Amber N. Nickell is a Ph.D. Candidate at Purdue University. Her primary research and teaching field is “Modern Central and Eastern European History”; however, she completed minor preliminary exam fields in “Transnational Germany” and “Russian Imperial Borderlands.”  She earned a Master’s degree in American history (2013) and a Bachelor’s degree 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 2016 Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship, Title VIII Grants, and most recently the Fulbright Fellowship (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, 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 current project, tentatively titled “Brotherlands to Bloodlands: Ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, Late Tsarist to Postwar” examines coexistence and confluence between the two groups in territories which now fall in Southern Ukraine and Moldova. She considers the astounding territorial, political, and demographic shifts in the region and ponders their impact on intergroup relationships. In doing so, she illuminates historical processes that transformed interactions between ethnic Germans and their Jewish neighbors from neighborly to murderous.


Ph.D., European History, 2020
Purdue University—West Lafayette, IN
Dissertation Title: “Brotherlands to Bloodlands: Ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, Pre-revolution to Postwar”
Committee: Rebekah A. Klein-Pejsova (Chair), Michael G. Smith, William G. Gray, Steven Seegel
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


Articles & Book Chapters
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
Amber Nickell, review of The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine: An Anatomy of the Holodomor by Stanislav Kulchytsky, Canadian Slavonic Papers 61:4, 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=53733&fbclid=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 Humanities
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.

Amber Nickell

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