Alexander C.T. Geppert

Alexander C.T. Geppert
Associate Professor of History and European Studies, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Associate Professor, NYU
Office Phone
+86 (21) 2059-5222
Alexander C.T. Geppert is an Associate Professor of History and European Studies and Global Network Associate Professor at New York University, with a joint appointment at NYU Shanghai and the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies in New York where he is also associated with the Department of History. During the academic year 2021–2022 he is serving as the Eleanor Searle Visiting Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Library in Los Angeles.
Alexander Geppert received master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, and a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence. From 2010 to 2016 he directed the Emmy Noether Research Group "The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and Extraterrestrial Life in the Twentieth Century" at Freie Universität Berlin. He has held fellowships at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1999), the IFK Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften in Vienna (2001–2002), the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Essen (2002–2005), the German Historical Institutes in London and Paris (2000, 2009, 2012), Harvard University (2007–2009), the University of Cambridge (2013, 2014), and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC (2014–2015). In 2018 NASA and the Society for the History of Technology awarded him their Fellowship in Aerospace History. In 2019–2020 Alexander Geppert held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
His research focuses on the nexus of spatiality, knowledge and transcendence in varying configurations, including outer space, miracles, expositions and the theory of historiography. His book publications include Fleeting Cities: Imperial Expositions in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (2nd edn, 2013); New Dangerous Liaisons: Discourses on Europe and Love in the Twentieth Century (2010, co-ed.); Wunder: Poetik und Politik des Staunens im 20. Jahrhundert (2011, co-ed.); Obsession der Gegenwart: Zeit im 20. Jahrhundert (2015, co-ed.); Berliner Welträume im frühen 20. Jahrhundert (2017, co-ed.); and Rocket Stars: Astrocultural Genealogies in the Global Space Age (forthcoming, ed.). He is also the editor of a trilogy on European Astroculture, consisting of Imagining Outer Space: European Astroculture in the Twentieth Century (2nd edn, 2018, ed.); Limiting Outer Space: Astroculture after Apollo (2018, ed.); and Militarizing Outer Space: Astroculture, Dystopia and the Cold War (2021, co-ed.). At present, Alexander Geppert is completing a cultural history of outer space in the European imagination of the twentieth century, entitled The Future in the Stars: Europe, Astroculture and the Age of Space. His next book project is a global history of astroculture, technoscience and planetization since the 1970s. 
Alexander Geppert also runs the NYU Space Talks lecture series and directs the Global Astroculture Research Group, with graduate students, junior, mid-career and senior scholars from four continents.




  • PhD, History and Civilization
    European University Institute
  • MA, Modern and Early Modern History
    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • MA, History
    Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

  • Twentieth-Century European Social and Cultural History
  • History of Science, Technology and Knowledge
  • Outer Space and Extraterrestrial Life
  • History of Time, Temporality and the Future
  • History and Theory of Historiography