Benjamin Steininger is a cultural and media theorist, historian of science and technology, and curator. He wrote a book on the history of the German motorway system and a dissertation on the industrial history of catalysis in the 20th century. In 2016/2017 he is teaching at the University of Linz (AT) and at the Leuphana University Lüneburg (DE).
His main research fields are the cultural history of energy and acceleration, and the industrial history and theory of the materials of modernity and of the so called anthropocene: fuels and refined fossil raw materials, building materials (full list of publications: see external link).
At the HU Berlin he studied cultural sciences, media theory and philosophy (supervisor of his master thesis: Prof. Friedrich Kittler). At the University of Vienna he finished his doctorate in history and philosophy of science (supervisor: Prof. Claus Pias). He held scholarships at the Deutsches Museum Munich (2006), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (2006/2007), University of Vienna (2007-2009), IFK International Research Center for Cultural Studies (2009/2010), the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin (2010/2011), University of Applied Arts in Vienna (2013/2014). He was also involved in the Anthropocene Project at the HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), Berlin.
From 2012 to 2016 he was directing a digital collection and exhibition project on the subject of 100 years of the oil industry in Austria (www.rohstoff-geschichte.at, cooperation partners: The Geological Survey of Austria (GBA), OMV AG, RAG, Vienna Technical Museum, University of Vienna, TU Vienna). As a curator, he is working in several contexts on a retrospect on the age of fossil industry and culture.
Benjamin’s current work at the MPIWG deals with the industrial history of energy transformations and in particular with the technicality of chemical energy storage. He was curating and coordinating the colaborative symposium 'Energy Transformations. Perspectives from the Humanities' (17.-18.1.2017) held by MPIWG and MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion at the Harnack Haus of the MPG. He is also a member of the Anthropocene Working Group in Departement 1.