Professor Dominic Alessio, Ph.D., F.R. Hist.S., SFHEA

Professor of History, Vice President of International Programmes

Professor Dominic Alessio

Professor Dominic Alessio


I was born in Wales to Irish-Welsh and Italian parents, raised in Canada and studied in New Zealand after having been awarded a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship. I have taught at McMaster University (Canada), St Thomas’s University (Canada), Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and Trinity St David’ University (Wales). I have been a Visiting Professor in the School of Arts at the University of Northampton, a Visiting Professor at Franklin University (Switzerland), and am currently Research Associate for the Centre for Fascist. Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, Teesside University (UK). I have been invited to give keynote speeches in India, Austria and Dubai on topics as diverse as science fiction, empire and US bases in the South Pacific. I am also a fellow of Royal Historical Society and a former Vice Chair of the New Zealand Studies Association.

I am a postcolonial, political and cultural historian of imperialism with additional interests in the history of the extreme right. I also work on gender, tourism, urban history, war studies, visual culture (film, television and social media) and utopias/science fiction, and have published work on a variety of different regions, including North America, China, the Pacific, India, Africa, Latin America and the Arctic. I am currently working on an ambitious political history investigating definitions of empire and diverse methods of empire formation. This includes the buying and renting of imperial territory as a means of expansion and the role of non-state actors, such as filibusters, corporate players and religious organisations, in the imperial process.

Additional research in areas such as Bollywood film in India has already attained international prominence, including a half page interview in The Hindu, India’s national newspaper (14/02/2014), whilst my book on postcolonial science fiction from the South Pacific was called a “masterpiece” by the Los Angeles Times (2009).


  1. The Island of Thieves’: Rethinking Empire and the United States in the South Pacific” (with Wesley Renfro). (Foreign Policy Analysis) (Oxford University Press) [Journal article]
  2. “Spain, Germany and the United States in the Marshall Islands: Re-imagining the imperial in the Pacific” (with Patricia Olle Tejero and Katherine Arnold). Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies 4, 2 (2017): 115-136 (Intellect) [Co-authored article]
  3. Filibustering from Africa to the Americas: Re-thinking Empire and the Origins of Fascism”, Small Wars & Insurgencies (27, 6, 2016) (Taylor & Francis) [Journal article]
  4. “The Voldemort of Empires: Rethinking the Relationship between Empire and United States History” (with Wesley Renfro), International Studies Perspectives 17, no. 3 (2016): 250-66. (Oxford University Press) [Co-authored article]
  5. “Easter Island and the Lost Continent of Mu”, Easter Island: Cultural and Historical Perspectives, edited by Ian Conrich (Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2016) [Authored chapter in book]
  6. “The Dragon Is Not Always Red: The Welsh Defence League and Extreme Nationalism in Wales”, National Identity (2015) (Taylor & Francis) DOI: 10.1080/14608944.2014.987658 [Journal article]
  7. “… territorial acquisitions are among the landmarks of our history”: the buying and leasing of imperial territory”, The Crisis of the Twenty-First Century: Empire in the Age of Austerity, eds. Russell Foster, Matthew Johnson & Mark Edward (London: Routledge, 2014). ISBN 978-0-415-73187-4 [Authored chapter in book]
  8. “Indian Science Fiction Film”, Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film, ed. Sonja Fritzsche (with Jessica Langer). (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014). HB ISBN: 9781781380383 [co-authored book chapter]
  9. “Blackshirts for the Twenty-First Century? Fascism and the English Defence League” (with Kristen Meredith), Social Identities. Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture (Winter 2013) (Routledge) [Co-authored article]
  10. “Arctic ‘Concessions’ and Icebreaker Diplomacy? Chinese Tourism Development in Iceland” (with Edward H. Huijbens), Current Issues in Tourism (Fall 2013) (Routledge). [Co-authored article]
  11. ‘…territorial acquisitions are among the landmarks of our history’: the buying and leasing of imperial territory”, Global Discourse, 3, I (Summer 2013) (Routledge). [Journal article]
  12. “Decolonising James Cameron’s Pandora: Imperial History and Science Fiction” (with Kristen Meredith), Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 13, 2 (Fall 2012) (The John Hopkins University Press). [Co-authored journal article]
  13. Birtingarmyndir kyngervis og þversagnir í markaðsefni íslenskrar ferðaþjónustu (with Edward H. Huijbens, Anna Lísa Jóhannsdóttir, and Lusine Margaryan), Íslenska þjóðfélagið/the Journal of the Icelandic Sociological Association, 3 (2012). [Co-authored journal article]
  14. Small Nations/Big Neighbours. Co-edited with Ian Conrich (Nottingham: Kakapo Books 2012) [Co-edited book]
  15. “Geysirs and ‘Girls’: Gender, Politics and Tourism in Modern Iceland” (with Anna Lisa Johannsdottir), European Journal of Women’s Studies, 18, 1 (Sage: 2011), 35-50. [Co-authored journal article]
  16. New Zealand, France and the Pacific. Co-edited with Ian Conrich (Nottingham: Kakapo Books, 2011) ISBN: 978 0 9557564 5 0. [Co-edited book]
  17. Total Recall Pacific Style: Science Fiction, Colonialism and Pacific Literature”, Exploring Science Fiction: Text and Pedagogy, edited by Geetha B. and Amit Sarwal(New Delhi: CLC Series/SSS Publications, 2011). ISBN No. 81-902282-8-5, 16-36. [Authored chapter in book]
  18. “From Body Snatchers to Mind Snatchers: Indigenous Science Fiction, Postcolonialism, and Aotearoa/New Zealand History”, Journal of Postcolonial Writing (Taylor Francis: July 2011), 257-269. [Journal article]
  19. “Travel, Tourism and Booster Literature: New Zealand’s Cities and Towns at the Turn of the 20th Century”, Studies in Travel Writing, 14, 4 (Routledge: December 2010), 383-396. [Journal article]
  20. “Science Fiction, Hindu Nationalism and Modernity: Bollywood’s Koi… Mil Gaya”, in Ericka Hoagland & Reema Sarwal, eds., Science Fiction, Imperialism, and the Third World: Essays on Postcolonial Literature and Film (Jefferson: McFarland Press, 2010), 156-170. [Authored chapter in book]
  21. “‘Monopoly Imperialism’: How Empires Can be Bought and Leased”, Social Europe Journal,, May 21, 2010. [Journal article]
  22. Introduction and editor, The Great Romance. A Rediscovered Utopian Adventure. (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) ISBN-13: 978-0-8032-5996-6 pbk. [Book]
  23. “Promoting Paradise: Utopianism and National Identity in New Zealand”, New Zealand Journal of History, 42. 1, 2008, 22-40. [Journal article]
  24. “Hindu Nationalism and Postcolonialism in Indian Science Fiction: Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)” (with Jessica Langer), New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, 5, no.3, 2007, 217-229. [co-authored journal article]
  25. “2006-2008 – the Years of the Pacific? Some Thoughts after Pasifika Styles (University of Cambridge) and Power and Taboo (The British Museum), British Review of New Zealand Studies, 16 (2007), 207-217. [Journal article]
  26. “Redemption, ‘Race’, The Far Right, Religion and Reality: Science Fiction Film Adaptations of Philip K. Dick”, in Will Brooker, ed., The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of a Science Fiction Classic (London: Wallflower, 2005), 59-75. [Authored chapter in book]
  27. “A Conservative Utopia?: Anthony Trollope’s The Fixed Period (1881)”, Journal of New Zealand Literature, 22, (May, 2004), 73-94. [Journal article]
  28. “Race, Gender and Proto-Nationalism in Julius Vogel’s Anno Domini 2000”, Foundation, 91, (2004), 36-54. [Journal article]
  29. “Close Encounters of the Earliest Kind: A Postcolonial Sighting of the First Aliens and Colony in Science Fiction (1881)”, for the special edition of ARIEL: A Post-Colonial Odyssey, 33, no.1, (2002/2003), 15-36. [Journal article]
  30. “Things are Different Now”?: A Postcolonial Analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer“, The European Legacy, 6, no.6 (2001), 731-740. [Journal article]
  31. “Gender, Spiritualism and Reform in Late 19th Century New Zealand: Lotti Wilmot’s New Zealand Beds“, British Review of New Zealand Studies, 12 (2000), 55-85. [Journal article]
  32. “Civilisation, Control and Co-operation: Picturing the Natives in the British Settlement Colonies (1870- 1930)”, Journal of Imperial and Post-Colonial Historical Studies 1, no.1 (Spring 2000), 71-112. [Journal article]
  33. The Great Romance, by The Inhabitant”, Kotare: New Zealand Notes and Queries, 2, no.2, (November, 1999), pp.3-17. [Journal piece reproducing a lost text]
  34. The Great Romance: a science-fiction/utopian novelette. Part Two.”, Kotare: New Zealand Notes and Queries, 2, no.1 (May, 1999), pp.48-79. [Journal piece reproducing a lost text]
  35. “’A startling apparteness’: Race, Imperialism and Popular Culture in British Palestine, 1918-1936″, Proceedings of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, (2000) [Article on ECPR CD-Rom)
  36. The Great Romance: a science-fiction/utopian novelette”, Kotare: New Zealand Notes and Queries, (October, 1998), 59-101. [Journal article]
  37. “Domesticating `the Heart of the Wild’: Female Personifications of the Colonies, 1886-1940″, Women’s History Review, (August, 1997), 239-269. [Journal article]
  38. “An Atlantis of the Antipodes? Utopianism and New Zealand”, The Journal of Unconventional History, 7, no.3, (Spring, 1996), pp.53-83. [Journal article]
  39. “Document in the History of Science-Fiction: The Great Romance, by The Inhabitant”, Science Fiction Studies, 20, no.3, (1993), pp.305-340. [Journal article]
  40. “Capitalist Realist Art: Industrial Images of Hamilton, Ontario, 1884-1910”, The Journal of Urban History, 18, no.4, (1992), pp.442-469. [Journal article]
  41. “A Tale of Twenty Cities: the Urban Environment in American Science-Fiction of the 1950s and 1960s”, The Journal of Unconventional History, 2, no.2 (1991), pp. 59-74. [Journal article]

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I teach on:
International Relations

Some of the courses I teach:
HST 5100 – Cultures Of Imperial Power
HST 5105 – Rise Of The Right: History of Fascisms

Research Clusters:
International Visual Arts Cultures
The Study of the State, Power and Globalisation

Research Interest & Expertise:
I am a postcolonial and cultural historian of imperialism with particular interests in the former Neo-European settlement colonies (Canada, New Zealand and the US), the South Pacific and India. I have published also on gender, the far right, tourism, urban history, visual culture and utopian/science fiction studies, as well as on a wide array of regions including China and the Arctic. I am currently undertaking an ambitious political history investigating definitions of empire and diverse methods of empire formation. This includes the buying and renting of imperial territory as a means of expansion, and the role of filibusters (as opposed to states) in the imperial process.