Zsuzsanna Ihar

Zsuzsanna Ihar

  • Scholar
  • Australia, Slovakia
  • 2021 PhD History and Philosophy of Science
  • Churchill College

Growing up on one of the most fertile river islands in Europe, surrounded by industrial-scale farms and greenhouses, I had the chance to witness the workings of the commercial agro-food sector firsthand. It seems everyone around me was incorporated within the agricultural apparatus in some shape or form. Childhood friends grew imported seedlings in high-tech hothouses; cousins gained employment as seasonal labourers; whilst older relatives regaled stories of unified agricultural cooperatives and lamented the loss of collective farms. Hearing these stories, it soon became apparent that any account of agricultural history or theory entailed noticing material relations and affective encounters - drawing humans, machinery, crops, chemicals, and animal beings into a complex fold. This observation led me to study both plant pathology and immunology in tandem with sociology and cultural studies, granting an intimate view into scientific knowledge production. During my PhD, I hope to examine the biopolitics of historical and contemporary seed banking initiatives, with special emphasis on patent laws and ownership structures surrounding wild landrace varieties. Additionally, I am also interested in anti-capitalist, non-institutional, and insurgent forms of agroscience. I am grateful to be a part of the Gates program and its interdisciplinary community of scholars.

Previous Education

University of Sydney Environmental Sociology 2020
University of Sydney Sociology, Cultural Studies 2017
University of Sydney Faculty Scholars Program 2017