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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).
2015: "Internal Ecologies and the Limits of Local Biologies: A Political Ecology of Tuberculosis in the Time of AIDS," Abigail H. Neely. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105, no. 4: 791-805.
2015: "Relationship and Research Methods: Entanglements, Intra-Action, and Diffraction," Abigail H. Neely and Thokozile Nguse. In Gavin Bridge, Tom Perreault, and James McCarthy, eds., Handbook of Political Ecology. Routledge: 140-9.
2014: "Triangulating Health: Toward a Political Ecology of Health," Paul Jackson and Abigail H. Neely. Progress in Human Geography, published online 31 March 2014.
2010: "'Blame it on the Weeds': Politics, Poverty, and Ecology in the New South Africa," Abigail H. Neely. Journal of Southern African Studies 36, no. 4: 869-887.