Laura Zanotti received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2008 and joined the faculty at Purdue in 2009. She is appointed in the Anthropology Department and has affiliations with the Center for the Environment, American Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Zanotti is an environmental anthropologist and interdisciplinary social scientist whose research program partners with communities to better understand how local, mostly rural, livelihoods and well-being can be sustained for future generations.
Using a feminist political ecology framework, Zanotti maps out spatial inequalities and injustices experienced by resource-dependent communities and highlights local creativity in the context of acute change. In all of her work she stitches together insights from visual anthropology and engaged anthropology to create collaborative and meaningful projects.
In addition to environmental anthropology, she finds kinship with decolonizing approaches to research inquiry alongside insights from cultural geography, Indigenous studies, and Latin American studies. She has partnered with the Kayapó, an indigenous community in Brazil, for over ten years and is currently working on projects around the United States and in Latin America on "media sovereignty" and digital landscapes, environmental justice and valuing nature, and community resilience and healing.
Zanotti is also dedicated to providing undergraduate and graduate students at Purdue meaningful experiences to thrive in the multicultural and interconnected world in which they live and work. She has won the Department of Anthropology Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and was the recipient of the Faculty Appreciation Award in American Studies in 2012. Her work has resulted in over ten published articles, an edited volume with Routledge, and several book chapters. Zanotti’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and Purdue University.
Positions at Purdue University
2009 to 2015 Assistant Professor of Anthropology
2015 to Present Associate Professor of Anthropology