Nicole Coffey Kellett

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Maine at Farmington

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About Nicole

Kellett's research focuses on restorative and environmental justice, gender relations, social movements, health, and economic development. Overarching themes in Kellett's writings include economic empowerment, social justice and reparations in highland Peru, gender and HIV/AIDS in West Nile Uganda, women and incarceration in the U.S., and environmental impacts of tourism in the Caribbean.

In the News

"This Isn’t Just Locker Room Talk. Trump is Actively Undermining Women," Nicole Coffey Kellett, Bangor Daily News, July 4, 2016.
Guest to discuss human trafficking on Bow Tie Boys, Nicole Coffey Kellett (with Lillian Lake), March 2014 and March 2016.


Graciela: One Woman's Story of Survival and Perseverance in the Peruvian Andes (University of New Mexico Press, forthcoming).

Represents a life history of a woman, Graciela, from a small rural highland community in Ayachucho, Peru who survived political violence enacted by government forces and the Maoist-guerilla organization, the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) in the 1980s and early 1990s wherein upwards of 70,000 individuals were killed and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their natal communities.  

"Structural Inequality and Social Support for Women Prisoners Released to Rural Communities" (with Cathleen E. Willging, Ethel G. Nicdao, and Elise M. Trott). Women and Criminal Justice 26, no. 2 (2016): 145-164.

Examines the return of women prisoners to underserved rural communities and the perspectives of their closest social supporters through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Challenges discourses of personal responsibility that detract from the structural violence and injustice shaping their experiences and considers policy implications and strategies to reduce recidivism.

"Women, Incarceration, and Reentry: The Revolving Door of Prisons" (with Elizabeth A. Lilliott, Elise M. Trott, Cathleen E. Willging, Amy E. Green, and Cathleen E. Willging), in Gender, Psychology, and Justice: The Mental Health of Women and Girls in the Legal System, edited by Corinne Datchi and Julie Ancis (New York University Press, 2017), 127-150.

Compares access to mental and physical health services as well as social support systems for female inmates within the corrections system and resource-depleted rural communities in New Mexico. Drawing from in-depth interviews with female inmates, the article provides nuanced explanations for female inmate recidivism.

"The Intersection of Antiretroviral Therapy, Peer Support Programmes, and Economic Empowerment with HIV Stigma among HIV-positive Women in West Nile Uganda" (with Katherine Gnauck). African Journal of AIDS Research 15, no. 4 (2016): 341-348.

Demonstrates the importance of programs that incorporate peer support, health education, and economic initiatives in fostering the unquantifiable factor of hope, drawing from focus groups with HIV positive women.

"Microfinance and Economic Inequality in the Peruvian Highlands" ETHNOLOGY 50, no. 3 (2011): 59-78.

Describes how microfinance programs interface with labor exchange practices and have the potential to exacerbate economic inequality in the rural highlands of Peru, based on in-depth ethnographic research.