Kelly Dombroski - People - Department - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Kelly Dombroski

Kelly DombroskiPosition

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


BA (Environmental Studies) MPhil (Development Studies), Massey University
PhD (Human Geography and Anthropology) University of Western Sydney

Contact Details

Phone: +64 3 369 4101 ext. 94101
Fax: +64 3 364 2907

Postal address:
Department of Geography
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand


I am human geographer specialising in economic, development and feminist geographies. My fieldwork is primarily ethnographic, and takes place in Australia, New Zealand, and the western parts of China. My research gathers around the themes of everyday life and social change. I am passionate about rethinking the ways that we live with the earth, in light of resource depletion, climate change and unequal (for humans and non-humans) access to the necessities and pleasures of life on earth. I believe human geographers are ideally situated, at the nexus of 'nature' and 'society', to theorise and enact the social change required to turn around the environmental degradation our scientist colleagues have documented. I am a member of the Community Economies Collective, a group of scholars drawing on the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham to rethink the economy alongside all the everyday work we do to support life.

Research interests:

  • Development theory and practice, particularly post-development theory and community economies
  • Social change in the Anthropocene
  • Women’s lives in western China/ Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
  • Feminist geography, social reproduction and body politics in western China, Australia and New Zealand
  • Ethnography and embodied qualitative methodologies
  • Cultural and embodied perspectives on health, hygiene and wellbeing

Current and recent research projects:

  • Guarding Life: A postdevelopment politics of hygiene – a book project, under contract with University of Minnesota Press.
  • Diverse Economies and Community Economies in Christchurch – a collaborative project with Dr Gradon Diprose (Open Polytechnic) and Irene Boles (Ara Institute, Life in Vacant Spaces).
  • Economies of Birth, Spaces of Birth in New Zealand and Australia – a collaborative qualitative research project with Dr Katharine Mckinnon, LaTrobe University and Dr Stephen Healy, Western Sydney University.