Dr. Alexander Zukas

College of Letters and Sciences
Social Sciences

Dr. Zukas is a social and economic historian with specialties in working-class and environmental history, European imperialism and colonialism, and the history of cartography. He is the recipient of the Clum Charles and Gwendolyn Bucher Endowment Faculty Scholarship Abroad Award and has participated in two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes: “Reading Popular Cartography” at the Newberry Library in Chicago and “Empires and Interactions across the Early Modern World, 1400-1800” at St. Louis University. He studied at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, Germany, and holds a Ph.D. in Early-Modern and Modern European History from the University of California, Irvine.


Dr. Zukas teaches undergraduate courses in world history, the history of capitalism, and the history of monsters as well as graduate seminars in modern European history, the history of cartography, and historical methodology. He has overseen a wide variety of graduate history thesis projects on such topics as maps and medieval memory and images of moral panic in a 19th-century English periodical. He has supervised graduate portfolio essays on topics ranging from the Norman Conquest of England and Anglo-American piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries to Cecil Rhodes as imperialist, the modernity of the Weimar Republic, and Japanese memories of World War II.


Dr. Zukas’ research is interdisciplinary and reflects his interests in popular collective protest, cartography, spatiality, theory, and pedagogy. He has published articles and book chapters on working-class and environmental history, European imperialism and colonialism, the history of cartography, and the teaching of history. Some of his published work is listed below. He has published over three dozen entries in nine encyclopedias on a wide range of historical topics, issues, and persons. He is currently researching and writing a book on the important 18th-century Anglo-German cartographer Herman Moll. The book will be the first comprehensive analysis of Herman Moll’s map-making in relation to the global expansion of British Empire in the 18th century.


“Making the Geographic Turn: Researching and Teaching Early-Modern British and World History.” The Middle Ground Journal Forthcoming 2016.

“Inscribing Class Struggle in Space: Unemployed Protest in the Ruhr in late Weimar Germany.” Labour History Review 80, 1 (April 2015): 31-62.

“The Cartography of Herman Moll and European Views of Muslim South Asia, 1700-1730.” Special Double Issue: European Encounters with Islam in Asia. Journal of World History 25, nos. 2-3 (June/September 2014): 311-339.

“Maps as Commodities in Modern World History.” World History Bulletin, World History Association, XXVIII, 2 (fall 2012): 26-31.

“Workers’ Festive Spaces in the Weimar Republic: May Day and the Berlin Lustgarten.” Environment, Space, Place 4, Issue 1 (Spring 2012): 48-78.

“Lazy, Apathetic and Dangerous: The Social Construction of Unemployed Workers in Germany during the Late Weimar Republic.” Contemporary European History. 10, 1 (2001): 25-49.

“Active Learning, World History, and the Internet: Creating Knowledge in the Classroom.” International Journal of Social Education. 15, 1 (Winter/Summer 2000): 62-79.

“Cyberworld: Teaching World History on the World Wide Web.” The History Teacher 32 (August 1999): 495-516.

”Teaching the Age of Empire.” Radical History Review, 67 (winter 1997): 132-146.

“Different Drummers: Using Music to Teach History.” Perspectives, American Historical Association. 34, 6 (September 1996): 27-33.


“Commodities, Commerce, and Cartography in the Early-Modern Era: Herman Moll’s World Maps, 1700-1730.” Global Economies, Cultural Currencies of the Eighteenth Century. AMS Studies in the Eighteenth Century, No. 64. Michael Rotenberg-Schwartz, ed. New York: AMS Press, 2012, pp. 1-35.

“Explaining Unemployed Protest in the Ruhr at the End of the Weimar Republic.” Unemployment and Protest: New Perspectives on Two Centuries of Contention. Matthias Reiss and Matt Perry, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 137-174.

“The Road to Indian Wells: Symbolic Landscapes in the California Desert.” Symbolic Landscapes. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2009, pp. 33-63.

“A Kind of Globalization: Merchant Capital, Primitive Accumulation, and the Reconfiguration of World Space in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1730.” Colonial and Global Interfacings: Imperial Hegemonies and Democratizing Resistances. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, pp. 22-57.

“From Farmsteads to Slag Heaps: The Restless Ecoscape of the Ruhr Valley of Germany, 1830-1930.” Ecoscapes: Geographical Patternings of Relations. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006, pp. 139-164.

“Terra Incognita/Terra Nullius: Maps, Deception, and Modern Imperialism.” Lived Topographies and their Mediational Forces. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005, pp. 49-76.


Review of The History Manifesto, by Jo Guldi and David Armitage, H-Socialisms, H-Net Reviews. October 2015. URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=42836.

Review of Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History, by Alexander C. Cook, H-Socialisms, H-Net Reviews. November 2014. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=42276.

Review of Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, by Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, Labor History 54, 1 (2013).

Review of The Last Revolutionaries: German Communists and their Century, by Catherine Epstein, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms 16, 3 (June 2011).

Review of Smuggling: Corruption and Contraband in World History, by Alan L. Karras, World History Bulletin XXVII, Number 2, Fall 2010.

Review of Global Lives: Britain and the World, 1550-1800, by Miles Ogborn, World History Bulletin XXVI, Number 1, Spring 2010.

Review of Contesting the German Empire, 1871-1918, by Matthew Jeffries, H-German, H-Net Reviews. September, 2009. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=25500.


Review of Dreamland, directed by Þorfinnur Guðnason & Andri Snær Magnason, Environment, Space, Place 7, Issue 2, Forthcoming Fall 2015.

Review of Tierralismo, directed by Alejandro Ramírez Anderson, Environment, Space, Place 6, Issue 2, Fall 2014, 130-135.

Review of The Forgotten Space, directed by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, Environment, Space, Place 6, Issue 1, Spring 2014, 158-171.

Contact Details

College of Letters and Sciences
(858) 642-8461