of NGOs in the Philippines and Japan. In the interest of tackling social and environmental issues, she has supported projects between academic, civil, and corporate institutions, and has aided in the production of public-facing publications, seminars, and a documentary film.
Dr. Paredes' first book project, Plantation Peripheries: The Multiple Makings of Asia's Banana Republic, tracks the dramatic shifts that occur between the Philippine region of Mindanao, where export bananas are among the most resource-intensive of all agricultural industries, to Japanese urban centers, where they are ubiquitous items that sell for cheap. Her work identifies the conventions of crop science, agrochemical regulation, market segmentation techniques, and food standards as arenas where actors contend over the commodity chain's production calculus. In chronicling how local actors reinsert themselves into the calculations that efface them, she ties together approaches from within and beyond anthropology.
Research Area Keyword(s):
Environment, food and agriculture, resource extractive industries, commodity chains, Asia