Alyssa Paredes

Dr. Alyssa Paredes is LSA Collegiate Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she will be Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Fall of 2022. She is a socio-cultural anthropologist with research interests in the human, environmental, and metabolic infrastructures of transnational trade. Dr. Paredes’ first book project, preliminarily entitled Bananapocalypse: Plantation Commodities and the Conceit of Ecological Externality, 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. 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. Her research appears in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, the Journal of Political Ecology, and the Journal of Material Culture, as well as in edited collections such as Feral Atlas: the More-than-Human Anthropocene (Stanford University Press, 2020) and The Promise of Multispecies Justice (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2022). She is also currently co-organizer of “Halo-Halo Ecologies: A Transnational Workshop on Emergent Philippine Environments and Foodways.” She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology with distinction from Yale University.

Emily J.H. Contois

Emily J.H. Contois is Chapman Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The University of Tulsa. Her research examines food, the body, health, and identities in contemporary U.S. media and consumer culture. She is the author of Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) and co-editor with Zenia Kish of the forthcoming volume Food Instagram: Identity, Influence, and Negotiation (University of Illinois Press, 2022). In addition to academic articles and chapters, she’s also written op-eds for NBC News and essays for Jezebel and Nursing Clio, been a guest on podcasts (e.g. Gastropod, Food Psych, and Extra Spicy from the San Francisco Chronicle), and appeared on television, like CBS This Morning, BBC Ideas, and Ugly Delicious on Netflix. An interdisciplinary scholar, she holds a PhD and MA in American Studies from Brown University, as well as an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University and an MPH focused in Public Health Nutrition from University of California, Berkeley. She’s active on social media (@emilycontois) and online:

Geetha Sukumaran

Geetha Sukumaran is a poet, translator, and a doctoral student in Humanities at York University, Toronto. Her current research focuses on Tamil women’s writings from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu that connect culinary practices with war trauma, memory, familial and caste oppression. She has published two books in Tamil: Tharkolaikku parakkum panithuli (Tamil translation of Sylvia Plath’s poems, 2013), and her poems, Otrai pakadaiyil enchum nampikkai (The Hope Set in a Single Die, 2014). Her English translations of Tamil poems have appeared in several journals and magazines including Modern Poetry in Translation and 91st Meridian. Her English translation of Ahilan’s poetry, Then There Were No Witnesses, was published by Mawenzi House, Toronto (2018). She is the recipient of the SPARROW R Thyagarajan award for her poetry.

Jennifer Shutek

Jennifer Shutek, a PhD candidate in Food Studies, researches the intersections of urbanism, migration, nation-building, and foodways in Palestine/Israel. Her dissertation focuses on consumption, sensoria, and surveillance in three locations: sabich stands in Tel Aviv; Hansen House in Jerusalem; and Deir Cremisan in Beit Jala, West Bank. Drawing on historical sources, ethnographic methods, and cultural studies, Jennifer explores the ways in which politics, conflict, and migration impact quotidian sensorial landscapes. She began her academic career at Simon Fraser University, where she completed her BA with a major in Middle Eastern and Islamic history and a minor in literature. During her M.Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford, Jennifer studied Modern Standard Arabic, conducted fieldwork in Palestine/Israel, and wrote her thesis on ways in which Palestinian and Israeli cookbooks and food media reflect and shape gastronationalism and gastrodiplomacy. Over a decade of teaching inside and outside of academia has given Jennifer extensive pedagogical experience. As well as teaching children’s cooking classes, ESL, and experiential learning courses in Germany, Poland, and New York, Jennifer has taught a diverse array of academic courses, including courses in Middle Eastern History and Food Studies courses. Jennifer also has experience in journalism, editing, and social media management. She has had pieces published in Live Encounters, Raseef22, Vice, Anthrodendum, and The Historical Cooking Project and served as an editor and weekly contributor with Muftah magazine.

Mary Anne Martin

Mary Anne Martin is a food systems researcher completing a postdoctoral fellowship with Trent University’s School of the Environment. She has been studying Peterborough-area community initiatives that bridge responses to food insecurity with the needs of food producers in order to build short-term relief and long-term transformation. Her recent research projects have considered: the effects of the global pandemic on local food access and the responses of food-centred community organizations; the workings of the social economy in food projects across Ontario; and the ways in which community food organizations in Ontario measure their impact. Her doctoral research explored the food work experiences of low-income mothers in Peterborough and the support of local community food initiatives. Her research interests include household food insecurity, the gendering of domestic food work, the impact of community-based food initiatives, income solutions to food insecurity, and urban agriculture projects. Mary Anne is an active member of the Peterborough Food Action Network, DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community), and the Durham Food Policy Council.

Marylynn Steckley

Marylynn Steckley is a Geographer by training, and her work is located broadly in the field of Political Ecology, with a focus on food systems in Haiti, where she is currently leading a CIHR funded project “Towards a Gender-Inclusive Assessment of Health”. She is particularly interested in processes of social differentiation, displacement, and ‘othering’ through food systems, with an emphasis on how class, race and gender intersect to influence food security, dietary choices, and health. Her scholarly contributions related to Haiti are based on over 5 years of lived experience in Port-au-Prince and Desarmes, and are focussed on food sovereignty, and agrarian change. Alongside her academic path, she has worked in the field of International Development as a Policy Analyst, Advocacy and Food Justice coordinator, and Disaster Response Coordinator. She has also conducted field research investigating value-added recycling activities in waste-picking communities in Cambodia and Indonesia, and post-disaster vulnerability and governance responses to the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

Myriam Durocher

Myriam Durocher is a postdoctoral researcher at Carleton University (Canada) and at the University of Sydney (Australia). Her research interests revolve around critically addressing the power relationships and issues that take form at the intersection of (“healthy”) food, bodies, health and environment(s). Her PhD research thesis, anchored in a cultural studies perspective, questioned the social construction of “healthy” food in Quebec’s (Canada) contemporary food culture and how it contributes to the (re)production of uneven relationships between human and more-than-human bodies. In her current postdoctoral research, Myriam explores the temporalities and materialities involved in practices applied to bodies and food materials (such as blood testing, or pesticides analysis) that aim to prevent health-related risks associated with food ingestion.

Natali Valdez

Dr. Natali Valdez is an anthropologist and teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Wellesley College. Her work lies at the intersections of Black, postocolonial, feminist technoscience and medical anthropology. Her research and teaching focus on gender, race, and power in scientific knowledge production. Dr.Valdez’s forthcoming book Weighing the Future (UC Press Fall 2021) is the first ethnography of ongoing prenatal trials in the United States and United Kingdom. Studying prenatal trials reveals larger processes of late capitalism, surveillance, racism, and environmental reproduction in a postgenomic era. Valdez argues that science, and how we translate and imagine it, is a reproductive project that requires anthropological and feminist vigilance. Instead of fixating on a future at risk, the book brings attention to how the present—the here and now—is at stake. Next year, with the support of an AAUW grant, Dr.Valdez will be on a research leave to work on her next project titled Postgenomic Reproduction and the Aftermath of Failure.

Raúl Matta

Raúl Matta, PhD, is research fellow at Georg-August-University Göttingen and Principal Investigator in the project FOOD2GATHER “Exploring foodscapes as public spaces for integration”, funded by HERA and the European Commission (H2020). He has conducted research stays at the Free University of Berlin and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France). Between 2014 and 2018, he has led the projects “Food as Cultural Heritage”, based at the University of Göttingen and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and FoodHerit, based at the IRD and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). He has been researching in the field of food and critical heritage studies for over ten years, with an emphasis on the cultural and political uses of food and cooking by different actors and stakeholders. His work has been published in journals such as Social Anthropology, the International Journal of Cultural Property, Food and Foodways, and in several edited volumes.

Samuel Thulin

Samuel Thulin is an artist, composer, sound designer, educator and researcher interested in the specificities of spaces and places, and in the movements and resonances of bodies, data, and sounds. Through his artworks and publications he has explored: locative media and contested senses of place; confluences of cartography and auditory culture; self-tracking, chronic illness, and datafication; and creative and emergent research methodologies. His solo and collaborative projects include multichannel sound installations, compositions made from data sonification, interactive geolocated soundscapes and narratives for mobile apps, music made from found-sounds and field-recordings, place-based soundtracks for public transit, and kinaesthetic and vibrational multisensory installations. He has exhibited his work, given workshops, and presented research at venues in Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Greece. Originally from Nortondale, New Brunswick and currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, he holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University.

Shailesh Shukla

Dr. Shailesh Shukla’s teaching and research interests range widely from Indigenous food systems and Indigenous food sovereignty, Indigenous knowledge systems, Ethnoecology, community-based conservation, intergenerational transmission and learning within indigenous knowledge systems. His scholarly works appeared as Edited Book chapters and in journals such as Human Ecology, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine and Ethnobotany research and Application. He has co-edited (with Drs. R. N. Pati and Laurence Chanza) a book on “Indigenous knowledge and Biodiversity” (Sarup Book Publishers, 2014) and served as an invited editor for a special issue on community food security for International Journal of Biodiversity watch. In an effort to strengthen Indigenous Science stream, Dr. Shukla has developed and taught new courses at University of Winnipeg including Ethnoecology, Indigenous Food Security, and Field courses on Ethnobotany and Indigenous food systems. He is currently serving as a Principle Investigator for SSHRC funded research projects on revitalization of Indigenous food knowledges and perspectives in partnership with Fisher River Cree Nations and Bloodvein Ojibway First Nations from Manitoba. He has guided and supervised graduate student’s thesis research and community-based practicum in Indigenous and Metis communities from Manitoba, Saskatchewan (in Canada) and from India and Nepal. He is co-editor for ‘Indigenous food Systems: Concepts, Cases and Conversations’ by Canadian Scholars Press ( and spearheaded an award winning cookbook project (Research Story – Bringing food, communities and culture together ( ibn partnership with Fisher River Cree Nations, MB.

Sheryl N. Hamilton

Sheryl N. Hamilton is Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication and the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is the author of Impersonations: Troubling the Person in Law and Culture (2009), co-author of Law’s Expression: Communication, Law and Media in Canada, 2nd edition (2019) and Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies. Systems. Technologies. (2011), and co-editor of Sensing Law (2017). She is a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. Her current research focuses on exploring disease media in pandemic culture, taking her into areas as diverse as changing norms of handshakes, zombie graphic novels, plague video games, handwashing posters, disease iconography, and viral photography. Her interdisciplinary work on disease media has been published in a wide range of journals in cultural, media, communication, legal, and sensory studies. Recently, she edited a special issue of The Canadian Journal of Communication on the theme of “Mediating Disease Cultures” (2019) and a special issue of The Senses and Society on the theme of “Sensuous Governance” (2020).

Sophie Chao

Sophie Chao is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Charles Perkins Center. Her anthropological and interdisciplinary research explores the intersections of Indigeneity, capitalism, ecology, health, and justice in the Pacific. Sophie holds a BA in Oriental Studies and a MSc in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She completed her PhD at Macquarie University in 2019, for which she was awarded the Australian Anthropological Society PhD Thesis Prize and the Asian Studies Association of Australia John Legge PhD Thesis Prize. Sophie’s first manuscript, In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua (forthcoming, Duke University Press, Spring 2022) explores how deforestation and monocrop oil palm expansion reconfigure the multispecies lifeworld of Indigenous Marind in West Papua. She is currently embarking on a new research project that examines the relationship between food, hunger, and culture in West Papua. Sophie previously worked for the UK-based non-governmental organization Forest Peoples Programme, investigating human rights violations in the palm oil sector across the tropical belt. For more information, please visit her website

Stephanie Maroney

Stephanie Maroney is a feminist science and food studies scholar creating collaborative projects on fermentation and mycology. Her current research explores both ferment and mycelium as methods for making, repairing, and caring for knowledge(s) and relations. She has published articles on the sociocultural impact of human microbiome science, including the topics of queer fermentation praxis, the colonial afterlife of microbiome science, and healthism in probiotic dietary culture. She has a PhD in Cultural Studies and administers the Mellon Public Scholars program (a community-engaged arts and humanities research program) at UC Davis.

Tabitha Robin

Tabitha Robin is a mixed ancestry Swampy Cree researcher, educator, and writer. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba, studying Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the Faculty of Social Work and the Department of Native Studies. She spends much of her time on the land, working with her people, and learning traditional Cree food practices. She has worked on research projects with the National Indigenous Diabetes Association, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority, the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg and Neechi Commons.

Tina Sikka

Dr. Tina Sikka is a Lecturer in Media and Culture at Newcastle University, U.K. Her research interests include intersectional science studies (environmental science and health science), sexuality studies, gender, and culture. Her forthcoming book is titled Sex, Consent and Justice: A New Legal and Feminist Framework published with Edinburgh University Press. Her research can be found at:

Yael Raviv

Yael Raviv is the Founder and director of Umami food and art festival. She is the author of Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel (2015) and numerous articles on food, culture and art. Yael received her Ph.D from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies, and then taught a range of classes at NYU’s Nutrition and Food Studies Department. She currently works as an executive at Jewish Food Society, a food and culture non-profit organization. Her work explores food as a creative medium in a variety of cultural contexts.