Staffan Bergwik, Universitetslektor i idéhistoria

Staffan Bergwik


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Culture and Aesthetics
Telephone 08-16 35 63
Postal address Institutionen för kultur och estetik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in history of science and ideas. My teaching and research deal with the cultural history of the natural sciences in the modern era. Among my interests are questions of science and media in historical perspective, sensory history, scientific emotions, and gender and science.


I teach introductory courses on the cultural history of modern Europe as well as master courses on cultural history, media history and history of science. A particular interest is to teach students to develop their skills in history writing. I have developed several courses on issues of theory and method in cultural history and history of science. The bulk of my teaching is classes for students in the humanities, however I have also taught several courses to students in engineering and the natural sciences on science and technology studies (STS).


My current research deals with a genealogy of visions of the global. By that I mean a history of imagery portraying large sections of earth from high altitudes. I am interested in the prehistory to late modern images of the whole earth created by satellites and other postwar technologies. I am currently working on a research project entitled ”Elevated views: Sven Hedin’s expeditions and the world from above 1900-1935” funded by Riksbankens jubileumsfond (one of two major funding agencies for the humanities and social science in Sweden). The project studies expeditions to Asia by the Swedish geographer Sven Hedin between 1900 and 1935 to explore how he produced mediated sensory experiences of seeing landscape from the mountains in Tibet. Hedin used photographs, handmade panoramas and texts to create sensory regimes opening up landscapes to his own geographical gaze as well as to the millions reading his books. In the 1920s he also contributed to making airplanes into a knowledge making technology. A short presentation of the project can be found here. As part of this research I was also co-organizer of the workshop ”From above: On a scientifically privileged position” arranged at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm in January 2017. Here is a short description of the meeting.

In a previous project I have studied the gendered culture of early twentieth century natural sciences in Sweden. As part of the project, I also explored the history of women as outsiders in science as well as on the family's historical role in scientific activities. The project addressed issues of how we can understand gender, power and informal networks in the history of the natural sciences. Publications from the project include the edited volume Domesticity in the making of modern science (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016) as well as articles published in Isis, Science in Context and Centaurus (see list of publications below). The project also resulted in a monograph in Swedish, entitled Kunskapens osynliga scener: Vetenskapshistorier 1900-1950 (Makadam, 2016).

List of publications:

”Panoramic visions: Sven Hedin in ’Transhimalaya’ 1906-1909”, The power of the In-between: Intermediality as a tool for Aesthetic Analysis and Critical Reflectioneds. Sara Callahan, Magdalena Holdar, Christer Johansson & Sonya Pettersson (Stockholm: Stockholm University Press, 2018).

“Father, Son and the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Otto Pettersson, Hans Pettersson and early twentieth century inheritance of oceanography”, Domesticity in the making of modern science (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015), eds Staffan Bergwik, Don Opitz & Brigitte van Tiggelen

“Introduction: Domesticity and the Historiography of Science”, Domesticity in the making of modern science (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015), eds Staffan Bergwik, Don Opitz & Brigitte van Tiggelen. Samförfattad med Opitz och van Tiggelen

”A Fractured Position in a Stable Partnership: Ebba Hult De Geer, Gerard De Geer and Early Twentieth Century Swedish Geology”, Science in Context, 27: 3, September 2014.

“An Assemblage of Science and Home: The Gendered Lifestyle of Svante Arrhenius and  Early Twentieth Century Physical Chemistry”, Isis, 105: 2, June 2014.

”The Historicity of the Physics Class: Enactments, Mimes and Imitation”, Cultural Studies of Science Education, April 2013.

”Networks, marginality and fractured identities: The history of women in science and feminist science studies”, i Never Mind the Gap! Gendering Science in Transgressive Encounters, Martha Blomqvist & Ester Ehnsmyr (eds) (Uppsala: Center for Gender Research, 2010).

”On the outskirts of physics: Eva von Bahr as an outsider within in early twentieth century Swedish experimental physics”, i Centaurus: An International Journal of the History of Science and its Cultural Aspects, vol 51 (2009), issue 1.

Previously I have also written about science and media in a historical perspective and school science. Between 2013 and 2018 I am affiliated with the research program ”Science and Modernization in Sweden”. See the program website here:

Last updated: September 28, 2018

Bookmark and share Tell a friend