nathaniel ray pickett
phd student, 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. starting in september 2015 i will be ukraine on a research fulbright to gather data and start writing my dissertation. i'll be keeping a blog while i'm there.

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:

  • "the chornobyl disaster and the end of the soviet union," conference proceedings from крах радянської імперії, forthcoming
  • 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)