John Biersack

PhD Candidate
Primary office:
Lindley Hall
Room 500



Shannon O’Lear

Educational Background:

University of Kansas, M.A., Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, 2009

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.A., History (with Honors), 2006

Research Interests:

Political and Cultural Geography, The former Soviet Union with special emphasis on Ukraine, Eurasianism, Critical Geopolitics, Critical Theory, Biopolitics, Biometrics, Borders, Critical Security Studies, Assemblage Theory, Nationalism, Identity.



John Biersack and Shannon O’Lear, “The Geopolitics of Russia’s Annexation of Crimea: Narratives, Identity, Silences and Energy,” Eurasian Geography and Economics 55 (3): 247-269


Shannon O’Lear, Nathaniel Ray Pickett, John Biersack, David J. Trimbach, “Review of The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan,” Progress in Human Geography 38 (4): 629-631

Selected Presentations:


“From the Donbas to Novorossiia: The Creation of a Self-Proclaimed State and Citizenry,” Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, April 25

Introduction to Grant Development for Graduate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Hall Center for the Humanities, Organizer and Presenter, February 11


“Towards A Critical Geopolitical View of Eurasia and Europe in Ukraine: Contemporary Narratives of Identity and Borders,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Convention, November 22

“The Politics of Biopassports in Ukraine: Narratives of Identity and Borders,” Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, April 12


“A Brief History of Ukraine-US Relations,” 14th Annual American Studies Institute, L’viv Ivan Franko National University, June 28

“‘The Championships Have Passed—Achievement Remains!:’ The 2012 Euro Cup's Impact on Ukraine's Reputation, Economic, and Political Development,” REES Brown Bag, February 26 (with Dezeree Hodish)


“Eurasia in the Ukrainian Geopolitical Imagination,” Chernivtsi Fed’kovycha National University, Faculty of History, Political Science, and International Relations, April 6

Selected Honors/Awards:


Winner, Laird Essay Competition, Graduate Category, “The Politics of Biometric Passports: Ukrainian Bodies and the Borders of Europe,” Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas


J. William Fulbright Fellowship (Ukraine), Project title: “Eurasianism and Geopolitical Discourses in Ukraine”


Summer Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (Ukrainian), University of Kansas


Academic Year FLAS Fellowship (Ukrainian), University of Kansas


Summer FLAS Fellowship (Russian), University of Kansas

Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science Events
2019 GPRM-AAG Annual Meeting