June 22, 2012 – ASPECT is pleased to announce the hire of Patricia Nickel as new core faculty in the School of Public and International Affairs. Patricia Nickel was a visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech in 2006-2007 and is returning to a tenure-track position after spending 5 years in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand where she taught comparative welfare regimes, collaborative governance, and public sociology. Prior to receiving her PhD, she taught economic development at Kharkiv State Academy of Municipal Economy in Ukraine and worked briefly in the Center for Public Administration at the University of Kragujevac in Serbia. A graduate of the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, she takes a decidedly interdisciplinary approach in her research and teaching. Her intellectual development during this period is detailed in an interview available at: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacs/images/A_conversation_with_Trish_Nickel_and_Chamsy_el-Ojeili.pdf
Nickel is a political sociologist interested in critical theory and governing as it is manifest in spaces outside the formal boundaries of government. She has published in the areas of cultural production, including articles in Theory and Event, Fast Capitalism, and a forthcoming piece in Cultural Politics; governance, including articles in New Political Science and Administrative Theory and Praxis; philanthropy, including a recent article in Celebrity Studies; public sociology, including articles in Administration and Society and Current Perspectives in Social Theory; and the epistemological practices of non-governmental organizations, including articles in Current Sociology and Journal of Power. Many of these themes are addressed through the lens of critical theory in her book Public Sociology and Civil Society: Governance, Politics, and Power, published by Paradigm Publishers in 2012. She is also editor of the forthcoming volume North American Critical Theory after Postmodernism: Contemporary Dialogues to be published in 2012 by Palgrave.
Nickel’s current research is focused on governing and contemporary ascetics in cultural production, North American critical theory since the postmodern turn, and the governing practices of philanthropy and non-profit organizations.