- Contact Details:
Lecturer in Human Geography
Department of Environment and Geography
kelly.dombroski (at) mq.edu.au
BA Environmental Studies, Massey University 2001
MPhil Development Studies, Massey University 2005
PhD Human Geography, University of Western Sydney (under examination)
- Research Areas:
My research interests converge around the home, everyday life, and the body as sites of social change. My empirical work is based in multi-ethnic northwest China and in urban Australia and New Zealand. My recent PhD thesis was titled Babies' Bottoms for a Better World: Hygiene, Modernities, and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia, and it is an in-depth exploration of the transformative potential of nappy-free infant hygiene (among other pracices) and hybrid research collectives for social and environmental change that begins in the home.
I am also interested more broadly in feminist geography, indigenous epistemologies, the eco-humanities, and embodied ethnographies.
In response to the concern expressed by some senior Chinese Studies academics over young scholars 'deserting to the disciplines', Kelly suggests that Gen Y are less interested in 'understanding China' and more interested in interdisplinary, culturally engaged (yet cross-cultural and collective) thinking for a new and better world - of which China is an important part.
Dombroski, K. 2011. Writing in the Margins: Gen Y and the (im)possibilities of 'understanding China'. China Studies Association of Australia Newsletter.
Using story and analysis, this paper explores the role of my (maternal) body in producing ethnographic knowledge, re-envisioning ethnographic fieldwork as an embodied relational engagement with a 'site' or 'space' where a multiplicity of trajectories converge.
Dombroski, K. 2011. 'Embodying Research: Maternal bodies, fieldwork, and knowledge production in Northwest China'. Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies. 7(2): 19-29.
This paper takes a look at the practice of ba niao or 'Elimination Communication', where even very small babies are held out to 'eliminate' their waste rather than using nappies! The cross-cultural awkward engagement between two different hygiene understandings sparks changes in the day-to-day domestic practices of a group of Australasian mothers who rethink their use of hygiene products and other 'stuff'.
Dombroski, K. (2010) Poor mothers are not poor mothers: Cross-cultural learning between northwest China and Australasia. Unpublished conference paper presented atA New Generation of Cross-cultural Researchers: Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney September 2010.