Alyssa Paredes

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Yale U.

Grant number

Gr. 9283

Approve Date

April 18, 2016

Project Title

Paredes, Alyssa, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Altering Asia's Banana Republic? The Making of an 'Alternative' Supply Chain Along the Pacific Rim,' supervised by Dr. William W. Kelly

ALYSSA PAREDES, then a graduate student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut received a grant in May 2016 to aid research on ‘Altering Asia’s Banana Republic? The Making of an ‘Alternative’ Commodity Chain along the Pacific Rim,’ supervised by Dr. William W. Kelly. This ethnographic project was conducted for 18 months between August 2016 and January 2018, and it explored the material and immaterial makings of banana supply chains between the Philippines and Japan. Fieldwork was conducted on two distinct trade networks: the first for conventional plantation Cavendish bananas, and the second for wild, non-plantation balangon bananas. This project adopted the ‘commodity chain,’ broadly understood, as a methodological heuristic for collecting qualitative and quantitative data. A comparative study of the agro-ecological crop systems and supply chain logistics of the two different varieties revealed how moral and infrastructural networks shaped how communities engaged in local political movements and transnational solidarity. In particular, fieldwork focused on Filipino and Japanese locals’ involvements in issues such as highland plantation expansion, aerial spraying and chemical use, and Fusarium Wilt (a deadly fungal disease) control. This research aspires to contribute to economic and ecological anthropology, and to transregional scholarship on the inter-Asian region.