Prof. Nathaniel D. Wood, Ph.D.

Humanities - History
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall, 3641
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045


I am intrigued with the ways that East Central Europeans have grappled with the challenges and opportunities stemming from industrialization and urbanization, especially during the overlapping periods commonly known as "The Age of Great Cities" (c. 1840–1939) and "The Age of Speed" (c. 1885–1939). My first book, Becoming Metropolitan: Urban Selfhood and the Making of Modern Cracow (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010) explores press representations of the city in the early twentieth century, including attitudes toward urban expansion, electric streetcars, automobiles, airplanes, and big-city crime and filth. My current book project, "Backwardness and Rushing Forward: Technology and Culture During Poland's Age of Speed, 1885-1939," investigates the attitudes of early adapters, enthusiasts, journalists, the public, avant garde artists, and the nationalizing state toward bicycles, automobiles, and airplanes from their introduction until WWII. I am currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the history department. In 2010 I was honored with a W.T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.


I teach undergraduate courses in modern Eastern European, modern European, and urban history and the history of technology. Graduate courses have addressed culture, space and time in the machine age as well as the historiography of 19th and 20th-century East Central Europe. In 2010 I was honored with a W.T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Teaching Interests

  • Eastern Europe
  • Poland
  • East Central Europe
  • Central Europe
  • Urban history
  • Krakow
  • Cracow
  • Transportation history
  • History of technology
  • History of cycling
  • Aviation history

Selected Work

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