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Cecilia Åsberg                                   

Full Professor and chair of Gender, Nature, Culture

Presently, I work as professor, PhD supervisor, teacher and research leader at Gender Studies (Tema Genus), Linköping University. I am the Founding Program Director and Pi for the Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, the national environmental humanities initiative in Sweden with an international consortium of 13 universities. Also, I head the research group I founded in 2008 The Posthumanities Hub (2008-), and I am founding Co-Director of the three-university centre for gender excellence, GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies. In 2005, I defended the first doctoral dissertation in Gender Studies in Scandinavia - a 417 pp piece on the cultural imaginary of genetics in popular science and science media and I have since further pushed research fields on the entanglements of nature and culture with critical and creative feminist theorizing as my analytical engine of discovery. For instance, medical humanities, cultural science and technology studies, body and cyborg studies, human animal studies, digital and environmental humanities.     

The Posthumanities Hub functions since 2008 as a post-conventional platform for research and doctoral projects, inventive collaborations between art and science, the humanities and society, and a host for visiting scholars invested in feminist theorizing, post-colonial science studies, media and cultural studies, human animal studies, medical-, digital and environmental humanities as these expand the scope and relevance of the (more-than-human) humanities. The Hub was the launching pad, together with the seminar series Green Critical Forum and the GEXcel research strand Feminist Environmental Humanities Across the Arts and Sciences (Feminist Posthumanities), for the Seed Box: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory jointly funded by Mistra and Formas.

My postdisciplinary research in gender studies (on genetics and popular science, nature, embodiment and human-animal relations, history in the present, international adoption and identity formation, pharmaceutical imagery, laboratory life and Alzheimer's Disease, posthuman environmental ethics and the many ways in which we are differentiated, in and of nature and the environment translates into feminist forms of posthumanities that enliven, question and flesh out the human of the humanities.


These web pages are under reconstruction with Linkoping University, but you may  find a WorldPress website for the Posthumanities Hub here.

Research interests:

Gender Studies - especially gender, nature, culture concerns, popular science, the cultural imaginaries of the new biology, popular pharmaceuticals and the environmental imaginary, cultural and feminist materialist theory, body studies, the ontological turns and twists of the (post-)humanities, new materialisms, environmental humanities, medical humanities, Human Animal Studies, transcorporeality, material-semiotics, Technoscience Studies (STS), medical sociology, Visual Culture, Media and Cultural Studies, Science and Literature Studies, arts and sciences, vulnerable and performative natures and the cultural processes of naturalisation, postcolonial theory, ageing, dementia and the politics of Alzheimer's disease as indexical to the human condition of today; the cultures, subjects and knowledge practices within neuroscience, biochemistry, zoology and biology, science fiction, popular science litterature, and many other forms of creative and critical exploration.

On Feminist Posthumanities: Enlivening the humanities with critical corporeality, bio-curiosity, lively science, feminist creativity and environmental effervescence.  

Within the setting of my postconventional research group (it's not conventional to have collaborative research teams in the solipcistic humanities) in posthumanist gender studies (The Posthumanities Hub), I welcome scholarly exchanges and encounters that expand our knowledges on the human condition as today entangled with urgent concerns of health, age, embodiment, gender, biology, technology, the environment, animals and other lively forces we all "become with" (Donna Harway) or are shaped by. Posthumanities, in all forms (cultural studies, human animal studies, environmental history, feminist science studies), move us outside the comfort zones of "pure culture" and the presumed neutrality of "the human" (devoid of body, environmental embeddedness, sexual difference or animal affinity).  As a transdisciplinary portmanteau term for new forms of critical and creative humanities research (such as medical, digital and environmental humanities and how they continue and swerve in the traditions of feminist science studies, postcolonial theory, eco-critique, cultural studies), I regard the posthumanities as an engine of feminist discovery and scholarly collaborations across (inter)disciplines.

Feminist posthumanities means to me the theory-practice of engaging respectfully with the co-constitutive relationships we live and die by in an always more-than-human world.     

Guided by the challenges and multiple methodologies of interdisciplinary cultural scholarship and advanced feminist theory, I benefit from my cross-disciplinary background from within and across the Humanities (in History, Literature, Philosophy, Art and Visual Culture, including Media and Cultural Studies and especially, what was at that time called Women's Studies). However, as a bio-curious feminist scholar, I have for many years now devoted my research to the cultures and natures, objects and subjects, the histories and potential futures of especially (but not exclusively) the natural sciences. (My doctoral dissertation was for instance on the emergence of the popular genetic imaginary in popular science media, edutainment and science communication in the decades when we learned about the human genome project, DNA, Dolly the cloned sheep, ancestral diversity, and Kaguya, the fatherless mouse.) Such endevours goes to the core of Gender Studies and its troubled sex-gender distinction. Informed by a posthumanist ethics of the encounter I want to bring the humanities and natural sciences in critical conversation with each other across physical and cultural topics such as the environment, human-animal relations, Alzheimer's Disease, and pharmaceutical development. In my research, I am intersted in what (and who) gets to count as "natural" in the natural sciences as well as "human" in the humanities, but also in what counts as human or "humanized" in the natural sciences and natural, "feminized" or "animalized" in the humanities. Regardless of my interest in new materialisms, I am also now deeply committed to the creative and critical potential in thinking with the prefix "post" as not just "after", but fundamentally inclusive of what came before, and how such dis/continuities (see Karen Barad) changes things. After all, the creative and critical salience of gender studies lies in how it deals with the constitutive relationships of change and continuity.

Feminist posthumanities engenders a rethinking of taken-for-granted foundations and propells us outside our scholarly comfort zones. That's what tickles me.

Recent invited talks

Hacking the Anthropocene, April 2016, University of Sydney, Australia

Goteborg's Vetenskapsfestival, the International Science Festival of Gothenburg, expert with three panels, April 2016 

Challenges for the Environmental Humanities, Department of Culture and Communication, May 2016

Royal Colloquium 21-23 May 2016 at Rosersberg's Palace: Re-thinking Environmental Reality  

Recent publications

(select environmental humanities, cultural studies of science, posthuman ethics and other forms of feminist posthumanities):
















Name: Cecilia Åsberg
Position: Professor (Chair of Gender, nature, culture)
Titles: Docent, PhD, MA
Department: TEMA - Department of Thematic Studies: Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (Tema Genus
Functions: LiU Research Professor, Director the Posthumanities Hub, Co-Director GEXcel International Collegium


Ph: +46 13 28 66 90
Fax: +46 13 133630
E-mail: cecilia.asberg@liu.se

Gender Studies (Tema Genus)
TEMA - Department of Thematic Studies
Linköping University
SE – 581 83 Linköping



 Meet Cecilia Åsberg 

- as member of LiU's Staff

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Page manager: cecilia.asberg@liu.se
Last updated: Wed Aug 23 14:36:48 CEST 2017