Shelly’s research examines people’s moral understandings of their economic positions, and how they are played out in everyday life. Her dissertation examines how people construct moral narratives to make sense of workplace insecurity, through a comparison of the oil and gas and tech industries. Spanning North Dakota, Houston, and Silicon Valley, the project combines in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation.
Shelly is also passionate about teaching, working with students both at UC Berkeley and at Williston State College in North Dakota. She has taught courses on theory, culture, insecurity, and pedagogy. Prior to graduate school, she was a middle school science teacher on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.