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 Associate Professor of History and European Studies and Global Network Associate Professor at New York University, jointly appointed by NYU Shanghai and the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies in New York City where he is also an associated member of the Department of History. In the fall of 2023 and summer of 2024 he is Scholar-in-Residence at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

Alexander Geppert holds four history degrees: a B.A. from Universität Bielefeld, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. from 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), at Harvard University (2007–2009), the University of Cambridge (2013, 2014), and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2014–2015) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (2019). In 2018 NASA and the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) 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 in Washington, DC. During the academic year 2021–2022 he served as the Eleanor Searle Visiting Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles.

Alexander Geppert’s research focuses on the nexus of spatiality, knowledge and transcendence in varying configurations, including outer space, miracles, expositions and the history and theory of historiography, in particular temporality. 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 (2nd edn, 2023, co-ed.). Alexander Geppert is currently at work on two monographs, Astroculture: Europe in the Age of Space, a cultural history of outer space in the European imagination of the twentieth century and a sequel, Planetizing Earth: An Extra-Terrestrial History of the Global Present, a history of Earth visualization, satellization and planetarity since 1946.

Alexander Geppert also runs the NYU Space Talks: History, Politics, Astrocultures 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