Asif Siddiqi


Ph.D., History, Carnegie Mellon University, 2004.

Supervisors: David Hounshell and Wendy Goldman.


Broadly speaking, I am interested in the mutually constitutive aspects of culture and technology in the 19th and 20th centuries. Much of my work has been in the service of recovering and revisiting transactions and transmissions of knowledge across boundaries, whether determined by geography, politics, class or culture. My early writings focused on the interaction between science and technology and modern Russian history, i.e., the history of Russian/Soviet science and technology. In my first two books, I explored the intellectual, political, cultural, and social dimensions of the Russian exploration of the cosmos. More recently, my interests have gravitated in a number of different directions. These include:

  1. science, technology, and national identity in the colonial and postcolonial contexts, particularly in South Asia

  2. histories of “global” technologies

  3. the political economy and social history of the Soviet Union under Stalin and Khrushchev

  4. medieval technology

  5. the history of popular science

  6. technology and rock’n’roll

I am currently working on a number of different projects, some of which may eventually end up as books. These include:

  1. A book project, under contract with Oxford University Press, provisionally titled Soviet Science and the Gulag. The study explores the multivalent means by which Soviet scientific institutions, personnel, and practices affected and were affected by the phenomena of labor camps in the Soviet Union.

  2. a study on the history of the Indian space program that situates its development in the broader setting of postcolonial nation-building

  3. A conceptual study on a “global history” of space exploration.


I teach courses on modern European history, the history of science and technology, Russian/Soviet history, and South Asian history

Undergraduate Introductory Courses:

  1. HSRU 1000    The West: Enlightenment to the Present

  2. HSRF 1000     Freshman Seminar: The West: Enlightenment to the Present

  3. HIST 1000      Understanding Historical Change: Modern Europe

Undergraduate Electives

  1. HPRU 2053    Honors Seminar: Contemporary History

  2. HIST 3633      The Cold War Space Race

  3. HIST 3635      Science in Popular Culture

  4. HIST 3636      Social History of Technology

  5. HIST 3637      Stalinism: Making the Soviet State

  6. HIST 3638      Technology from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

  7. HSRU 4571    Senior Seminar: Technology and Society in the Modern World

  8. HIST 4572      Senior Seminar: Making of Modern South Asia

Graduate Courses

  1. HIST 5566      Technology and Empire

  2. HIST 5567      Science and Power

  3. HSGA 6205    Teaching History/Pedagogy


Department of History

Fordham University

New York

On leave in 2013-2014:

Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC

Member (2012-2014) of the National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight, tasked by Congress to review the long-term goals of the U.S. human spaceflight program and make recommendations to enable a sustainable U.S. human spaceflight program.

Address (at Fordham):

Room 624

Dept. of History

441 E. Fordham Road

Fordham University

Bronx, NY 10458

phone: 718.817.3939

email: siddiqi at fordham dot edu