Cecilia Åsberg

Presently, Prof. Dr Cecilia Åsberg is Chair of Gender, Nature, Culture and (since 2014) Professor at Tema Genus (Gender Studies), at Linköping University, Sweden.

At OsloMet University in Norway, she is Professor II (Adjunct International Guest Professor). She is also a Fellow of the Rachel Center for Environment & Society at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München, Germany. Recently (2018–2021), she was (80% of FTE) KTH Guest Professor in Science and Technology Studies focusing on Gender and Environmental Humanities at Department of Philosophy and History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. She is presently becoming Guest at the KTH Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Picture of Cecilia Åsberg.

In 2008 she founded The Posthumanities Hub, with a generous repatriation grant from Linköping University for Future research leaders. (She was repatriated from the Netherlands, where she worked for three years as both University Lecturer and researcher with postdoc projects at Utrecht University). Åsberg has since 2008–2009 directed this research group and its extending research environment. She has done so with funded research projects, networks and collaborative experiments of knowledge brokering. Presently, the Posthumanities Hub has grown quite extensively and connects PhD-students (and some MA students), postdoc researchers and senior researchers at several universities in Sweden, Europe and some in the Americas and the Global South.

Before working in the Netherlands (Assistant Professor/University Lecturer and Postdoc at Utrecht University 2005–2008), she finished the first PhD degree 2005 in Gender Studies (Linköping University) in Scandinavia with a dissertation on the genetic imaginary of science communication and its visual media, drawing on feminist cultural studies of science and technology in society. The combination of interdisciplinary disciplines, like gender studies (and feminist philosophy), cultural studies, and science and technology studies, was the starting point for her early forms of feminist posthumanities. However, she returns often to her integrative humanities background (MA in Liberal Arts) in history (MA), philosophy, literature and art history/visual culture.

The Posthumanities Hub was first formed as a research group, and later developed into something more. Into a postconventional platform for PhD- and postdoc training, for edited research journals and networks, and for feminist, curiosity- and challenge driven research projects that tap into gender and cultural studies/of science and technology in society (STS), environmental humanities, medical humanities, multispecies humanities and techno-/bio-humanties. All of these activities align various forms of human and more-than-human humanities, and they come together in very inter- if not postdisciplinary constellations between art/arts and science. The various research and communication projects all grapple with various societal challenges.

With her collaborations, Åsberg has attracted over 65 m SEK in research grants from prime research funding bodies such as the European Research Council (ERC), Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council FORMAS, Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (RJ), Royal Swedish Academy (Vitterhetsakademin), the Nordic Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Swedish Ministry of Higher Education, and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA). Åsberg has supervised 14 PhD candidates, and many more MA students in gender studies, science and technology studies, media and cultural studies, environmental humanities and philosophy – areas in where she also teaches courses and gives talks internationally.

She has done research on: the new genetics in the social imaginary of science, popular and visual cultures; laboratory life (biochemistry); knowledge brokering and science (and the humanities) in public; race, gender and adoption in the Netherlands; cultural memory and history in public; popular science, science communication, visual cultures of science, and popular history; Alzheimer’s disease between laboratory and popular culture; feminist environmental humanities and especially environmental health and multispecies relationality; pharmaceutical drugs and how they prescribe subjectivity; toxic embodiment; chemical and military waste and the Baltic Sea; oceanic and coastal humanities; and always investigating the affordances of posthuman ethics and situated knowledges inside a process-ontological world. She has the last decade focused on the development of an environmental posthumanities worthy of the societal challenges of the Anthropocene situation, for instance local waste management and planetary deep time considerations with regard to intra-generational justice. With a queer feminist analytics, Åsberg has zoomed in on human-animal/human-technology/human-ecology relationships in various empirical case studies. For the Swedish-international academic and extra-academic setting, she has pioneered, developed, contributed to and mapped out new or emerging fields such as: environmental humanities, multispecies humanities; citizen humanities and techno-humnities. In Sweden, Åsberg introduced feminist posthumanities and its methodological developments (to science and technology studies, and later, the environmental humanities) at the intersections of humanities and social science, natural sciences, art and social change. Recent work delves into the oceanic and the edges of the sea, coastal futures and a range of gendered and racialized sustainability issues, but also into artificial intelligence (AI) and the artistic imaginary on authorship, face, individuality and identity of contemporary media.

Åsberg is, together with Marietta Radomska, editor of the new book series to fit all of these emerging forms of doing humanities with a social consciousness visavi this implosion of not just “nature” and “culture” but also science, technology, art and society: More-Than-Human Humanities, contracted with Routledge (Taylor & Francis) Focus books.

Åsberg was (2017-2019) Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press); and she was the Pi and Founding Program Director of the Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, the national environmental humanities initiative in Sweden with an international consortium of 13 universities. She was invited into His Majesty King Carl Gustav XVI’s Royal Colloquium (Rethinking Environmental Reality) in 2017. Åsberg has headed Tema Genus (Gender Studies) at Linköping University, and with prof emerita Nina Lykke she was the founding Co-Director of the three-university centre for gender excellence, GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies. She has also been the editor-in-chief of NORA: Journal of Feminist and Gender Research (Routledge:Taylor &Francis) 2010-2012, and she sits on numerous advisory or faculty boards, and evaluation panels for academic service, in Sweden or abroad.

Select Publications

Åsberg, C (2021) “Ecologies and Technologies of Feminist Posthumanities”, in Women’s Studies – An Inter-disciplinary Journal, DOI: 1080/00497878.2021.1983815

Radomska, M. and C. Åsberg. (2021). Fathoming Postnatural Oceans: Towards a Low-Trophic Theory in the Practices of Feminist PosthumanitiesEnvironment and Planning E: Nature and Space. https://doi.org/10.1177/25148486211028542

Åsberg, C and Marietta Radomska (2021) “Environmental violence and postnatural oceans” (2021), in Gender, Violence and Affect: Interpersonal, Institutional and Ideological Practices, (Palgrave), eds Husso, Karkulehto, Saresma, Laitila, Eilola and Siltala. Palgrave

Åsberg, Cecilia (2021) Genus och teknik, kapitel i läromedel (Liber Teknik 1, online läromedel)

Åsberg, C och Nina Wormbs (2021) Etik och teknik, kapitel i läromedel (Liber Teknik)

Olga Cielemęcka and Cecilia Åsberg (2020). „Myślenie planetarne i nowa humanistyka” [Planetary thinking and the new humanities. An Interview with Cecilia Åsberg]. Czas kultury, vol. 2, no. 20, 2020, pp. 30-36. Available at: http://czaskultury.pl/czytanki/myslenie-planetarne-i-nowa-humanistyka)

Åsberg, Cecilia. “A Sea Change in the Environmental Humanities.” Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities 1, no. 1 (2020): 108−22. doi:10.46863/ecocene.2020.12

“Checking in with Deep Time” (2020) with Christina Fredengren, in Deterritorializing the Future (Open Humanities Press), eds Colin Sterling and Rodney Harrison

Åsberg, C., J. Holmstedt and Radomska, M. (2020). “Methodologies of Kelp: Transversal Knowledge Production and Multispecies Ethics in an Age of Entanglement” In: The Kelp Congress, edited by N. Cahoon, H. Mehti and A. Wolfsberger, Svolvær: The North Norwegian Art Centre.

Radomska, M. and C. Åsberg, 2020. “Doing Away with Life: On Biophilosophy, the Non/Living, Toxic Embodiment, and Reimagining Ethics.” In: Berger, K. Mäki-Reinikka, K. O’Reilly & H. Sederholm, eds. Art As We Don’t Know ItHelsinki: Aalto ARTS Books, pp. 54-63.

Radomska, M and C. Åsberg. 2020. Elämästä luopuminen: Biofilosofiasta, epä/elämisestä, toksisesta ruumiillistumisesta ja etiikan uudelleenmuotoilustaNiin & näin [Finnish philosophical magazine] 1/2020, pp. 39-46.

A special issue on toxic embodiment, edited with Olga Cielemecka, in Environmental Humanities (2019), vol 11 (1), and an article introducing the topic.

“Planetary Speculation: Cultivating More-Than-Human Arts”, in Cosmological Arrows. Stockholm: Art and Theory (2019) – a book on the exhibition Kosmologiska Pilar vid Bonniers Konsthall (ed Caroline Klingborg Elgh).

A Feminist Companion to the Posthumanities (2018, Springer), edited with Rosi Braidotti.

“Feminist Posthumanities in the Anthropocene: Forays into the Postnatural” in Journal of Posthuman Studies 2018, vol 1, no 2 2017.

Networks and Memberships

Åsberg heads work in networks, or participates in:

  • Posthumanities Network: Next Genderation – VR funded
  • Posthumanities International Network (PIN) – RJ funded
  • Posthuman Science, in Posthumanism Research Network – funded by the SSHRC (Canada)
  • Feminist posthumanities (Gexcel – including strands on feminist technoscience, media ecologies and feminist environmental humanities) – VR funded
  • EASLC/ SLSA/ ATHENA / NoiSE/ InterGender/SEED BOX and other associations
  • Toxic embodiment, the Seed Box-An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory (Mistra & Formas funded)
  • The University of Würzburg’s Interfaculty Forum for Cultural Environmental and Animal Studies (IFCEAS).
  • Graduate collegium Gender Studies Humboldt University in Berlin
  • New Materialisms Cost Action Network (New materialisms across science and humanities)
  • GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies.
  • The Eco- and Bioart Research Network 
  • Queer Death Studies Network
  • The International Network for Ecocritical and Decolonial Research

Select Publications with Cecilia Åsberg

In total, over 110 publications of which 15 books and edited volumes (anthologies and scholarly journal special issues), 43 peer reviewed papers/articles, 22 peer reviewed book chapters, two translations and five scientific reports. In addition, I have an extensive list of invited talks, key notes and conference papers, some reviewed and some publicly available.

Peer-reviewed Original Articles

Åsberg, Cecilia (2018) “Feminist Posthumanities in the Anthropocene: Forays into the Postnatural”, Journal of Posthuman Studies: Philosophy, Technology, Media, vol 1:2,185-204.

Neimanis, Astrida, Aleksija Neimanis, and Cecilia Åsberg. “Fathoming chemical weapons in the Gotland Deep.”cultural geographies 4 (2017): 631-638.

Lauren LaFauci, Cecilia Åsberg, Christina Fredengren (forthcoming) “Ghosting the Baltic Sea: Chemical Weapons, Multispecies Ethics, and Untimely Entanglements, Environmental Humanities, forthcoming special issue in this journal on Deep Time Hauntings.

Lorenz-Meyer, Dagmar, Åsberg, Cecilia, Fredengren, Christina, Sõrmus, Maris (2016) “Anthropocene Ecologies: Biogeotechnical Relationalities in Late Capitalism.” New Materialism Cost Action 1307 (2016).

Åsberg, Cecilia, Thiele, Kathrin and van der Tuin, Iris (2015) “Speculative before the turn: Re-introducing feminist materialist performativity”, Cultural Studies Review (special issue edited by Milla Tianen, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi, Illona Hongisto).Vol 21, nr 2 Sep 2015, pp 145-172.

Neimanis, Astrida, Cecilia Åsberg, and Johan Hedrén (2015). “Four problems, four directions for environmental humanities: Toward critical posthumanities for the Anthropocene.” Ethics & the Environment1 (2015): 67-97.

Åsberg, Cecilia (2014) “Resilience Is Cyborg: Feminist Clues to a Post-Disciplinary Environmental Humanities of Critique and Creativity” Resilience: Journal of Environmental Humanities 2014:1, 5-7.

Åsberg, Cecilia (2013) “The Timely Ethics of Posthumanist Gender Studies”, feministische studien, invited for special issue Thirty Years of Feminist Studies, nr 1:2013, 7-12.

Books and Edited Volumes

A Feminist Companion to the Posthumanities, edited with Rosi Braidotti, Springer (out 2018)

Animal Places. Lively Cartographies of Human Animal Relations . Jacob Bull, Tora Holmberg, and Cecilia Åsberg (eds). (2017). Routledge: London. In the book series: Routledge’s Multispecies Encounters

Glocal Pharma: International Brands and the Imagination of Local Masculinity, Routledge: Taylor & Francis (out June 2016, also as Open Access), eds. Ericka Johnson, Ebba Sjögren and Cecilia Åsberg

Debates in Nordic Gender Studies: Differences within, edited with Malin Rönnblom, Routledge, Taylor & Francis), 2015.

Toxic Embodiment, special issue in process for Environmental Humanoities (Duke UP), guest edited with Olga Cielemecka, slotted for publication 2019.

Book Chapters

Cecilia Åsberg “Feminist posthumanities”, in The Posthuman Glossary, eds Rosi Braidotti and Marja Hlavajova, Bloomsbury, 2018, pp 157-160.

Cecilia Åsberg (2018) “The Arena of the Body: The Cyborg and Feminist Views on Biology”, 2nd edition, in Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture: A Comprehensive Guide to Gender Studies. Eds Rosemarie Buikema, Liedeke Plate, Kathrin Thiele. London/NY: Routledge.

Astrida Neimanis and Cecilia Åsberg “Bodies of the Now” (2017), in Visions of the Now: Stockholm Festival for Art and Technology, a multi-volume archive box with artistic and scholarly contributions edited by Anna Lundh and Julie Cirelli, Sternberg Press, Berlin. ISBN: 978-3-95679-262-5.

Ericka Johnson and Cecilia Åsberg “Prescribing Relational Subjectivities”, in Gendering Drugs: Feminist Studies of Pharmaceuticals, Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.

Tara Mehrabi and Cecilia Åsberg “Nature in the Lab”, for “Nature” volume of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender, ed. Iris van der Tuin. (2016)

Cecilia Åsberg and Tara Mehrabi 2017 “Model Territories: Choreographies of Lab Animals”, for eds. Tora Holmberg, Jacob Bull and Cecilia Åsberg, Animals and Places.

Astrida Neimanis, Suzi Hayes and Cecilia Åsberg (2015) “Feminist Posthumanist Imaginaries of Climate Change” Edward Elgar Research Handbook of Climate Governance, Eds. Eva Lövbrand and Karin Bäckstrand.

Åsberg, Cecilia (2014) “Imagining Posthumanities, Enlivening Feminisms”, pp-92-101 in Iris van der Tuin and Bolette Blaagaard (eds) The Subject of Rosi Braidotti: Politics and Concepts, Bloomsbury Publishing. (Fall 2014)

Cecilia Åsberg and Astrida Neimanis (2014) “Bodies of the Now” in Visions of the Now II, ed Julie Cirelli and Anna Lundh, Fylkingen: Royal Insitute of Art (Göteborgstryckeriet).

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