Sarah Osterhoudt

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

College of Arts & Sciences / Dept. of Anthropology
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana


  • Ph.D. Yale University Department of Anthropology and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. 2014
  • Joint-Ph.D. New York Botanical Garden. 2014
  • M.E.M. in Social Ecology, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • B.S. in Biology with Certificate in Science in Society, Wesleyan University


Currently, I am researching the centuries-old global trade history in Madagascar’s Bay of Antongil, asking how this economic history is reflected and reinvented within the identities, idioms, moralities, and practices of individuals of the region. I also situate current trade programs such as Fair Trade and Organic certifications within the larger history of linked economic and social relationships in Northeastern Madagascar.

In addition to my academic research, I have co-founded an organization that partners with farmer cooperatives in Madagascar to foster more integrated and equitable agricultural supply chains. This organization has received support from USAID, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Catholic Relief Services, and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency.


  • 2016. Written with Seed: The Political Ecology of Memory in Madagascar. Journal of Political Ecology 23: 263-278.
  • 2015. Disaster, Degradation, Dystopia: A Political Ecology Approach to Disaster
    • Research. With: Catherine Claus, Michael Dove, Lauren Baker, Luisa Cortesi, Chris Hebdon and Amy Zhang. In: A Handbook of Political Ecology, Raymond Bryant and Soyeun Kim, eds. Edward Elgar Publishers.
  • 2013. Whose Diversity Counts? The Politics and Paradoxes of Modern Diversity. With: Lauren Baker, Michael Dove, Dana Graef, Alder Keleman, David Kneas, and Jeffrey Stoike. Sustainability 5(6): 2495-2518.
  • 2012. Sense and Sensibilities: Negotiating Meanings within Agriculture in Northeastern Madagascar. Ethnology 49(4): 283-301.
  • 2010. The field as Labyrinth: Exploring Ethnographic Practices through the works of Jorge Luis Borges. Anthropology Matters 12(1).

Research Interests

  • Environmental anthropology

  • Agrarian studies

  • Political ecology

  • Trade and development