David Nye

David Nye

Campusvej 55

5230 Odense M


Phone: 65503132

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David E. Nye is Professor of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the author or editor of 22 books. Two of his books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the only person who has won all three of the higest awards given by the Society for the History of Technology: The Dexter Book Prize (1993), The Sally Hacker Book Prize (2009), and the Leonard da Vinci Medal (2005). He has been in Denmark since 1982, with time off for good behavior.


DAVID EDWIN NYE, FULL PROFESSOR, HISTORY                                            BORN, BOSTON, 1946
CENTER FOR AMERICAN STUDIES                                                                    US CITIZEN
ODENSE 5230 DENMARK (45) 6550 3132

B.A. American Studies, cum laude, Amherst College, 1968
M.A. American Studies, University of Minnesota, 1971
Ph.D. American Studies, University of Minnesota, 1974

Leonard da Vinci Medal, Society for the History of Technology, 2005
Sally Hacker Book Prize, 2009
Elected permanent by-fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge University, 1999
The Dexter Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 1993
Able Wolman Book Award, American Public Works Association, 1991
Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by MIT Press, 1998 & 2003


Visiting Professor, Warwick University, UK, 2005-2006
Welch Visiting Professor, American Studies, Notre Dame [USA], winter, 2003
Carlsberg Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge University, fall 1999
Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, Leeds University, spring 1998
Center for Mankind and Nature, Danish Research Council, 1996
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Research Fellowship, 1991-1992
American Council of Learned Societies, Research Fellowship, 1986
Visiting Scholar, History of Science, Harvard University, 1981-1982
National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, 1981-1982
Fulbright Lecturer, Oviedo University, Spain, 1977-1978

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: Society for the History of Technology [Executive Committee, 2000-2003], American Studies Association, European Association of American Studies, Nordic Association for American Studies


  1. When the Lights Went Out: A History of American Blackouts. (MIT Press, March, 2010)
  2. Technology Matters: Questions to Live With. MIT Press, 2006. Paper, 2007. Trans. to French & German.
  3. Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings. MIT Press, 2003 [Review-New York Times, 31.5.04] paper, 2004.
  4. Consuming Power: A Cultural History of American Energies. MIT Press, 1998, paper, 1999.
  5. Narratives and Spaces: Technology and the Construction of American Culture. Exeter University Press & Columbia University Press, 1997, paper, 1998.
  6. American Technological Sublime. MIT Press, 1994 [review in Nature, 4.13.95]. Paper, 1995
  7. Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. MIT Press, 1990. [New York Times Sunday Book Review, 9.15.1991]. Notable Book of 1991. Paper, 1992.
  8. Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985. [Review, The Nation, 13.9.86] Japanese edition, Kyushu University Press, 1997.
  9. The Invented Self: An Anti-biography of Thomas A. Edison.  University of Southern Denmark Press, 1983. [Review, American Quarterly, 1985]
  10. A History of the Youth Conservation Corps. Washington: U. S. Gov. Printing Office, 1981.
  11. Henry Ford: Ignorant Idealist. (revised doctoral dissertation) New York: Kennikat Press, 1979. [Reviewed in American Historical Review, October, 1980].


  1. Technologies of Landscape: Reaping to Recycling, Massachusetts U Press, 2000, 292 pp.
  2. A Catalogue of the General Electric Photographic Archives, 1890-1940. New York: General Electric Co., 1981, 175 pp + 200 illustrations. 2nd edition, 1998.


  1. Technologie & Civilisation: 10 questions fondamentales liées aux technologies. Paris: Fyp éditions, 2008. 223 s.
  2. In der Technikwelt leben: Vom natürlichen Werkzeug Alltagskultur. Berlin & Heidelberg: Spektrum Akademisk Verlag, 2007.315 s
  3. Beyond the Crisis in American Studies: Scandinavian Perspectives, ed. Odense: SDU Forlag, 2007
  4. The American Century: A Chronology and Outline (with Thomas Johansen) Odense: SDU Forlag, 2007
  5. Contemporary American Society. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1st ed. 1990; 7th edition, 2009, 285 pp.
  6. American Photographs in Europe, 1840-1990. (15 essays, ed. with Mick Gidley) Free University of Amsterdam Press, 1994. 281 pp.
  7. Consumption and American Culture. (14 essays, ed. with Carl Pedersen) Free University of Amsterdam Press, 1990. 239 pp.
  8. American Studies: A Source Book. (with Niels Thorsen and Carl Pedersen) Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1989. 257 pp.
  9. American Studies in Transition (14 essays, ed., with Christian Kold Thomsen). Odense: Odense University Press, 1985, 324 pp.


  1. "Architecture of the Night," Architecture Bulletin. 2007; 1:3, Spring. Rotterdam, Holland: s. 1-7
  2. "Are Blackouts Landscapes?" American Studies in Scandinavia. 2007 (39:2), December. s. 72-84
  3. "Technology and the Production of Difference." American Quarterly. 2006 ; 58:3, september. s. 597-618
  4. "Prize Acceptance Speech, Leonardo da Vinci Medal," Technology and Culture. 47:1 (2006)
  5. "Why Technology Matters," Historically Speaking, 7:6 (August, 2006), 14-16
  6. "Electricity and Culture: Conceptualizing the American Case," in Annales historiques de l’électricité, 2005, 125-138.
  7. "Technology, Nature, and American Origin Stories," Environmental History 6:1 (2003), 8-25.
  8. "Technology and Cultural Difference,” American Studies in Scandinavia 29:2,127-144
  9. "Path Insistence: Comparing European and American Attitudes Toward Energy," Journal of International Affairs 53:1 (Fall, 1999), 129-148.
  10. "A Moment of Synthesis: Recent Textbooks in the History of Technology" Technology and Culture 39:2 (April, 1998), 292-299.
  11. "Shaping Communication Networks: Telegraph, Telephone, Computer," in Social Research 64:3 (1997), 1067-1092.
  12. "The Sublime Lift-off at Cape Kennedy," Ethics and Aesthetics: The Moral Turn of Postmodernism, eds. Gerhard Hoffmann, Alfred Hornung. Heidelberg: Universietsverlag C. Winter, 1996, 343-360.
  13. "Don't Fly Us to the Moon: The American Public and the Apollo Program," Foundation 66 (Spring, 1996), 69-81.
  14. "Yesterday's Ritual Tomorrows: The New York World's Fair of 1939," Anthropology and History, Fall, 1992


  1. "Introduction." The World Beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe. Columbus, Ohio : Ohio University Press, 2008.
  2. "The Cultural and Historic Roots of American Icons," Icons: Magnets of Meaning, Aaron Betsky, ed., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1997, 92-112.
  3. “Critics of Technology,” in A Companion to American Technology, Carroll Pursell, ed., Blackwell, 2005.
  4. “The Sublime and the Skyline, ” in The American Skyscraper: Cultural Histories, Roberta Moudry, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2005, 255-270.
  5. “Technological Prediction: A Promethean Problem”, in Marita Sturken, Douglas Thomas and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, eds. Technological Visions: The Hopes and Fears that Shape New Technologies. Temple University Press, 2004,159-176.
  6. “Visualizing Eternity: Photographic Constructions of the Grand Canyon,” Joan M. Schwartz and James R Ryan, eds., Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination, London: I. B. Taurus, 2003, 74-96
  7. "Postmodernism and the Computer Society," Affirmation and Negation in Contemporary American Culture, eds. Gerhard Hoffmann, Alfred Hornung. Heidelberg: Universietsverlag, Winter, 1994, 313-328.

American Studies, Theory and Methods
Introduction to American Studies
Topics in the History of Technology
Topics in American Culture
Leaving the Land: Rural America 1600-2000
From Virgin Land to Cyberspace
Inventing Mass Culture, 1880-1930

Disaster Culture
Survey of American History
History of American Technology
Time, Work, and Leisure
Mark Twain's America
The City in American Culture
Contemporary American Society

Danish Fulbright Board & Fulbright Scholarship Committee, 1987-1997
Chair, Center for American Studies, Odense, 1992-1997, 2000, 2003-2004, 2007
Executive Board, Society for the History of Technology, 2001-2004
IEEE Prize Committee, Society for the History of Technology, 1991-1994
The Executive Board, H-AMSTDY (Internet discussion group), 1994-1996
President, Danish American Studies Association, 1992-94
Vice-President, Nordic American Studies Association, 1992-1995
Danish Inter-university censor corps, Denmark, 1992-1997
Member of American Studies Associations: ASA, DAAS, EAAS, & NAAS
Board Member, Photography Museum, Brandts, 2001-2004
Executive Board, Nordic American Studies Association, 1987-1989, 1992-1996
Editorial Board, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1987-1991
Editorial Board, American Studies, 1993-1997
Co-Editor, with Carl Pedersen, American Studies in Scandinavia, 1996-2003
Editorial Board, Journal of American History, 2000 –
Chair, Editorial Board, American Studies in Scandinavia, 2004-
Editorial Board, University of Pennsylvania Press, Space. Technology and Architecture, 2006-
Editorial Board, University of Massachusetts Press Technology Series: 2008 -


Yale University Press, Chicago University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, MIT Press, Oxford University Press, etc.



Forthcoming articles

More than 75 book reviews

Most European articles

All encyclopedia contributions

More than 100 invited lectures

Conference organizing

Administrative work

All TV and radio interviews

All newspaper articles

All publications in Danish