A cultural-ecological anthropologist by training, Shelly examines how historic, intersectional inequalities shape social and ecological experiences of environmental change in rural communities. She has worked with coal-mining communities in rural Appalachia, and with Afro-descendent traditional communities in Northeast Brazil. In 2020, Shelly received a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship to study gendered and racialized experiences of industrial development in coastal Pernambuco, where she collaborates with the Centro das Mulheres do Cabo, activist Elaine Cristina Salgado Mendonça, and Christine Dabat at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.
In addition to being a member of the Humans and Environmental Change Lab in Anthropology, Shelly is earning a certificate in Women and Gender Studies at UGA's Institute for Women's Studies. Shelly also is affiliated with the Latin American and Caribbean Institute (LACSI), where she is a founding student member of UGA's Brazil Natural Resource Governance Initiative.
Selected Recent Publications
Biesel, Shelly Annette. 2021. “When Disinformation Makes Sense: Contextualizing the War on Coal in Appalachian Kentucky” Economic Anthropology 8(1)7-21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/sea2.12194
Jennifer L. Rice, Amy Trauger, Coleman Allums, Rachelle Berry, Shelly Biesel, Briana Bivens, Sara Black, Christina Crespo, Aspen Kemmerlin, Chelsea Wesnofske & The Athena Co-Learning Collective. 2021. “Rehumanizing the graduate seminar by embracing ambiguity: The Athena Co-Learning Collective.” Gender, Place & Culture, 28:4, 564-575, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2020.1727861.
Biesel, Shelly A. & Nelson, Donald R. 2019. A Importância da Ética para a Gestão da Água (The Importance of Ethics for Water Management). In Gestão Adaptativa do Risco Climático de Seca. (Adaptive Management from Climatic Risk of Drought). Fortaleza: Federal University of Ceará Press.
Biesel, Shelly A. 2020. "Radical Media Challenges Rural Stereotypes." Anthropology News.
Athena Co-learning Collective. 2018. "A Femifesto for Teaching and Learning Radical Geography." Antipode Online.
Biesel, Shelly A. 2015. "New Federal Budget Bill No 'Win' for Kentucky." The Courier Journal.
2021 Finalist, Rappaport Prize, Anthropology and Environment Society
2020 Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellow, Department of Education
2019 Graduate School Dean's Award for Arts and Humanities
2019 Willson Center Graduate Research Award
2018 LACSI Summer Research Award
2017 FLAS Summer Fellowship, Department of Education
2016 FLAS Summer Fellowship, Department of Education
2016 Rhoda Halperin Memorial Award, Society for Economic Anthropology
M.A. Anthropology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
B.A. Anthropology and Studio Art, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY