Facilitators

Orven Mallari

Orven Mallari is a Ph.D. student in Sociocultural Anthropology. Their research interests lie in the intersection of environmental anthropology and science and technology studies (STS), located in the rice research facilities in Laguna, Philippines. From their background in chemical engineering, as well as experiences in the food industry, they seek to ask questions on the moral calculi of scientists, communications specialists, and activists that all work with agrarian groups, broadly touching on themes of hybridity and commodification. Orven comes from the Kapampangan of Central Luzon; they can be found making recipes and reading theory.

Amy Kuritzky

Amy Kuritzky is a Ph.D. student in Sociocultural Anthropology and an MS student in Environmental Health Sciences. She is interested in the relationship between environmental justice and scientific knowledge production, particularly in the urban United States. Her research is at the intersection of environmental anthropology, critical medical anthropology, and science and technology studies.

Kimberly Sanchez

Kimberly Sanchez is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology. Her research investigates the materiality and politics of food production, livestock raising and social change in contemporary communities in northern Mongolia and southeastern Wyoming, USA. As a sociocultural anthropologist, she explores the strategies used by herds and herders to navigate changing social values and beliefs, weather patterns, land use, and wildlife behavior. She is currently contributing to an interdisciplinary UM-based research project, “Centering the Northern Realms: Integrating Histories and Archaeologies of the Mongol Empire (1200 to 1500 CE)”.

Alyssa Paredes, Ph.D.

Alyssa Paredes is assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology.  She 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 Ph.D. in Anthropology with distinction from Yale University. 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 very calculations that efface them, she ties together approaches in environmental and economic anthropology, science and technology studies, human geography, and critical food studies. At the University of Michigan, 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. As a native of Metro Manila, she is also interested in the university’s historical ties to the U.S. colonial administration in the Philippines and she plans to explore the intersections between zoological expeditions, ethnological photography, and the civilizational endeavor through archival research.

Brian Klein, Ph.D.

Brian Ikaika Klein is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, jointly appointed in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and the Program in the Environment. He’s also an associate of UM’s African Studies Center, core faculty in its Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program, and a co-convener of its Political Ecology Workshop (PEW). Brian is a political ecologist interested in environmental governance, resource politics, and rural development with a particular focus on Madagascar and the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. He holds a PhD in environmental science, policy, and management from UC Berkeley, where his work was funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Berkeley Fellowship for Graduate Study. Brian is currently working on a book manuscript (Everyday Exploitation: Extraction and Accumulation in the Mines of Madagascar) investigating strategies of livelihood production, commoning, wealth accumulation, and capitalist expansion in Madagascar’s goldfields. His research has been published in scholarly outlets including the Journal of Peasant Studies, Journal of Rural Studies, Political Geography, and Geoforum, as well as in edited volumes, online magazines, and policy fora. Prior to entering academia, Brian worked at a range of organizations in Washington, DC, focused on environmental policy and development practice, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar from 2010-2012. He was born and raised in Hawai‘i—and tries to get back as frequently as possible.