Dr. Alexander Zukas

I earned a PhD in Early-Modern and Modern History from the University of California, Irvine. My research interests are in working-class and environmental history, European imperialism and colonialism, and the history of cartography (mapmaking).

I teach lower- and upper-division course in world history (HIS 233/234 and HIS 431-434) as well as the Culture of Global Capitalism (HIS 320), Historical Theories & Methods (HIS 400), Ecological Revolutions (GLS 420), The Global Economy (GLS 430), and graduate courses in history: the Seminar in History and Theory (HIS 600), Seminar in Modern Europe II (HIS 618B), Seminar in World History (HIS 630), Special Topic: Maps and History (HIS 645A), Directed Research Methods (HIS 695), and Thesis (HIS 699). I strive to make my classes interactive, collaborative, student-centered, knowledge- as well as skill-based, and creative as well as structured. My goal is to promote critical thinking, help students create new knowledge and skills for themselves in a creative and informed dialogue with other students and me about historical issues, and let them become proficient in using new digital technologies.

My initial research field was in early-modern and modern European labor and social history and I studied unemployed protest in the Ruhr region of Germany from 1918 to 1933. After attending a Summer Institute on “Popular Cartography” at the Newberry Library in Chicago in 2004, I developed (or rediscovered) a passion for reading and interpreting maps. Armed with what I learned at the Newberry and reading major works in the history of cartography, I began to publish on early-modern maps and mapmakers.

I am presently involved in two research projects which reflect my quite divergent research interests. I am currently researching and writing a book on the 18th-century Anglo-German cartographer Herman Moll. The working title is Herman Moll and the Entangled Cartography of the British Empire.

My other research project is in 20th-century labor history. I am gathering materials for a book on unemployed protest around the world during the 1920s and 1930s. It will be a global history of the contentious politics of unemployed workers between World War I and World War II.

What I value most about history is its encouragement of a long-term perspective, its questioning of the everyday assumptions that shape students’ (and most Americans’) “presentist” thinking and attitudes, and its usefulness as a method for thinking about the future. All of these matters involve issues of temporality, a dimension of life that historians always take into consideration in their studies. Even though it deals with the past, history, by showing us that the past is different from the present, opens up the future as a place that will be different from the present. It is up to us to help choose what the continuities and discontinuities, and the possibilities, will be.

Memberships

  • American Association of University Professors
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Historical Association
  • American Sociological Association
  • California World History Association
  • European Social Science History Association
  • North American Conference on British Studies
  • Radical Historians' Organization
  • Social Science History Association
  • United Association for Labor Education
  • World History Association

Honors and Awards

  • 2018, 2019, Jerry C. Lee Fac Sen Outstndng Fac Svc Award
  • 2018, AAUP, 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 2017, American Historical Association: Member Spotlight
  • 2017, Ntn'l Endow Human Sum Inst Indiana University
  • 2017, Indiana University, Visiting Scholar
  • 2017, St. Louis University, Visiting Scholar
  • 2017, Presidential Scholar
  • 2017, AAUP Conference Development Grant
  • 2013, Ntn'l Endow for Humanities Sum Inst – St. Loius U.
  • 2013, C. Charles & G. Bucher Endow. Fac. Scholar Award
  • 2002, UC- Irvine Visiting Associate Professor – History
  • 2001, Ntn'l Endow for Human Sum Inst – Newberry Library
  • 2001, Ntn'l Endow for Humanities Summer Sem – Cornell U.
  • 2001, President's Distinguished Teaching Award

Publications

  • Zukas, A.. (2019). Class, Imperial Space, and Allegorical Figures of the Continents on Early-Modern World Maps. Environment, Space, Place, 10(2): 29-62.
  • Zukas, A.. (2016). Port Cities in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1730. World History Connected, 13(1): Web.
  • Zukas, A.. (2015). Inscribing Class Struggle in Space: Unemployed Protest in the Ruhr in late Weimar Germany. Labour History Review, 80(1): 31-62.
  • Zukas, A.. (2014). The Cartography of Herman Moll and European Views of Muslim South Asia, 1700-1730. Journal of World History, 25(2-3): 311-339.
  • Zukas, A.. (2012). Maps as Commodities in Modern World History. World History Bulletin, XXVIII(2): 26-31.
  • Zukas, A.. (2012). Workers' Festive Spaces in the Weimar Republic: May Day and the Berlin Lustgarten. Environment, Space, Place Issue 1 (Spring 2012), 4(1): 48-78.
  • Zukas, A.. (2004). On the Go: Mobile Communication, Time, and Space. Glimpse: Phenomenology and Media 5 (2004), 5: 31-38.
  • Zukas, A.. (2003). Cyberflesh: The Visible and the Invisible. Glimpse: Phenomenology and Media 4 (2003), 4: 73-78.
  • Zukas, A.. (2002). The Invisibility of Work: Virtual Toil and Commodity Fetishism on the Web. Glimpse: Phenomenology and Media 3 (2002), 3: 19-25.
  • Zukas, A.. (2001). The Presence of Absence: The Phenomenology of Teaching Online. Glimpse: Phenomenology and Media 2 (2001), 2: 67-71.
  • Zukas, A.. (2001). Lazy, Apathetic and Dangerous: The Social Construction of Unemployed Workers in Germany during the Late Weimar Republic. Contemporary European History 10, 1 (2001), 10(1): 25-49.
  • Zukas, A.. (2000). History through Theater: A Dialectic of Learning. World History Bulletin XVII, 4 (fall 2000), XVII(4): i-iii.
  • Zukas, A.. (2000). Active Learning, World History, and the Internet: Creating Knowledge in the Classroom. International Journal of Social Education 15, 1 (Winter/Summer 2000), 15(1): 62-79.
  • Zukas, A.. (1999). Cyberworld: Teaching World History on the World Wide Web. The History Teacher 32 (August 1999), 32: 495-516.
  • Zukas, A.. (1997). Teaching the Age of Empire. Radical History Review 67 (winter 1997), 67: 132-146.
  • Zukas, A.. (n.d.). Herman Moll and the Entangled Cartography of the British Empire. Book Series on Empires and Entanglements in the Early Modern World.
  • Zukas, A.. (2012). 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.. 1-35.
  • Zukas, A.. (2011). 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.. 137-174.
  • Zukas, A.. (2009). The Road to Indian Wells: Symbolic Landscapes in the California Desert. Symbolic Landscapes. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds.. 33-63.
  • Zukas, A.. (2007). 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.. 22-57.
  • Zukas, A.. (2006). 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.. 139-164.
  • Zukas, A.. (2005). Terra Incognita/Terra Nullius: Maps, Deception, and Modern Imperialism. Lived Topographies and their Mediational Forces. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi, eds.. 49-76.

Presentations

  • Zukas, A. (2019). Frontiers, Borders, and Marginal Spaces on 18th-Century Maps of North America. Paper presented at the 15th Annual Conference, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, John Moores University, Liverpool University, England.
  • Zukas, A. (2019). Herman Moll, British Cartography, and the Commencement of the Global Eighteenth Century. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Arizona State University.
  • Zukas, A. (2018). Negotiating Oceans, Islands, Continents and British Imperial Ambitions in the World Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1732. Paper presented at the International Conference on Negotiating Waters: Seas, Oceans and Passageways in the Colonial and Postcolonial Anglophone World, Institut des langues et cultures d¿Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie, Le Centre pour la Communication Scientifique Directe, Université Grenoble-Alpes, FR.
  • Zukas, A. (2017). European Empires and Indigenous Societies in Herman Moll's Maps of North America, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Conference on British Studies, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Zukas, A. (2017). Undead Monsters, Popular Culture, and Nightmare Spaces of Capitalism. Paper presented at the 13th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, National University, La Jolla.
  • Zukas, A. (2017). Geographic Science and Pirated Knowledge in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Zukas, A. (2016). Mapping Global Conflict in the Cartography of Herman Moll, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the 25th Annual Conference, World History Association, University of Ghent, Belgium.
  • Zukas, A. (2016). Port Cities in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1710-1730. Paper presented at the 9th Annual Britain and the World Conference, London, U.K..
  • Zukas, A. (2016). Improving Working Conditions for Contingent Faculty at a Private University. Paper presented at the 102nd Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education, American Association of University Professors, Washington, D.C..
  • Zukas, A. (2016). Allegorical and Mythical Figures in Early-Modern Maps. Paper presented at the 12th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Zukas, A. (2016). Indigenous and Imperial Encounters in Herman Moll's Maps of North America, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, UC Riverside, California.
  • Zukas, A. (2015). Privateers, Pirated Knowledge, and Imperial Cartography in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1695-1725. Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, St. Louis University, MO.
  • Zukas, A. (2015). Littoral Spaces, Anchorages, and Port Cities in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the 11th International Conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, Christopher Newport Univ., VA.
  • Zukas, A. (2014). The Global Reach of British Empire in the Cartography of Herman Moll, 1700-1730. Paper presented at the 7th Annual Britain and the World Conference, Newcastle University, UK.
  • Zukas, A. (2014). Imperial Conflicts in the Maps of Herman Moll, 1700-1725. Paper presented at the International Society for the History of the Map, Bibliothèque nationale, Paris.
  • Zukas, A. (2013). Class, Party, and State: Mobilizing Unemployed Workers in late Weimar Germany. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Meeting Social Science History Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Zukas, A. (2013). Mapping Mediated Spaces in Early Modern Cartography. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, University of Florida.
  • Zukas, A. (2013). Pirated Knowledge and Imperial Cartography in the 18th Century: The Case of Herman Moll. Paper presented at the American Historical Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Zukas, A. (2012). British Engagement with Muslim South Asia in the Maps of Herman Moll, ca.1700-ca. 1730. Paper presented at the International Conference on European Encounters with Islam in Asia, 1500-1800, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Contact Information

Dr. Alexander Zukas

College: College of Letters and Sciences

Department: Social Sciences

azukas@nu.edu

(858) 642-8461

Torrey Pines South Campus

Education

UC Irvine - PHD - History