Lise Nelson


Lise Nelson’s research examines labor, identity, and citizenship in the context of neoliberal globalization. Of particular interest is how globalization impacts, and is contested by, less powerful groups whose experiences and opportunities are shaped by gender, race, class, and/or illegality (real or perceived legal status). Her Mexico-based work explored neoliberal restructuring and struggles over gender, indigeneity, and political authority in Michoacán. More recent U.S.-oriented research examines rural gentrification, immigrant labor regimes, and geographies of social reproduction. She is committed to fine-grained, historically situated qualitative analysis that strategically links processes of everyday life and ‘local’ change with global transformations and power dynamics.

Research Interests

  • qualitative methods
  • Political and feminist geography
  • Neoliberal globalization
  • Citizenship belonging and identity
  • Mexico and the United States
  • Migration and labor


Kelsey Brain (current)

Eden Kinkaid (current)

Jenna Christian, Ph.D. (current--co-advisor with Lorraine Dowler)

Lindsay Naylor, Ph.D. (2014) Decolonial autonomies: fair trade, subsistence and the everyday practice of food sovereignty in the highlands of Chiapas (University of Oregon)

Laurie Trautman, Ph.D. (2014) Temporary worker, permanent alien: A comparative analysis of guest worker policy in the United States and Canada (University of Oregon)

Ingrid Nelson Ph.D. (2012) A feminist political ecology of livelihoods and activism in the Miombo woodlands of Zambézia, Mozambique (University of Oregon)

Ignacio Krell, M.A. (2012) Development with identity, tourism, and Mapuche struggles in Chile: Unpacking ethno-tourism discourse and practice (University of Oregon, Environmental Studies)

René Kladzyk, M.A. (2011) Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas: Women, Violence and Mobility in a Transnational City (University of Oregon)

Marissa, Isaak, M.A. (2010) Memorialized landscape and the politics of war (University of Oregon)

Lee Pera, M.A. (2008) U.S. amenity migrants and the politics of citizenship in Tamarindo, Costa Rica (University of Oregon)

Erin Machell, M.A. (2007) Whose development? Agency, democracy, and efficacy in Nicaraguan NGO landscapes (University of Oregon)

Nancy Hiemstra, M.A. Latino immigrants, spaces of interaction, and the politics of "being illegal" in Leadville, Colorado (University of Oregon)

Maylian Pak, M.A. Poverty, race, and community organization: Social and environmental justice in Eugene, Oregon (University of Oregon)

Tara Corbitt, M.A. Breaking environmental gridlock? Stakeholder involvement in water quality management (University of Oregon)

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 020: Human Geography, an Introduction
  • GEOG 497: Globalization and Migration
  • GEOG 497E: Qualitative Methods in Geography


•    Nelson, L., L. Trautman and P.B. Nelson. In press. Latino immigrants and rural gentrification: Race, “illegality,” and precarious labor regimes in U.S. rural amenity destinations. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
•    Nelson, L. In press. Geografía feminista anglosajona: Reflecciones hacia una geografía global, pp. xx-xxx in Estudios de Género: Campo Fecundo para la Investigación Geográfica, edited by María Verónica Ibarra García. Editoriales UNAM: Mexico City.
•    Nelson, P.B., L. Nelson and L. Trautman. 2014. Linked migration and labor market flexibility in rural amenity destination in the United States. Journal of Rural Studies 36: 121-136.
•    Nelson, L. 2013; Engaging Butler—subjects, cernment and ongoing limits of performativity. In Performativity, Politics, and the Production of Social Space, pp. 62-94 edited by M.R. Glass and R. S. Rose-Redwood. London: Routledge.
•    Kaufman, E. and L. Nelson. 2011. Malthus, gender and the demarcation of ‘dangerous’ bodies in 1996 U.S. welfare reform. Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography.
•    Nelson, L. and P.B. Nelson. 2011. The global rural:  Gentrification and linked migration in the rural USA. Progress in Human Geography, 35 (4): 441-459.
•    Nelson, L. 2010. Geographical Perspectives on Development Studies. In R. Denemark et al. eds., International Studies Compendium Project. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 2846-2865.
•    Nelson, L. and N. Hiemstra. 2008. Latino immigrants and the renegotiation of place and belonging in small town America. Social & Cultural Geography, 9(3): 319-342.
•    Nelson, L. 2008. Racialized landscapes in an era of globalization: Whiteness and the struggle over farmworker housing in Woodburn, Oregon. Cultural Geographies, 15(1): 41-62.
•    Nelson, L. 2008. Espacio y etnografía en un contexto globalizado. Sendas de la Globalización. Comprensiones Etnográficas sobre Poderes Y Desigualdades, edited by Francisco Javier Gómez Carpinteiro. Puebla, Mexico: Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.
•    Nelson, L. 2007. Farmworker housing and spaces of belonging in Woodburn, Oregon.  The Geographical Review, 97 (4): 520-541.
•    Nelson, L. 2006. Geographies of state power, protest, and women’s political identity formation in Michoacán, Mexico.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96 (2): 365-88.
•    Nelson, L. 2006. Artesanía, mobility and the crafting of indigenous identities among Purhépechan women in Mexico.  Journal of Latin American Geography, 5 (1): 55-71.
•    Nelson, L. and J. Seager, eds. 2005. A Companion to Feminist Geography.  London: Blackwell, 617 pages.
•    Nelson, L. 2004 Topographies of citizenship:  Purhépechan Mexican women claiming political subjectivities.  Gender, Place and Culture, 11 (2): 163-87.
•    Nelson, L. 2003. De-centering the movement:  Collective action, place and the ‘sedimentation’ of radical political discourses.  Environment and Planning D:  Society and Space, 21: 559-81.
•    Nelson, L. 1999. Bodies (and spaces) do matter:  The limits of performativity. Gender, Place and Culture, 6(4): 331-54.