Professor Zimmer works on the social, cultural and political history of Europe c. 1760-1939, particularly its German-speaking parts. His current main interest lies in how ordinary people in the nineteenth century adapted to the acceleration of life and the standardisation of time. He is also interested in ideas of citizenship, nationalism, religion, liberalism and its role in the formation of cultural norms and expectations, time and temporal rhythms, the history of towns and cities, the cultural history of economic life, historiography, and theory.
- Modern Swiss history (1760-1945)
- Modern German history (1760-1914)
- Modern history of nationalism and national identity
- Religion and confessional relations in modern German/Swiss history