Andrew Flachs
Curriculum Vitae

Professional Profile

Field experience in South India, Bosnia, and the United States.  Research spanning the anthropology of agriculture, ethnobotany, the anthropology of knowledge, and political ecology.  Specific foci of interest include: mixed-methods approaches to qualitative social science; conventional/industrial agriculture; fermentation and the microbiome;  alternative farming systems including organic agriculture; food studies; indigenous knowledge and ethnobiology; the anthropology of capitalism and household decision-making; natureculutre; the intersections of knowledge, politics, and environment in sustainable development. Training in ethnobotanical field methods, GIS analysis, survey design, qualitative research design, and quantitative data analysis, in addition to ethnographic field methods.   Co-Editor of the Journal of Ethnobiology Letters.

Highlights

  • Nine first author peer-reviewed publications and dozens of conference presentations and invited talks
  • Over $150,000 in funding for several projects
  • Five national prizes for research papers from anthropological organizations
  • Strong student evaluations from introductory and advanced undergraduate teaching as instructor

Academic Affiliation

Purdue University
2017-
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Heidelberg University
Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
2016-2017
Volkswagen Foundation Exchange Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Missouri - St. Louis
2015
Adjunct Instructor

Washington University in St. Louis
2013-2016
PhD Candidate, Instructor

Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Anthropology
2016
Washington University in St. Louis
Cultural Anthropology
Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies

Dissertation Title:  Cultivating Knowledge:  The Production and Adaptation of Knowledge on Organic and GM Cotton Farms in Telangana, India.

Master of Arts, Anthropology
2013
Washington University in St. Louis
Cultural Anthropology

Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology
2010
Oberlin College   

Bachelor of Music, Saxophone Performance
2010
Oberlin Conservatory

Research Grants

Purdue University Agricultural Science and Extension for Economic Development (AgSEED) Grant (Co-Investigator):  $50,000
2018

Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Global Synergy Grant:  $20,500
2018

American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship:  $6,241
2018-19

Volkswagen Foundation Workshop Grant:  $9,840
2017

Volkswagen Foundation Research Grant:  $8,000
2016-17

Library of Congress Blanton Owen Award:  $500
2015

Missouri Botanical Garden Ethnobotanical Research Grant: $2,500
2014

National Geographic Society Young Explorers Grant: $2,000
2013

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship: $114,516
2011-15

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (former McNair program): $5,000
2008-2010

Doris Baron Environmental Studies Student Research Grant: $2,000
2010

Jerome Davis Award:  $500
2009

Awards

Washington University H. Kathleen Cook Graduate Student Prize
2016
Awarded to a student in recognition of excellence in scholarship, service, and teaching

Washington University Dissertation Fellowship
2016
Competitive dissertation completion fellowship

American Anthropological Association Robert M. Netting Award
2015
Graduate student or recent PhD paper prize in the anthropology of agriculture

Political Ecology Society Eric Wolf Prize
2015
Graduate student or recent PhD paper prize in political ecology

Washington University Richard J. Walter Scholarship
2015
Awarded to PhD candidates in recognition of work in Asia

Washington University Writing Center and Libraries Graduate Fellowship
2015-2016
Competitive award to build skills in writing pedagogy and analytic software

Society of Ethnobiology Barbara Lawrence Award
2014
Graduate student or recent PhD paper prize in ethnobiology

Washington University Lynne Cooper Harvey Fellowship
2011-16
Competitive five year fellowship in American Culture studies

Oberlin College Comfort Starr Prize in Anthropology
2011
Awarded to an outstanding graduate of the anthropology department

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention
2011, 2013

Oberlin College Highest Honors Anthropology
2010

Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition Christine Wilson Award, Runner-Up
2010
Undergraduate student paper prize in food studies

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology Student Achievement Award, First Place
2009
Student or recent PhD paper prize in cultural anthropology

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Flachs, Andrew. 2018  “The Factish in the Field:  An Anthropological Inquiry of Genetically Modified Seeds and Yields as Beings.”  Science and Technology Studies, published online July 31, 2018.

Flachs, Andrew.  2018. “Listing at Multiple Stages:  Using Key Informants and Walking Probes to Generate Efficient and Accurate Lists During Larger Surveys.”  Field Methods, 30(3):175-190

Flachs, Andrew. 2017. “ Show Farmers:  Transformative Sentiment and Performance in Organic Agricultural Development in South India.”  Culture, Agriculture, Food, and Environment, 39(1):25-34.

Stone, Glenn Davis and Andrew Flachs. 2017.  “The Ox Fall Down: Path Breaking and Technology Treadmills in Indian Cotton Agriculture.”  The Journal of Peasant Studies, published online April 26, 2017.

Flachs, Andrew, Glenn Davis Stone, and Christopher Shaffer.  2017.  “Mapping Knowledge:  GIS as a Tool for Spatial Modeling of Patterns of Warangal Cotton Seed Popularity and Farmer Decision-Making.”  Human Ecology,  45(2):143-159.  

Flachs, Andrew. 2016. “The Economic Botany of Organic Cotton Farms in Telangana, India.”  Journal of Ethnobiology, 36(3):683-713.

Flachs, Andrew. 2016.  “Redefining Success:  The Political Ecology of Genetically Modified and Organic Cotton as Solutions to Agrarian Crisis.”  Journal of Political Ecology, 23(1):49-70.

Stone, Glenn Davis and Andrew Flachs.  2015Seeking Sustainability for Smallholders: Bt Cotton in India.”  In Africa's future...can biosciences contribute?, David Bennett and Patrick Mitton, eds.  Pp. 119-128.  Cambridge, Banson/B4FA.

Flachs, Andrew.  2015 “Persistent Agrobiodiversity on Genetically Modified Cotton Farms in Telangana, India.”  Journal of Ethnobiology, 35(2):406-426. 

Stone, Glenn Davis and Andrew Flachs.  2014 “The Problem with the Farmer’s Voice.”  Agriculture and Human Values, 31(4):649-653.

Stone, Glenn Davis, Andrew Flachs, and Christine Diepenbrock.  2014 “Rhythms of the Herd:  Long Term Dynamics in Seed Choice by Indian Farmers.”  Technology in Society.  36(1): 26-38.

Flachs, Andrew.  2013 “Gardening as Ethnographic Research – Volunteering as a Means for Community Access.”  Journal of Ecological Anthropology, 16(1):97-103

Flachs, Andrew.  2010 “Food For Thought: The Social Impact of Community Gardens in the Greater Cleveland Area.” Electronic Green Journal, 30(1):1-9.

Work in Progress

Flachs, Andrew and Matthew Abel. “An Emerging Geography of the Agrarian Question:  Spatial Analysis as a tool for Identifying the New American Agrarianism.”  Forthcoming in Rural Sociology.

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications and Other Media

Flachs, Andrew.  2017-18 “Ethnobiology Forage! Blog”  Society of Ethnobiology. <link>

Flachs, Andrew and Ashley Glenn.  2017 “Growing the Bosnian Kitchen:  Sustainable Food Systems.”  Voices for Biodiversity. <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2017 “Monsoon Adaptation.”   Weather Matters <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2017 “Biodiversity on Organic Farms in Telangana, India.”  Voices for Biodiversity.  <link>

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

Flachs, Andrew.  2016 “The Green Revolution”.  In Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Paul B. Thompson and David M. Kaplan eds. Pp.1–7. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2016 “How Genetically Modified Crops Grow”.  Field Note, National Geographic, 229(4):  24-25. 

Flachs, Andrew.  2015 “David Norton and Nick Reid’s Nature and Farming:  Sustaining Native Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes”. Book Review, Economic Botany, 69(4):378-379.

Flachs, Andrew.  2015 “Dan Barber’s The Third Plate”. Book Review, The Common Reader.  <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2014 “If They Spray Four Times, You Have to Spray Five”: How Genetically Modified Cotton is Stalling, Not Solving Pesticide Exposure”.  Blog Post, Global Health Hub.  <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2014 “Cotton Farming in Telangana, India”.  Radio Interview, National Geographic.  <link>

Flachs, Andrew.  2013-2014 “Explorer’s Journal”. Blogger, National Geographic.  <link>

Flachs, Andrew and Glenn Davis Stone.  2013 “Agriculture”. Oxford Bibliographies. <link>

Conferences and Invited Talks

2018 “Ethnobiology and the Hope for Sustainable Cotton Agriculture in Telangan, India,” Paper presented at the Society of Ethnobiology and Society for Economic Botany joint conference, Madison, Wisconsin.

2018 “Growing Pains: Farmer Fees and Agricultural Consultation in Telangana, India,” Paper presented at the Dimension of Political Ecology conference, Lexington Kentucky.

2017 “Seeds as Relational Beings in Telangana Agriculture”, Paper presented at the AAA conference, Washington DC (panel co-convener and co-chair).

2017 “Postcolonial Performance and “Scripts” in Telangana Cotton Farming”, Paper presented at the Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisconsin (panel chair).

2017 “Squeezing Agrobiodiversity:  Herbicides and High Density Cropping on GM Cotton Fields in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at the Society for Ethnobiology Conference, Montreal, Quebec.

2017 “Development Roles:  Contingency and Performance in Alternative Agriculture in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at Volkswagen Foundation Workshop, Heidelberg, Germany (Convener and organizer).

2017 “Field Performances:  Knowledge, Cotton, and Political Ecology in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk, Centre for International Environmental Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.

2017 “Applying Anthropology:  Investigating Sustainable Development on Cotton Farms in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois.

2017 “Cultivating Knowledge:  Learning and Agrarian Change on GM and Organic Cotton Fields in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

2017 “Developing Knowledge:  GMOs, Organic Agriculture, and International Development in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk at East Anglia University, Norwich, United Kingdom.

2017 “Resilient Knowledge:  Learning to Farm on Genetically Modified and Organic Cotton Fields in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

2017 “Cultivating Knowledge:  Agricultural Learning and the Mixed Methods Toolkit in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

2017 “The Political Ecology of Performance:  Knowledge and Cotton Production in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at the Environmental Humanities Interdisciplinary Perspectives public lecture series, Heidelberg, Germany.

2016 “Spatial Modeling in Warangal Seed Fad Patterns”, Paper presented at the Heidelberg University Geography Department Colloquium series, Heidelberg, Germany.

2016 “Cultivating Knowledge: Risk and Reward in Telangana Cotton Agriculture”, Paper presented at the Heidelberg University South Asia Institute Political Science Colloquium series, Heidelberg, Germany.

2016 “Developing Knowledge:  GMOs, Organic Agriculture, and Sustainable Farming in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.

2016 “Redefining Success: The Political Ecology of Genetically Modified and Organic Cotton as Solutions to Agrarian Crisis”, Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia.

2016 “Integrating Historical and Political Ecology in the Lower Illinois River Valley”, Roundtable presentation at the Society for Applied Anthropology Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia.

2016 “Developing Knowledge: Incentive and Constraint Among Cotton Farmers in Telangana, India”, Invited Talk at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

2016 “The Anthropology of Sustainable Agriculture”, Invited Talk at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois.

2015 “Show Farmers:  Transformation and Performance in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at the Washington University Ethnographic Theory Workshop, St. Louis, Missouri.

2015 “The Anthropology of GMOs and Organic Agriculture”, given to Introduction to Anthropology course at University College at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

2015 “GIS as a tool for spatial modeling in Warangal Seed Fads”, Presentation for Washington University GIS Lightning Talks, St Louis, Missouri.

2015 “Mediated Knowledge”, Paper presented at the Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison Wisconsin.

2015 “GMOs and Alternative Agriculture”, Invited talk given to Culture and the Environment course at University College at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

2015 “Variability in Knowledge and Technology on Cotton Farms in Telangana, India”, Poster presented at Washington University in St. Louis Graduate Student Symposium.

2014 “Risk, reward, and the creation of knowledge on organic cotton projects in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at the AAA Conference, Washington DC.

2014 “Stalking the Wild Tomato:  The Ethnobotany of Genetically Modified Crops”, Paper presented at the Society for Ethnobiology Conference, Cherokee, North Carolina. 

2014 “GM Crops and Anthropology” given to Human Ecology course at University of Missouri – St. Louis, St.  Louis, Missouri.

2014 “Exporting the Future:  American Agribusiness Interests and the Logics of Smallholding Farming in Andhra Pradesh, India”, Paper presented at the Translating Culture, Negotiating Difference:  Religion, Law, and Business Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

2014 “GM and Organic Cotton in Telangana, India”, Presentation for the Young Explorer Grants Workshop, St. Louis, Missouri.

2013 “Trial Runs in Uncertain Times:  Skilling among Organic and Bt Cotton Farmers in Telangana, India”, Paper presented at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” Heidelberg, Germany.

2013 “From Hybrids to Herds:  The Commodification of Knowledge and Expertise in Andhra Pradesh, India”, Poster presented at the Society for Economic Anthropology Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

2013 “What Does Equal Access to Nutritious Food and the Land to Grow it Mean to Society?  Can Human Societies in the 21st Century Achieve It?” Panelist, Open Forum at the Society for Applied Anthropology Conference, Denver, Colorado.

2012 “GM Crops and Development” Invited talk given to World Geography and Cultural Anthropology courses at Webster University , Webster Groves, Missouri.

2012 “Alternative American Food Systems” Invited talk given to Culture and the Environment course at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Missouri.

2012 “Rhythms of the Herd:  Long Term Patterns in Warangal Agriculture”, Paper presented at the AAA Conference, Invited Session – Knowledge Boundaries:  Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Studying Indigenous Knowledge, with Glenn Davis Stone and Christine Diepenbrock.

2010 “Food For Thought: The Social Impact of Community Gardens in the Greater Cleveland Area,” presented at the Central States Anthropological Society Conference, Madison, Wisconsin.

2009 “The Capabilities Approach: Navigating Cultural Politics in Human Rights Discourse,” Paper presented at the Central States Anthropological Society Conference, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

Research Projects

2017 – “Environment and Development in South Indian Organic Agriculture”, ethnographer and ethnobiologist in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India.

2017- “Preserving Probiotics:  Biocultural links between the human gut microbiome and fermented foods”, ethnographer and ethnobiologist in Tennessee, Warangal, India, Kunming, China, and Sarajevo, Bosnia.

2017- “Transnational Foodways in Sarajevo, Bosnia”, collaborator and ethnographer in Sarajevo and surrounding rural areas, Bosnia.

2015-, “Human Environmental Relationships in the Lower Illinois River Valley”, Ongoing multidisciplinary project in Calhoun County, Illinois.

2013-2016 “GM Crops and Indigenous Management”, collaborator and ethnographer in Templeton Foundation funded research (Glenn Stone PI), Telangana, India.

2013-2014 “Cultivating Knowledge:  Skilling and Constraint on Organic Farms in Andhra Pradesh, India”, Doctoral Dissertation Research, Telangana, India.

2012 “Seed Choice, Farmer Deskilling, and Foodways” Pilot Study, Washington University in St. Louis, Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

2010 “Female Genital Cutting, The Veil, and Democracy:  Navigating Cultural Politics in Human Rights Discourse,” Senior Honors Thesis, Anthropology, Oberlin, Ohio.

2010 “Berkeley California Farmer’s Market Accessibility,” a research project funded by a grant from Oberlin College and conducted with The Ecology Center, Berkeley, CA.

2009 “The Social Impact of Cleveland Area Community and Urban Gardens,” Oberlin Summer Research Institute, Oberlin, Ohio.

2008 “The Capabilities Approach,” Oberlin Summer Research Institute, Oberlin, Ohio.

2007 Research Assistant, McMaster University Institute of Environmental Health, Hamilton, Ontario.

Teaching

Assistant Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN
2017-

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Building the Socioecological Toolkit:  Research Methods in Human-Environmental Relationships
  • Ethnographic Research Methods

Instructor, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg Germany
2016

  • Readings in Political Ecology and Alternative Agriculture

Instructor, University of Missouri, St. Louis, St. Louis MO
2015

  • Ethnographic Field Research Methods

Instructor, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO
2015

  • Food, Culture, and Power

Instructor, University College at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO
2014

  • Introduction to Anthropology

Teaching Assistant, Washington University in St. Louis,  St. Louis MO
2012-2015

  • Anthropology of Fashion
  • Culture and the Environment
  • Anthropology and Existentialism

SciJourn Teaching Fellow, St. Louis MO
2011

  • Worked with inner city St. Louis teens to increase science literacy through designing and implementing research objectives, conducting science journalism, and publishing the results of that work.
  • Supervised research, oversaw each step of the journalistic process, and edited work for publication.

Environmental Intern, Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland CA
2011

  • Oversaw a Zero Waste Lunch program teaching school children about recycling and composting.
  • Assisted with environmental education programs, taught the “Green Planet” class, helped build sustainability programs.

Writing, NGO, and Professional Experience

Freelance Writer, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
2016 -

  • Developed listening comprehension and lecture content for the Education Testing Service (ETS)

Writing Center and Library Fellow
2015-2016

  • Advised undergraduates, graduate students, and affiliated researchers, including ESL students, through individualized writing sessions.
  • Studied directive and non-directive writing pedagogy, conducted writing workshops.

Graduate Student Mentor, YMCA Leadership Symposium
2014-2015

  • Advised professional students in the process of researching, writing, and submitting academic research papers in coordination with YMCA of America.

English Lecturer and Development Assistant, Rural Development Foundation, Telangana, India
2012-2015

  • Directed English medium classrooms and helped implement English curriculum, including photoblogging.
  • Designed and maintained website.
  • Developed an intermediate and advanced curriculum for rural Indian students covering the fundamentals of journalism and intensive English language instruction.

Intern, J.W. Fulbright Commission, Prague, Czech Republic
2009

  • Advised Czech students on American education, edited English language statements.

Intern, Glopolis: Prague Global Policy Institute, Prague, Czech Republic
2009

  • Edited English language statements for publication.

Relevant Skills

Proficient Telugu
Basic Czech, French, German, Bosnian
ArcGIS suite
R statistics package
Field ecology and plant taxonomy

Service

Peer Reviewer: Journal of Ecological Anthropology, Human Ecology, Journal of Ethnobiology, Human Organization, Geoforum, National Science Foundation, Journal of African Law , Ethnobiology Letters, Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, Journal of Political Ecology

Co-Editor, Ethnobiology Letters

Co-editor, Forage! Blog of the Society of Ethnobiology

Graduate Student Liaison to Anthropology Department for Sociocultural Students
2014-2015

Peer Mentor, Washington University Anthropology Department
2012-2013

American Anthropological Association Food Task Force, White Paper lead author
2012

GOOD Ideas for Cities St. Louis, Team STL Provocateur
2012

Health, Environment, and Recreation Committee, Vanguard Cabinet, City of St. Loui
2011-2012

Lorain County Food Policy Coalition
2010

Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers Associate Program
2010-2011

Professional Affiliations

American Anthropological Association
Environment and Society Section, AAA
Society for Applied Anthropology
Society for Economic Anthropology
Society for Economic Botany
Society for Ethnobiology
Missouri Botanical Garden

References

Available upon request