Social Reproduction and One Health on the Farm: Feeding the World as if People Mattered

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Social Reproduction and One Health on the Farm: Feeding the World as if People Mattered. Image of a farm.


Hear from anthropologist, instructor and award-winning science writer

Dr. Andrew Flachs, a renowned anthropologist and professor at Purdue University will join the One Health Institute, Guelph Institute of Development Studies and the Canada India Research Centre for Learning and Engagement in an engaging talk that asks big questions around the challenges and complexities of feeding the world.

Although farms are living spaces that anchor diverse economies, the challenge of feeding the world is dominated by narrow questions of yield, efficiency, and cost-benefit analysis. Combining streams from world ecology, critical agrarian studies, and diverse economies thinkers, Flachs will discuss anthropological case studies from India, Bosnia, and the U.S. Midwest to ask how small-scale agriculture supports living communities in place: feeding the world as if people mattered. Central to this approach is viewing efficiency not as a function of yields, profits, or commodities produced but of reproducing the conditions for local health and wellbeing.

The talk will center small-scale agriculture as an engine of social reproduction, the continual creation of communities of practice. This analysis both helps to re-value the rippling benefits of local farm systems and illuminate the profound damage of commercial plantations that emphasize commodity production.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Andrew Flachs
Dr. Andrew Flachs

Dr. Andrew Flachs researches food and agriculture systems, exploring genetically modified crops, heirloom seeds, and our own microbiomes. He is currently an associate professor of anthropology at Purdue University where his work among farmers in North America, the Balkans, and South India asks how we shape and are shaped by the worlds around us.

Andrew's research has been supported by the National Geographic Society, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the US department of education, while his writing on agricultural development has been featured in over three dozen peer-reviewed publications as well as public venues including Sapiens, Salon, and the National Geographic magazine.

Andrew's work has been recognized by several 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. Outside of academia, he is an avid cook, parent, cyclist, and musician who has performed in New York City, St. Louis, Asheville, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Read more about Dr. Andrew Flachs

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