Image of Nasser Zakariya

Nasser Zakariya

Associate Professor


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




7325 Dwinelle

Monday 11:00AM-1:00PM
and by appointment



Research Interests

Scientific Narrative
Universal History
Technoscientific Futures
Genres of Synthesis 

My research interests concern science, narrative and documentary; topics in the history and philosophy of mathematics and physics; and science, law and race. 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. Over the last several years, I have been involved in interrelated collaborative research projects, including studies of the genealogy and structure of technoscientific futurist imaginaries, the relationship between narratological categories and scientific explanatory modes, and social-scientific/game-theoretic analyses of voting.

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.


“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.