Lise Nelson

About Lise Nelson

My research agenda examines labor, identity, and belonging in the context of neoliberal globalization. Of particular interest are the ways globalization impacts, and is contested by, less powerful groups whose experiences and opportunities are shaped by gender, race, class, and/or illegality (effects of ‘real’ or perceived legal status). My Mexico-based research examined neoliberal restructuring and struggles over gender, indigeneity and political authority in Michoacán. More recently I turned to the economics and politics of Latinx immigration in the United States. This line of inquiry includes research exploring struggles over farmworker housing in Woodburn, Oregon as well as NSF-funded research on gentrification, immigrant labor regimes and geographies of social reproduction in the rural U.S. I am committed to fine-grained, historically situated qualitative analysis that links processes of everyday life and ‘local’ change with global transformations and power dynamics.


Research Interests

Migration and Citizenship, Feminist Geography, Qualitative Methods, Labor, Critical Race Theories, Globalization, Critical Development Studies


Selected Publications

Nelson, Lise. (Forthcoming) “Illegality” in Keywords in Radical Geographical Thought, edited by Tari Jazeel, Andy Kent, Katherine McKittrick and Nik Theodore. Wiley Blackwell Publishers.

Kinkaid, Eden and Lise Nelson. (Forthcoming) “On the subject of performativity: Butler’s influence in geography” in Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies, edited by Anindita Datta, Peter Hopkins, Lynda Johnston, Elizabeth Olson, and Joseli Maria Silva. London: Routledge.

Nelson, Lise. (2017) "Farm labor, immigration and race" in Food and Place: A Critical Exploration, edited by Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J. Bosco. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Nelson, Lise. (2017) Geografía feminista anglosajona: Reflecciones hacia una geografía global, [Anglosaxon feminist geography: Reflections towards a global geography] pp. 132-157 in Geografías feministas de diversas latitudes: Orígenes, desarrollo y temáticas contemporáneas, edited by María Verónica Ibarra García and Irma Escamilla-Herrera. Editoriales UNAM: Mexico City.

Nelson, Lise. (2016) “Soccer and the mundane politics of belonging: Latino immigrants, recreation and spaces of exclusion in the rural U.S. South.” In Critical Geographies of Sport, edited by Natalie Koch and Justin Spinny. New York: Routledge.

Nelson, Lise, Laurie Trautman, and Peter Nelson. (2015) “Latino immigrants and rural gentrification: Race, “illegality,” and precarious labor regimes in U.S. rural amenity destinations.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105(4): 841-858.

Nelson, Peter B., Lise Nelson and Laurie Trautman. (2014) “Linked migration and labor market flexibility in rural amenity destination in the United States.” Journal of Rural Studies 36: 121-136.

Nelson, Lise. (2013) “Engaging Butler—subjects, cernment and ongoing limits of performativity.” In Performativity, Politics, and the Production of Social Space, edited by Michael R. Glass and Reuben S. Rose-Redwood. London: Routledge.

Nelson, Lise and Peter Nelson. (2011) “The global rural:  Gentrification and linked migration in the rural USA.” Progress in Human Geography, 35 (4): 441-459.  DOI: 10.1177/0309132510380487

Nelson, Lise and Nancy Hiemstra. (2008) “Latino immigrants and the renegotiation of place and belonging in small town America.” Social & Cultural Geography, 9(3): 319-342.

Nelson, Lise. (2008) “Racialized landscapes in an era of globalization: Whiteness and the struggle over farmworker housing in Woodburn, OR.” Cultural Geographies, 15(1): 41-62.

Nelson, Lise. (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, Lise. (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.


Lise Nelson's picture

Contact Information

Lise Nelson
Associate Professor


PhD, Geography, University of Washington (2000)

MA, Geography, University of Washington (1996)

BA, International Studies, University of Oregon (1990)