Centre d'études des mondes russe,

caucasien et centre-européen


Anna Åberg

Visiting fellow 2014-2015


During the academic year of 2014-2015, Anna Åberg is affiliated to the Centre d'Études des Mondes Russe, Caucausien et Centre-Européen (CERCEC) at EHESS in Paris. Her stay is financed by the Fondation Maison des Science de l'Homme through the Fernand Braudel post-doctoral fellowship.

Her project, "Planning for Endless Energy: Soviet fusion technology in research and policy", concerns the development of fusion technology in the Soviet Union and Russia, and the creation and use of the persistent narrative of fusion technology as an endless power source.

Anna obtained her PhD in 2013 at the Division for the History of Science, Technology and Environment at The Royal Institute of technology in Stockholm.

Her thesis, "A Gap in the Grid. Attempts to introduce natural gas in Sweden 1967-1991", explores the role of natural gas in late 20th century Sweden. Anna followed negotiations between Sweden, and Denmark, Finland, the Soviet Union and Norway and studied how transnational energy infrastructures are developed through these negotiations.

Her particular topics of interest are energy history, visions of future energy development and the transnational integration of infrasystems. She further has a research interest in the history of popular cultural visions of present and future technology, especially their connection to public opinion and decision-making through science commmunication.

At the moment, she is involved in several projects that have a common thread in research communication and the narratives and imaginative strategies used by different actors to promote, criticize and interpret technological research and climate change. This interest in science communication is further reflected in Annas work on outreach projects such as the organisation of a film festival and  public seminar series, as well as ongoing collaborations with museums regarding their education programs and exhibition development.

In April 2014 Anna was the head organiser of the combined film festival and conference Tales from Planet Earth held in Stockholm, as a cooperation between the newly created KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory and the Center for Culture, History and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin. The goal of this event was to bring researchers and film makers together and share experiences of how to disseminate research results and engage new audiences, while also allowing scholars to engage with the public in practice, and thus contribute to the public debate. The EHL envisioned the combination of a conference and a film festival not only as a way of popularizing environmental knowledge, but actually also as a way to reflect about the creation of environmental knowledge through different mediums and languages.

Anna has worked as a seminar leader and course assistant on many of the courses held by the division, for example Media between technology and culture, Industrial history, Gender and Technology and Swedish Society. She also taught and developed the courses Energy and geopolitics (together with Arne Kaijser and Per Högselius) and Science goes Fiction.

As a member of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), Anna has been a part of the creation of a special interest group within the society (Exploring Diversity in Technology History, EDITH) aimed at incorporating the insights of the expanding fields of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability –into the scholarship of the history of technology, and to provide an intellectual home within SHOT to a broad range of scholars.

Anna is a part of the network Tensions of Europe, and from 2007 to 2010 she was affiliated to one of the ToE international research projects: "Europe Goes Critical: The Emergence and Governance of Critical European Infrastructures" financed by the ESF. This project studied transnational European infrastructures, with focus on risk management, vulnerability and mutual dependence. Anna has been a visiting researcher at the HASTS-program at MIT in Boston, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Anna is currently a member of the Swedish National Committee for the History of Science and Technology.