Bio


Gabrielle Hecht is Frank Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security at Stanford University, where she is appointed in the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Department of History. She is also Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, and affiliated with the Center for African Studies, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and the Program in Modern Thought and Literature. Before returning to Stanford in 2017, Hecht taught at the University of Michigan for over 18 years, where she served as Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, associate director of the University of Michigan’s African Studies Center, and in other posts. She remains an active participant in UM’s collaborative project with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (South Africa) on Joining Theory and Empiricism in the remaking of the African Humanities.

Hecht has written two award-winning books about nuclear things. Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade (2012) offers new perspectives on the global nuclear order. An abridged version appeared in French as Uranium Africain, une histoire globale (Le Seuil 2016). Hecht’s first book, The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity (1998 & 2009; French editions 2004 & 2014), explores how the French embedded nuclear policy in reactor technology. She is currently writing a series of essays on radioactive and other forms of waste, tentatively titled Toxic Tales from the African Anthropocene.

Gabrielle Hecht holds a PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1992), and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT (1986). She’s been a visiting scholar in universities in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. Hecht’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the South African and Dutch national research foundations, among others. She serves on several advisory boards, including for the Andra, France’s national radioactive waste management agency.

Academic Appointments


Program Affiliations


  • Modern Thought and Literature
  • Science, Technology and Society

2018-19 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Residue Somatosphere Hecht, G. 2018
  • Uranium Africain, une histoire globale Hecht, G. Editions du Seuil. 2016
  • AHR Conversation History after the End of History: Reconceptualizing the Twentieth Century AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW Goswami, M., Hecht, G., Khalid, A., Krylova, A., Thompson, E. F., Zatlin, J. R., Zimmerman, A. 2016
  • Does Africa Really Want Yesterday's Future The African Technopolitan Hecht, G. 2015
  • Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade Hecht, G. MIT Press. 2014
  • Radioactive Excess: Modernization as Spectacle and Betrayal in Postcolonial Gabon Modernization as Spectacle in Africa Hecht, G., Manuh, T. edited by Bloom, P. J., Miescher , S. F. 2014
  • Nuclear Janitors: Contract Workers at the Fukushima Reactors and Beyond The Asia-Pacific Journal Hecht, G. 2013; 11 (1)
  • The Work of Invisibility: Radiation Hazards and Occupational Health in South African Uranium Production INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND WORKING-CLASS HISTORY Hecht, G. 2012: 94-113
  • An elemental force: Uranium production in Africa, and what it means to be nuclear BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS Hecht, G. 2012; 68 (2): 22-33
  • Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War edited by Hecht, G. MIT Press. 2011
  • History and the Technopolitics of Identity: The Case of Apartheid South Africa JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN STUDIES Edwards, P. N., Hecht, G. 2010; 36 (3): 619-639
  • History and the Technopolitics of Identity: The Case of Apartheid South Africa Journal of Southern African Studies Edwards, P., Hecht , G. 2010; 36 (3)
  • The Technopolitics of Cold War: Through a Transregional Perspective Essays on Twentieth-Century History Hecht, G., Edwards, P. 2010
  • HOPES FOR THE RADIATED BODY: URANIUM MINERS AND TRANSNATIONAL TECHNOPOLITICS IN NAMIBIA JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY Hecht, G. 2010; 51 (2): 213-234
  • Africa and the Nuclear World: Labor, Occupational Health, and the Transnational Production of Uranium COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN SOCIETY AND HISTORY Hecht, G. 2009; 51 (4): 896-926
  • The Radiance of France, New Edition: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II Hecht, G. MIT Press. 2009
  • Le Rayonnement de la France: énergie nucléaire et identité nationale après la Seconde Guerre mondiale Hecht, G. MIT Press. 2009
  • A Cosmogram for Nuclear Things Isis Hecht, G. 2007; 98: 100-108
  • Negotiating Global Nuclearities: Apartheid, Decolonization, and the Cold War in the Making of the IAEA Osiris Hecht, G. 2006; 21 (1): 25-48
  • Nuclear Ontologies Constellations Hecht, G. 2006; 13 (3)
  • Globalization meets frankenstein? Reflections on terrorism, nuclearity, and global technopolitical discourse History and Technology Hecht, G. 2003; 19 (1)
  • Rupture-Talk in the Nuclear Age: Conjugating Colonial Power in Africa Social Studies of Science Hecht , G. 2002; 32 (5-6): 691–727
  • Technology, Politics, and National Identity in France Technologies of Power: Essays in Honor of Thomas Parke Hughes and Agatha Chipley Hughes Hecht, G. edited by Allen, M. T. 2001