Nasser Zakariya

Associate Professor

Head Undergraduate Advisor


Ph.D. in History of Science; Secondary Field in Film and Visual Studies, Harvard University
M. Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science and M.A. in Mathematics, King’s College, University of Cambridge
B.A. in Mathematics and Physics, M.A. in Mathematics, Columbia College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University



Image of Nasser Zakariya


7325 Dwinelle

Tuesdays, 11am-12pm



Research Interests

Scientific Narrative
Universal History
Technoscientific Futures
Genres of Synthesis

My research interests concern science and narrative, as well as varied topics in the history and philosophy of science. My book, A Final Story: Science, Myth and Beginnings, centers on the emergence of the so-called “scientific epic” as one among a set of possible frames or genres for synthesizing branches of knowledge according to a narrative, historical structure. I have also been involved in interrelated collaborative research, including studies of the genealogy and structure of technoscientific futurist imaginaries, the relationship between narratological categories and scientific explanatory modes, social-scientific/game-theoretic analyses of voting, and social scientific legal studies of consumer discrimination.

I have held research fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, and Yale Law School, and taught at Michigan State University. I received my doctoral degree from the Harvard History of Science department, with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies.


“Beyond the Data Treadmill: Environmental Enumeration, Justice, and Apprehension” (with Nicholas Shapiro and Jody Roberts) in Toxic Truths: Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post-Truth Age, edited by Thom Davies and Alice Mah. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020, 301-325.

“Scenes Before Grey Antiquity.” Res: Anthropology and aesthetics 69.1 (2018): 5-19.

“A Wary Alliance: From Enumerating the Environment to Inviting Apprehension,” (with Nicholas Shapiro and Jody Roberts) Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 3 (Sep 2017).

“Scientific Humanisms and Technological Utopias: Situating the Transhumanist Imagination,” in Perfecting Human Futures: Technology, Secularization and Eschatology (Springer, 2016)

“Exhibiting Cosmos,” Technology & Culture vol. 56, no. 3 (2015): 738-744.

“Is History Still a Fraud?” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences vol. 43, no. 5 (2013): 631-641.

“Making Knowledge Whole: Genres of Synthesis and Grammars of Ignorance.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences vol. 42, no. 5 (2012): 432-475.

“Poetics of Brotherhood: Organic and Mechanistic Narrative in Late Tolstoi” (with Ilya Kliger). Slavic Review (Winter 2011): 754-772.

“Optimal Voting Rules for Two Member Tenure Committees” (with Colin Rowat and Ian Ayres). Social Choice and Welfare vol. 36, no. 2 (2011): 323-354.

“Organic and Mechanistic Time and the Limits of Narrative” (with Ilya Kliger). Configurations vol. 15, no. 3 (2007 [c. 2009]): 331-353.

“To Insure Prejudice: Racial Disparities in Taxicab Tipping,” (with Ian Ayres and Fred Vars). Yale Law Journal vol. 114 (2005): 1613-1674.