Richard Nisa

Richard Nisa

Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Social Sciences and History

Contact Information


  • Capture and Control: Geographies of Detention and Incarceration
  • Economic Geography
  • Environmental Geography
  • Geography and World Issues
  • Global Development; History of Architecture
  • Honors Academy Freshman Seminar on Sustainability
  • Surveillance and Security
  • Urban Geography


  • Political geography
  • Historical geography
  • Critical carceral studies
  • Military detention
  • Cold War militarism
  • Imperialism
  • Architecture
  • Science and technology studies


  • BArch, Syracuse University
  • MA, Rutgers University
  • PhD, Rutgers University

Academic Profile

Dr. Nisa’s published scholarly work intersects with issues as diverse as urban development law and civic engagement in Camden, New Jersey; handheld digital biometrics devices in international military conflict; the role of prison space in contemporary humanitarian contexts; and the historical and architectural continuities between colonial prisons and US military detention facilities in Cold War Korea. His current book manuscript Wartime Apprehensions: US-Managed Military Detainment and the Global Capture Chain from Truman to Trump sutures most of these diverse interests together to critically examine US-managed spaces of military detainment from the end of World War II up to contemporary military detention programs. His work has recently been published in The Journal of Historical Geography, Environment & Planning A, and the edited volume Algorithmic Life: Calculative Devices in the Age of Big Data.

As a reflection of his varied scholarly interests, Dr. Nisa has taught more than ten different courses on a diverse array of topics in the social sciences and humanities (ranging from economics to surveillance studies to environmental geography to the history of architecture). He also teaches classes that target students with vastly different academic needs, including the Freshman Intensive Studies program as well as a number of honors seminars. In 2017, he worked with Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor and U.S. Senator) and Kevin Ryan (President of the Covenant House) to teach an Honors seminar at the Wroxton Campus on the subject of economics, housing, and homelessness. Later that year, Dr. Nisa was selected to be one of two professors to co-lead the inaugural, bi-campus seminar of the new Fairleigh Dickinson Honors Academy.

He was named the 2018 Becton College Teacher of the Year and in 2019 received the Outstanding Honors Faculty Award.

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