About

Dr. Amber N. Nickell is an Assistant Professor of History at Fort Hays State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Central and Eastern European history from Purdue University (2021). Amber also received a MA in American history (2013) and a BA in European history (2011) from the University of Northern Colorado. She has presented her work at numerous local, national, and international conferences, workshops, and symposia and received a number of awards for her writing, research, service, and teaching. Additionally, she is a recipient of several research grants and fellowships, including the Saul Kagan Fellowship for Advanced Shoah Studies, the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship, Title VIII fellowships, and the Fulbright Fellowship (Ukraine). Amber is, first and foremost, a publicly engaged scholar and teacher. She is dedicated to public Holocaust education and awareness in her community, is a podcast host for New Books Network Jewish Studies, Eastern Europe, and Ukrainian Studies, and serves as an editor for H-Ukraine.

Amber’s training as a scholar of both Europe and the United States enables her to conduct research and teach across these fields. Her methodologies transcend the national, focusing on transnational phenomena, including migration, diaspora, deportation, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust and genocide, human rights, and internationalism. Her command of the spatial humanities augments these strengths. Amber’s most recent publication, “Time to Show the Kremlin America’s Full House: The Committee for Human Rights in the Soviet Union, Rabbi Gedalyah Engel, and their Refusnik Adoptees, 1977-1992,” which appeared in The Transnational Yearbook, Volume 1 (Fairleigh Dickenson, 2018), serves as one example. For more details, see: https://rowman.com/isbn/9781683930037/yearbook-of-transnational-history-(2018)-volume-1

Amber’s ongoing project, tentatively titled “Brotherlands to Bloodlands: Ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, Late Tsarist to Postwar” examines coexistence, confluence, and conflict between the two groups in Southern Ukraine and Transnistria. She considers the astounding territorial, political, and demographic shifts in the region over the long durée and ponders their impact on intergroup relationships. In doing so, she illuminates the historical processes that transformed interactions between ethnic Germans and their Jewish neighbors from neighborly to murderous.

Amber is also wrapping up an article on Holocaust memory in contemporary Ukraine and has begun research on a new project tentatively titled, “Topographies of Murder: Artistic and Cartographic Representations of Power and Powerlessness from the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.” This project examines cartographic and artistic renderings of geography and topography created by the perpetrators and victims of the Holocaust in the East, particularly Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania.

Education

Ph.D., European History, 2021

Purdue University—West Lafayette, IN

Dissertation Title: “Brotherlands to Bloodlands: Ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, Late Tsarist to Postwar”

Committee: Rebekah A. Klein-Pejsova (Chair), William G. Gray, Steven Seegel, Michael G. Smith

MA, American History, 2013

University of Northern Colorado—Greeley, CO

Thesis Title: “Diaspora Evolved: The Germans from Russia, 1919-Present”

Committee: Nicholas L. Syrett (Chair), Steven Seegel, Aaron Haberman, Joan Clinefelter

BA, European History & Political Science, 2011

University of Northern Colorado—Greeley, CO

Thesis Title: “Starvation, Heresy, and Diaspora: The Pacification of Ethnic German Enclaves in the Soviet Union, 1921-1949”

Supervisor: Steven Seegel

AA, Liberal Arts, 2006

Aims Community College—Greeley, CO

Publications

Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

Amber N. Nickell, “From Babyn Yar to Bohdanivka: Topographies of Holocaust Memory in Post-Maidan Ukraine.” (Under Review)

Amber N. Nickell, “Historicizing Russian Aggression in Ukraine,” 2022, ROAR Alumni Magazine, Fort Hays State University. (forthcoming)

Amber N. Nickell, “‘Time to Show the Kremlin America’s Full House’: The Committee for Human Rights in The Soviet Union, Rabbi Gedalyah Engel, and their Refusenik Adoptees, 1977-1992,” In Transnational Yearbook, Volume 1 (Vancouver: Farleigh Dickenson University Press, 2018): 189-216.

Amber Nickell, “Cultivating ‘Roots’: Towards a Diasporically Imagined Transnational Community: The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1968-1978,” Traversea: Journal of Transatlantic History (2013):  4-16.

Book Reviews and Forums

Amber Nickell, book forum on In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust by Jeffrey Veidlinger, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 41, no. 3 (November 2023). (forthcoming)

Amber Nickell, review Unlikely Allies: Nazi German and Ukrainian Nationalist Collaboration in the General Government During World War II by Paweł Markiewicz, The Polish Review (Fall 2022). (forthcoming)

Amber Nickell, review of “Our Work with the Masses is not Worth a Kopeck….”: A Document Collection on German and Polish Rural Soviets in Ukraine during the NEW, 1923-1929 by Frank Grelka and Stephan Rindlisbacher, Revolutionary Russia (Fall 2022). (forthcoming)

Amber Nickell, review of Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution by Brendan McGeever, H-Judaic (March 2022), https://networks.h-net.org/node/28655/reviews/9895758/nickell-mcgeever-antisemitism-and-russian-revolution.

Amber Nickell, review of The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine: An Anatomy of the Holodomor by Stanislav Kulchytsky, Canadian Slavonic Papers 61:4 (2019): 457-59.

Amber Nickell, review of Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History by Steven J. Zipperstein, H-Judaic (10 June 2019), https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=53733andfbclid=IwAR0HRVp0_rzRCzPKyyZ8YvVMG2WuaNpcch0sYhu9OV5Oc6TxWPKO1m0VEyY.

Amber Nickell, review of Stepmother Russia, Foster Mother America: Identity Transitions in the New Odessa Jewish Commune, Odessa, Oregon, New York, 1881-1891 by Theodore H. Friedgut, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 34, no. 1 (Fall 2015): 136-138.

Digital

John Vsetecka and Amber Nickell, “Dissent in the Digital Age: A Review of the New HURI Books Website,” H-Ukraine (22 Oct. 2020), https://networks.h-net.org/node/4555727/discussions/6617485/dissent-digital-age-review-new-huri-books-website.

Amber Nickell, “‘The Evil Itself… Descended on the Earth’: Mapping Manmade Famines and Ethnic Germans in the Soviet Union, 1921 and 1932-33,” Purdue University Electronic Publications, 2015. (Published Conference Poster) http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062andcontext=purduegisday.

Blog Posts

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