Portrait of Dr Alexander von Lünen Dr Alexander von Lünen

a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471410


Alexander started as a Senior Lecturer in Modern German History (with Digital Humanities) in the History division on 1 December 2014. He has a degree in computer science and a doctorate in history, both from the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany.

He was working in the software industry in Germany for many years, before joining the University of Portsmouth in 2007, where he became a Research Fellow in the geography department, acting as technical lead for the Vision of Britain website. In 2012 he was hired as Research Fellow for a digital humanities project with the Photographic History Research Centre at De Monfort University, Leicester. In 2014 he then worked as Research Associate on a project in Social Media analysis for the Centre for Information Management at Loughborough University.

Research and Scholarship


His PhD work was on height records in aviation in the interwar years in Europe and related technological and scientific research. More generally speaking, he has done research on the history of medicine, science and technology in Europe between c. 1880 and 1945; including aspects of industrial hygiene, eugenics and respiration physiology. Lately, he got more closely interested in the science culture of Nazi Germany; specifically about aviation medicine, on which he has created a bio-bibliographical database to (eventually) list all researchers in that field: http://www.gaeromeddb.net.

Between 2009 and 2011, Alexander had funding from the Leverhulme Trust to undertake a mobilities study of artisans in Britain in the early nineteenth century; specifically the Steam Engine Makers’ Society.


Publications and Other Research Outputs


Travis, C. and von Lunen, A. (2016) The Digital Arts and Humanities: Neogeography, Social Media and Big Data Integrations and Applications . Springer Geography. : Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-40951-1

von Lunen, A (2016) ‘Beuys Don't Cry: From Social Sculptures to Social Media’. In: The Digital Arts and Humanities: Neogeography, Social Media and Big Data Integrations and Applications. : Springer. pp. 23-45. ISBN 978-3319409511

von Lunen, A (2016) ‘So long, and thanks for the GIS: Digital Spatial History’. In: Spatial Cultures: Towards a New Social Morphology of Cities Past and Present. London: Routledge. pp. 193-202. ISBN 9781472450296

Griffiths, S. and von Lunen, A. (2016) Spatial Cultures: Towards a New Social Morphology of Cities Past and Present . Design and the Built Environment Series. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781472450296

von Lunen, A (2016) ‘Book Review: "Orit Halpern, Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015British Journal for the History of Science , 49 (1), pp. 144-146. ISSN 0007-0874


von Lunen, A (2015) ‘Book Review: "Tanja Klemm, Bildphysiologie: Wahrnehmung und Körper in Mittelalter und Renaissance, 2013"British Journal for the History of Science , 48 (3), pp. 507-508. ISSN 0007-0874

Sykora, M., Jackson, T., von Lunen, A., Elayan, S. and O'Brien, A. (2015) ‘The Role of Visualisations in Social Media Monitoring Systems’. In: Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Social Media. Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. pp. 437-444. ISBN 978-1-910810-31-6


Sykora, M., Jackson, T., O'Brien, A., Elayan, S. and von Lunen, A. (2014) ‘Twitter based Analysis of Public, Fine-Grained Emotional Reactions to Significant Events’. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Social Media. Brighton, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. pp. 540-548. ISBN 978-1-910309-28-5

von Lunen, A (2014) ‘Review: "Ben Kafka, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork, Zone Books, 2012" and "Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents, Duke University Press, 2014" (joint review)Somatosphere .

Osborne, M., Moran, S., McCreadie, R., von Lunen, A., Sykora, M., Cano, E., Ireson, N., Macdonald, C., Ounis, I., He, Y., Jackson, T., Ciravegna, F. and O'Brien, A. (2014) ‘Real-Time Detection, Tracking, and Monitoring of Automatically Discovered Events in Social Media’. In: Proceedings of 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations. Baltimore, Maryland: Association for Computational Linguistics. pp. 37-42. ISBN 978-1-941643-00-6

Brown, S., Coupland, S., Croft, D., Shell, J. and von Lunen, A. (2014) ‘Where are the pictures? Linking photographic records across collections using fuzzy logic’. In: Museums & the Web: Selected Papers from Two International Conferences. Silver Spring: Museums and the Web LLC. pp. 117-128.


Southall, H., Aucott, P., von Lunen, A. and Westwood, J. (2013) ‘PastPlace: the historical gazetteer service from the people who brought you A Vision of Britain through Time’. In: UK Archives Discovery Forum, 7th March 2013, National Archives, Kew, London

von Lunen, A. and Olsson, G. (2013) ‘"Thou Shalt Make No Graven Maps!": An Interview with Gunnar Olsson’. In: History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 73-87. ISBN 978-94-007-5009-8

von Lunen, A (2013) History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections . Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. ISBN 978-94-007-5008-1

von Lunen, A. and Le Roy Ladurie, E. (2013) ‘Immobile History: An Interview with Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’. In: History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Re ections. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-25. ISBN 978-94-007-5009-8

von Lunen, A (2013) ‘Review: "Andrew W. Appel, Alan Turing's System of Logic: The Princeton Thesis, Princeton UP, 2012"British Journal for the History of Science , 46 (4), pp. 728-729. ISSN 0007-0874,

von Lunen, A (2013) ‘Tracking in a New Territory: Re-Imaging GIS for History’. In: History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 211-239. ISBN 978-94-007-5008-1


von Lunen, A (2012) ‘Way to go: A graph mining based approach to record linkage for sparse dataInternational Journal of Arts & Science , 5 (6), pp. 523-538. ISSN 1944-6934

von Lunen, A (2012) ‘Zurück ins Meer - eine bessere Welt im "Inneren Weltraum"?’. In: Ideale. Entwürfe einer "besseren Welt" in der Wissenschaft, Kunst und Kultur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, Germany: Kadmos. pp. 180-202.


von Lunen, A., Moschek, W. and Mares, D. (2011) ‘Im Raume analysieren wir die Zeit. Geo-Informationssysteme in der historischen Lehre und ForschungZeitschrift für Geschichtsdidaktik , 10, pp. 56-65. ISSN 1610-5982

von Lunen, A. and Moschek, W. (2011) ‘Without Limits: Ancient History and GIS’. In: Geohumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. : Routledge. pp. 241-250. ISBN 978-0-415-58979-6

von Lunen, A (2011) ‘Jacob Jongbloed (1896-1974): A Dutch pioneer of Aviation MedicineAviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine , 82 (6), pp. 654-657. ISSN 0095-6562,


von Lunen, A (2010) Under the waves, above the clouds: A history of the pressure suit Doctoral thesis, Technische Universität Darmstadt.


von Lunen, A (2009) ‘Review: "Werth, Karsten: Ersatzkrieg im Weltraum. Das US-Raumfahrtprogramm in der Öffentlichkeit der 1960er Jahre. Frankfurt: Campus, 2006."Technikgeschichte , 76 (3), pp. 287-288. ISSN 0040-117X

Southall, H., von Lunen, A. and Aucott, P. (2009) ‘On the Organisation of Geographical Knowledge: data models for gazetteers and historical GIS’. In: 2009 5th IEEE International Conference on E-Science Workshops. Oxford, UK: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). pp. 162-166. ISBN 9781424459469

Aucott, P., von Lunen, A. and Southall, H. (2009) ‘Exposing the history of Europe: the creation of a structure to enable time?spatial searching of historical resources within a European frameworkOCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives , 25 (4), pp. 270-286. ISSN 1065-075X

von Lunen, A (2009) German Aeromedicine Database Available at: http://www.gaeromeddb.net

von Lunen, A (2009) ‘Review: "Hellige, Hans Dieter (Hg.): Mensch-Computer-Interface. Zur Geschichte und Zukunft der Computerbedienung. Bielefeld: transcript, 2008"NTM , 17 (2), pp. 241-242. ISSN 0036-6978

von Lunen, A (2009) ‘Historische GIS als Narrative?’. In: Moderne. Kulturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch 5. Vienna, Austria: StudienVerlag. pp. 221-225.

von Lunen, A (2009) ‘The perfect astronaut would be a human without legs - J.B.S. Haldane and 'positive eugenics'’. In: Wie nationalsozialistisch ist die Eugenik? / What is National Socialist about Eugenics?: Beitrag zur Geschichte der Eugenik im 20. Jahrhundert / Contributions to the History of Eugenics in the 20th Century. Vienna, Austria: Böhlau. pp. 127-138. ISBN 978-3-205-78203-2

von Lunen, A. and Moschek, W. (2009) ‘Reading time through space: A GIS-aided study in Ancient HistoryNewsletter of the Society of Landscape Studies .


von Lunen, A (2008) ‘'Splendid Isolation'? Aviation Medicine in World War II’. In: Scientific Research in World War II: What scientists did in the war. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 96-108. ISBN 978-0-7103-1340-9

von Lunen, A (2008) ‘Die Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug’. In: Ein Jahrhundert Luftfahrtgeschichte zwischen Tradition, Forschung und Landschaftsp ege. Der August-Euler-Flugplatz in Darmstadt/Griesheim. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. pp. 209-239. ISBN 9783534232048


von Lunen, A (2006) ‘Who needs scientific instruments? Philosophers! Physiology and Philosophy in the fin de siecle’. In: Who needs Scientific Instruments. Conference on scientific instruments and their users. Oct 20-22, 2005. Leiden: Museum Boerhaave. pp. 29-36. ISBN 9062921582

von Lunen, A (2006) ‘'The Prevention of Compressed Air Illness' by Haldane et al - ACommentaryWilderness & Environmental Medicine , 17 (3), pp. 195-196. ISSN 1080-6032,


Alexander was “Scholar-In-Residence” at the Deutsche Museum, Munich, Germany from Jan 2006 to Jun 2006. Between 2009 and 2011 he had a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust. In 2010 he received the “Outstanding Paper Award” from the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence for a co-authored paper. In Sep 2004 he was a visiting postgraduate student at the Science Studies Unit in the University of Edinburgh.

He is a member of the Royal Historical Society, Historical Diving Society and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations.

Research Degree Supervision

Alexander would be happy to supervise dissertations in the following areas:

  • Digital History/Humanities
  • Spatial History/Historical Geography
  • History of Science, Medicine and Technology
  • German History (C19 and C20)
  • British History (Victorian and Edwardian)
  • 20th century European history

Alexander, as his doctorate dealt with history of science and technology, is also well-versed in areas of philosophy and sociology, and is happy to discuss interests related to those areas.

Enterprise Activities

Alexander has been involved in Outreach Activities while being technical lead for the Great Britain Historical GIS/Vision of Britain project. This involved licensing of historical-geographical data to property companies and liaising with local history groups.

The research projects he was involved in included liaising with the GLAM-sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), such as the Swedish National Archives, the National Media Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musée d’Orsay or the British Library.

Since October 2015 Alexander is part of the User Feedback Group of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure to assess and improve the usability of the portal. Furthermore, he is on the academic advisory panel for the Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre that the University of Huddersfield is setting up in cooperation with the Holocaust Survivor Friendship Association.

Teaching and Professional Activities

Alexander teaches on Britons Abroad (AFH1026), and is module leader for Hitler’s Germany (AIH2015) and Bloodlands: Historical Geography of Interwar East Central Europe (AHH3231).

He is also Year 1 Tutor