profile picture of historian Mats Fridlund

Mats Fridlund

Visiting Scholar (Sep 2018-Dez 2019)

PhD, Associate Professor, Aalto University

Mats Fridlund is a historian of science, technology and industrialization with a PhD from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, 1999. He has held positions at various universities such as the University of Manchester, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Imperial College London, Northwestern University, University of Copenhagen, University of Gothenburg and Aalto University. In 2006, he was appointed to the first tenured history of technology professorship in Denmark; in 2013, to Finland’s first professorial position in the history of industrialization.

At the MPIWG, he is working on his next book project The Uses and Abuses of Things which uses historical case studies to develop artifact-focused concepts of technology-in-use. Overall, his research focuses on the cultural and political history of technology and materiality; it evolved from the history of electric power technologies and engineering as presented in his award-winning Swedish monograph The Mutual Development: The State, Big Industry and the Collaboration on the Swedish Electric Power Technology (1999) to his current research program examining the role of technology in the emergence and globalization of terrorism since the nineteenth century, as outlined in the History & Technology article “Bollards, Buckets and Bombs” (2011) and the chapter “Affording Terrorism” in the anthology Terrorism and Affordance (2012). Since 2012, he has worked on institutionalizing digital humanities in Nordic countries and currently leads two Kone Foundation research projects to strengthen digital history in Finland.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

The Uses and Abuses of Things: Reconceptualizing Technology-in-use within the History of Technology


Past Events

Digital Humanities Workshop

Digital History 1.5


Of Materiality and Minds: Provocations in the History of Science Across Environments


Pathfinders: Diverse Careers to and through the History of Science

Digital Humanities Workshop

Digital History 1.5: Historical Practice between Normal and Paradigmatic Digital Science


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Trawling for Terrorisms: Using semiautomatic digital history methods to study terrorism’s emergence, 1848-1914

University of Helsinki, Finland:

10th Annual Conference on 19th-Century Research

Cloudy Sightings of Qing Things: A Digital History 1.5 Investigation of Finnish Representations of Imperial China’s Technology and Industry

Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PRC:

2nd International Workshop on Nordic-Chinese Relations in History of Science, Technology and Industry

Digital History 1.5: Semi-automatic Research between Domesticated & Paradigmatic Digital History

University of Turku, Turku, Finland:

National Finnish Conference of History Research 2017

Course Perspectives on Industrial & Technological Change

Aalto University, School of Engineering, Finland:

MSc Program in Mechanical Engineering

Course Science, Technology and Media in the History of Global Terrorism

Aalto University, School of Engineering, Finland:

MSc Program in Mechanical Engineering