nathaniel ray pickett
phd candidate, geography, university of kansas

biographical information

i am originally from southern california, though i have spent considerable time living in the kansas city area, the minneapolis-st paul area, utah, and in various cities in ukraine. i received my bachelor's degree in history from brigham young university in 2009, after which i spent a year as a psychiatric technician at a state mental hospital. i received my m.a. degree in russian, east european, and eurasian studies from the university of kansas in 2012, with a focus on ukraine. immediately after my master's program i moved into the geography phd program at k.u., where i am working on a dissertation involving the application of science and technology studies on a political geography study of the political and social effects of the chornobyl nuclear disaster on ukraine. in september 2015-june 2016 i was in ukraine on a research fulbright to gather data and start writing my dissertation.

my academic interests generally fall within political geography, including popular geopolitics, border issues, and organizations that run counter to or separate from the capitalist-democratic world system. i am also interested in sts, religious and mythological geographies, using new media in research, urban networks and planning, and geographies of violence.

contact information


major publications:

minor publications:

  • film review: the babushkas of chernobyl (2016), the russian review, forthcoming
  • "the chornobyl disaster and the end of the soviet union," conference proceedings from крах радянської імперії, forthcoming
  • "notes from slavutych: the last nuclear monotown", toxic news, 3 may 2016
  • with shannon o'lear, john biersack, and david j. trimbach, book review: revenge of geography by robert kaplan, progress in human geography, august 2014
  • translation of boris moronov, book review: самоорганизация российской общественности в последней трети XVIII—начале XX в. by a. c. tumanova, ed., the russian review, october 2012

in progress:

  • "legacies and myths: perceptions of the chornobyl disaster"
  • with shannon o'lear and nathaniel freiberger, "science and technology studies and political geography: theory and applications"

conference and other presentations

academic conferences:

  • chornobyl 30th anniversary lecture series hosted by fulbright ukraine 2016: "legacies and myths: western perceptions of the chornobyl disaster"
  • атомна революція: екологія політики, дифузія настроїв, санація свідомості (до 30-річчя аварії на чорнобильській аес) 2016: roundtable discussion
  • 1st international conference on nuclear decomissioning and environment recovery 2016
  • крах радянської імперії: анатомія катасрофи, 2016: "the chornobyl disaster and the end of the soviet union"
  • ukrainian ministry of education workshop 2016: publishing in western academic journals
  • national academy of educational sciences (ukraine) 2015: "phd studies at american universities for graduate students"
  • department colloquium 2015: "radioactive research: fieldwork on a fulbright"
  • aag 2015: mediated phenomenology, "stalker (1979), stalker, s.t.a.l.k.e.r., and stalkers"
  • pgsg 2015: "sts and political geography: theory and applications"
  • aag 2014: "social fallout"
  • pgsg 2013: "revenge of geography?"
  • architecture symposium 2013: "global poverty: alternative approaches"
  • aag 2013: panel, "territorial cleansing topics," "bangladesh 1971"
  • aag 2012: "territorial cleansing: a geographical understanding of mass violence"
  • brownbag 2012: "homeland vs. our land: crimean tatar identity"

guest lectures:

  • "borders and borderlands in eastern europe: a political geography perspective"
  • "comic books and popular geopolitics"
  • "chornobyl, science, and international politics"

awards and grants

  • fulbright for research in ukraine, 2015-2016
  • kollmorgen fellowship, 2012-13
  • palij book award for ukrainian studies, 2011

courses taught

  • principles of human geography
  • physical geography lab
  • beginning russian
  • western civilization, beginnings to 1500ad

extracurricular activity

other work experience:

  • student athlete tutor, k.u., 2013
  • book review editor, the russian review, 2012
  • graduate research assistant, fmso, 2011

professional service and volunteer activity:

  • co-organizer, lecture series on the 30th anniversary of the chornobyl disaster hosted by fulbright ukraine, 2016
  • student representative, political geography subgroup, 2013-14
  • rees gso president, 2011-12 (vice president, 2012-2014)