Kramer Gillin

Position title: Ph.D.


Pronoun(s): He
Advisor: Matt Turner


M.S., Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014
B.A., Geography, Macalester College, 2007


Central Asia and Afghanistan, pastoral mobility, mountain pastoralism, land tenure, environmental governance, socio-legal studies, legal pluralism, Islamic law and economics, land use change, remote sensing, development, and “resource conflicts.”

PhD Minor: Law
M.S. Thesis: My master’s thesis examined legal pluralism in community-based resolutions of disputes regarding pasture access in northern and central Afghanistan. I described how different actors (nomadic and sedentary groups of various ethnicities) mobilized different rules systems, and how the tenure arrangements that emerged from these resolutions carry important implications for the livestock economy, socio-political relations, and the natural environment.


My dissertation explores how pasture management and livestock economies in Tajikistan have changed in the post-Soviet era and how land access is negotiated in a dynamic legal landscape of evolving formal and informal rules. In addition to contributing to research on property, institutions, and political-economic change in Central Asia, this dissertation engages with global debates on the relationship between mobility and pastoral land tenure as well as critical studies of common-pool resources.


GEOG 340 – World Regions in Global Context (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2020)
Teaching Assistant
GEOG 101 – Introduction to Human Geography (Spring 2018, Fall 2018)
GEOG 340 – World Regions in Global Context (Summer 2014, Summer 2015)
GEOG 339 – Environmental Conservation (Fall 2011)


Robinson, S, C Jamsranjav, K Gillin. 2017. “Pastoral Property Rights in Central Asia: Factors and Actors Driving the Reform Agenda.” Études Rurales 200: 220-253.
Turner, MD, J McPeak, K Gillin, E Kitchell, N Kimambo. 2016. “Reconciling Flexibility and Tenure Security for Pastoral Resources: the Geography of Transhumance Networks in Eastern Senegal.” Human Ecology 44(2): 199-215.
Jawad, N, K Gillin, M Akramova. 2010. Building Viable Bridges between Emergency and Development, FAO Tajikistan 2008-2009. Dushanbe, Tajikistan: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Mellon-Wisconsin Dissertation Fellowship, 2019
Whitbeck Dissertator Award, 2019
Center for Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) Research Travel Award, 2017
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, 2017
College of Letters & Sciences Teaching Fellow, 2017
State Department Title VIII Research Scholar Fellowship, 2017
Fulbright US Student Grant, 2016
FLAS Summer Fellowship (Pashto), 2013
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, 2012
FLAS Academic-Year Fellowship (Farsi), 2012
FLAS Summer Fellowship (Dari), 2012
Fulbright-Hays Fellowship (Dari/Tajik), 2010

OTHER ACTIVITIES – An NGO helping women start and run their own businesses in Peru’s Sacred Valley

The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs