I’m a 2020 LSA Collegiate Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where I will be Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Fall of 2022. I am a socio-cultural anthropologist with research interests in the human, environmental, and metabolic infrastructures of transnational trade. I use multi-sited, multi-scalar, and multi-lingual methods to carry out immersive and socially engaged fieldwork in the Philippines and Japan. The heart of my research is on the banana commodity chains between the two countries. I hold a Ph.D. in Anthropology with distinction from Yale University.
My first book project tracks the dramatic shifts that occur between the Southern 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. My 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 very calculations that efface them, I tie together approaches in environmental and economic anthropology, science and technology studies, human geography, and critical food studies.
My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Japan Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Yale University MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. Published work has appeared in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, Journal of Political Ecology, Feral Atlas: the More-than-Human Anthropocene, Journal of Material Culture, among others.
I am a native of Manila, Philippines and began conducting ethnographic research in 2011 as a Fulbright scholar to Japan, where I was an affiliate at Kyushu University. I developed an interest in food systems and the production-consumption nexus as an employee at ITO EN (North America), Inc., a Japanese beverage company based in New York City. Exploring these themes between the two places I care about the most is one of the great joys of being an anthropologist.
I welcome the opportunity to get to know students and scholars with related interests. I can be reached at aepare [at] umich [dot] edu.
For more information, please see my University of Michigan departmental webpage.