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Andrew Flachs

Andrew Flachs

Associate Professor // Anthropology

Affiliated Faculty // Global Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: STON 219B


Phone: 765-494-2774

Fax: 765-496-7411


ANTH 10000: Introduction to Anthropology

ANTH 39200: Food, Culture, and Power

ANTH 39200: Colonialism, Globalization, and Food Justice

ANTH 59200: Ethnographic Writing

ANTH 60500: Ethnographic Research Methods

ANTH 64200: Public Engagement


Andrew Flachs received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016 and joined the Purdue University faculty in 2017.


Environmental Anthropology, Political Ecology, Agriculture, Qualitative Methods, Food Studies, Ethnobiology, Alternative Agriculture including Genetically Modified Organisms and Organic agriculture, South Asia, North America, Eastern Europe.

Dr. Andrew Flachs researches food and agriculture systems, exploring genetically modified crops, heirloom seeds, and our own microbiomes.  Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, he graduated from Oberlin College with dual Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees in 2010.  He earned his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis in April 2016 and was a 2016-2017 Volkswagen Exchange Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Heidelberg University Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies.  He is currently an associate professor of anthropology at Purdue University.  His work among farmers in North America, the Balkans, and South India investigates ecological knowledge and technological change in agricultural systems spanning Cleveland urban gardens and Indian GM cotton fields.  His research has been supported by public and private institutions including the Department of Education, the National Geographic Society, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Social Science Research Council, while his writing on agricultural development has been featured in numerous peer-reviewed publications as well as public venues including Sapiens, Salon, and the National Geographic magazine.  His work has been recognized by eight international awards, including most recently as a finalist for the Society for Economic Anthropology Kate Browne Creativity in Research Award and the International Convention of Asia Scholars’ Book Prize.  

Notable Publications

Flachs, Andrew. 2022. “Degrowing alternative agriculture: institutions and aspirations as sustainability metrics for small farmers in Bosnia and India.” Sustainability Science.

Flachs, Andrew, and Joseph Orkin. 2021. “On pickles: biological and sociocultural links between fermented foods and the human gut microbiome.” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 17(39).

Flachs, Andrew and Sreenu Panuganti. 2020. “Organic aspirations and in South India.” Economic Anthropology, 7(1):38-50.

Flachs, Andrew. 2019. “Planting and Performing: Anxiety, Aspiration, and “Scripts” in Telangana Cotton Farming.” American Anthropologist, 121(1):48-61.

Flachs, Andrew. 2019. Cultivating Knowledge: Biotechnology, Sustainability, and the Human Cost of Cotton Capitalism in India. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Flachs, Andrew and Paul Richards. 2018. “Playing development roles: the political ecology of performance in agricultural development.” Journal of Political Ecology, 25(1):638-646.

Flachs, Andrew.  2017 “High Hopes and Farming Reality.” News & Views, Nature Plants, 3(16212):1-2.

Extramural Grant Support

Dr. Flachs' research has been supported by groups including the Volkswagen Foundation, the American Institute for Indian Studies, The Social Science Research Council, the United States Department of Education, and the National Geographic Society.