Prof. Cecilia Åsberg 2020

Prof. Dr. Cecilia Åsberg is since 2014 full professor of Gender, Nature, Culture at Linköping University and was recently (2018-2021) guest professor of STS, Gender and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment). ORCID id: http://www.orcid.org/0000-0001-7794-3806. 

Honors: Fellow at Rachel Carson Centre, Ludvig-Maximilians Universität München, Germany; Royal Colloquium “Environmental Reality” His Majesty King Carl Gustav XIV; awarded for curious interdisciplinary committments Linköping University 2015.

Åsberg is the founding director of the Posthumanities Hub (2008–present), and the Seed Box: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory (2013–2017), a Swedish-international research program in environmental humanities at Linköping University. Editorial work includes (new book series Taylor & Francis) More-than-human humanities (Åsberg & Radomska), NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research (editor in chief 2010-2012); service in other editorial/advisory boards for scientific journals: Environmental Humanities, Matter: Journal of New Materialist Research; New Disciplinary Perspectives in Education; Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience; Resilience: A Journal of Environmental Humanities; Unlikely: Journal for the Centre of Creative Arts; Journal of Gender and Power; Kvinder, køn og forskning (Danish Journal of Women’s and Gender Studies).

Åsberg was the first (2005) in Scandinavia awarded a PhD in Gender Studies, with a dissertation on the genetic imaginary of scientific and popular science media and their visual cultures’ depicting DNA and the social impact of genetics and life sciences. Since then, she bridges the natural and the cultural in her research, teaching and philosophy and queries the limits of who/what gets to count as human in a postnatural world. She is also very passionate about bringing science and art to the humanities, and transformative more-than-human humanities to the people.

Åsberg has over the years taught (Gender Studies, New Media, STS, History and Culture, Gender and Ethnicity) at several universities, in particular at Utrecht University (NL), Linköping University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (SE).

Guest professor/visiting researcher also at: Lancaster University (UK), University of Vienna (AUS), University of Stavanger (NO), University of Sydney (AU), Technische Universität Berlin (DE), Universität Wurzburg (DE), Gothenburg university (SE), Ludvig Maximilian Universität Munich (DE), Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (AUS), Cardiff University, Glasgow University (UK), Gothenburg University (SE); Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Rachel Carson Center at LMU Munich, Germany, and Posthumanism Research Institute, Brock University, Canada.

She has supervised about 15 doctoral students to PhD, for instance Tara Mehrabi, Wibke Straube, Magdalena Górska, Dag Balkmar. Åsberg’s work includes postdoctoral supervision, for instance Astrida Neimanis, Janna Holmstedt, Marietta Radomska, Lina Rahm, Adam Wickberg, and feminist academic career fascilitation too.

Åsberg has attracted over 60 million SEK in research funding. Her group, the Posthumanities Hub, hosts projects (funded by ERC, VR, RJ, FORMAS, MISTRA, Wallenberg, Åke Wiberg Foundation and other research funders), for instance…

Headed by Åsberg, the Hub also acts like a network of networks, initiating, hosting and participating in…

  • Genderation for Future Sustainability Network (an international-Swedish, multi-university PhD course, Gender and Sustainability: Introducing Feminist Environmental Humanities, that took on a life of its own.)
  • Network of European Humanities (UNESCO World Humanities)
  • State of the Art Network (SOTAN) Nordic-Baltic art, research, activism network on the role, resposibility and potential of art and culture in the Anthropocene (Bioart Society, Independent AIR, Posthumanities Hub, funders Nordisk Kulturfond, Nordisk Kulturkontakt, AP Moller Fund, Kone Foundation)
  • other networks includes Posthumanities International Network (PIN), Posthumanities: Next Genderation, Eco/Decolonial Arts Network, Queer Death Studies, Eco- and Bio Art Lab (Hub sub-group headed by Radomska).
  • The Posthumanities Hub and Åsberg is co-founding network partner of Posthumanism Research Institute (Brock University, Canada).

Feminist Posthumanities: Åsberg’s pioneering naturecultural research with curiosity, care, critique, creativity and collaboration

With a focus on integrative nature-culture research, and research training of/with others, Åsberg does environmental humanities, medical humanities, multispecies humanities and techno-/bio-humanties – aligned through the methodologies and practices of feminist posthumanities. Such human and more-than-human humanities are deployed in very interdisciplinary constellations (between art, science and civic society) for grappling with projects and research problems of key societal relevance. 

Åsberg has in previous research, across different research grants and projects, zoomed in on the cultures and natures of genetics, the life sciences and their social imaginaries, on Alzheimer’s disease (and on what gets to count as human and animal/nonhuman in laboratory life) and pharmaceutical cultures and subjectivity in feminist perspectives, on Dutch adult adoptees of colour (intersectional or transversal identity struggles), on history in public and popular science (citizen science/citizen humanities), on IT and ageism, and on SF, speculative fiction, eco- and bioart and planetary ethics).

A common theme in her research are the limits of the humanist imaginary and its exclusionary logics while attempting to think through what feminist posthuman ethics might entail. She has also done collaborative research within mutidisciplinary medical scholars on the embodied experiences of women opting for oophorectomy as a way to mitigate the risks of developing cancer. Presently she works on artificial intelligence (AI) and art, on creative AI, and on coastal and oceanic humanities for citizens and more-than-human communities.

Recent work within feminist environmetal humanities has been on low trophic theory (Radomska & Åsberg 2021 in Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space), on the low trophic creatures of the ocean’s wrack zone, like seaweeds, kelp and other macro-algea, on coastal futures in the Anthropocene, on multispecies relations and toxic embodiment; on the Baltic Sea and its military waste (dumped mustard gas and munitions), on intragenerational justice and care over the tantalising temporalities of planetary deep time and in relation to what, in our time, and Swedish context gets regarded as heritage and what gets regarded as waste, respectively. In particular, Åsberg has focused on environmental health and toxic embodiment in the Anthropocenewhile developing curiosity-driven methodologies and collaborative practices for feminist posthumanities in the transdisciplinary crossings of gender, technology, environment.  

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