Abigail Neely

Assistant Professor of Geography

Dartmouth College

As a political ecologist trained in geography's nature-society tradition, I seek to explain relationships between the material world (microbes, crops, and economies) and the way people understand that world (as mitigated through institutions, culture, and experience).  In particular, I research the interactions among local people and government or development workers, as well as between people and non-human actors like crops, nutrients, and witchcraft. This approach reveals that by paying attention to, for example, the addition of beetroot to gardens and cooking pots, the abandonment of long-standing healing rituals, and the failure of anti-tuberculosis campaigns, we can understand how local people and places shape state and international development initiatives.  In my research, I use a mix of methods including oral history collection, ethnography, household surveys, focus groups, participatory GIS, and archival research to understand local thinking and practices.  To understand non-human actors, I use epidemiological and ecological data and scientific work (with a critical eye to the social production of that work)