STUDENTS | Zachary La Rock

Zachary La Rock

Current Research Areas: agriculture; labor; migration; knowledge production; phytopathology; environmental regulation; biotechnology; global capitalism; climate change; Italy and the EU

A HASTS PhD candidate, Zach studies the social and environmental repercussions of monocrop agriculture. This ethnographic research is based in Puglia, Italy, where he follows efforts to mitigate Xylella fastidiosa, a pathogenic bacterium that has critically hampered Italian olive production. In this project, Zach asks how agricultural technique, migrant labor, and supranational political economy are contested and re-tooled in the epidemic’s wake. His fieldwork is currently supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the John Lyons Fellowship from MIT’s Office of Graduate Education.  


In addition to his work at MIT, Zach is an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard. He received an AM in social sciences from the University of Chicago and has been a visiting student at the Università di Bologna and the Università degli Studi di Firenze.