Panel conference: Philosophies and Histories of Media

An interdisciplinary panel conference featuring a keynote lecture by professor John Durham Peters on “Weather as a Media Problem” and critical interventions into the field by invited scholars from Media studies and Environmental humanities.

An interdisciplinary panel conference featuring a keynote lecture by professor John Durham Peters on “Weather as a Media Problem” and critical interventions into the field by invited scholars from Media studies and Environmental humanities.

John Durham Peters, professor of Communication Studies at Yale University, is visiting the Department of Culture and Aesthetics in June 2017. 

About the conference

The panel conference features a keynote lecture by John Durham Peters on “Weather as a Media Problem” and critical interventions by invited Nordic scholars from Media studies and Environmental humanities to achieve a productive dialogue around the current state of research in these intersecting fields. Panelists will give shorter presentations followed by roundtable discussion on issues like media, nature and the environment.

Abstract "Weather as a Media Problem"

On its face, weather sounds like the most banal and mundane thing possible.  When people talk about the weather, we usually take that as a sign of nothing to talk about, of intellectual emptiness.  This talk aims to show that this is hardly the case in the age of climate change, and even dangerous. The history of human interaction with weather is also a history of cultural techniques and media technologies. Dramatists and divines have sought meaning from atmospheric events. Reading the skies is one paradigm case of human-nature interaction, and studying weather can stand in as part for whole as an inquiry into the environments humans have made or unmade. The history of modern weather forecasting is also a history of the militarization of the sky and oceans, and is co-extensive with the history of modern telecommunications and computation. Weather raises two questions of profound interest to recent media theory: how mundane infrastructures are full of meaning and how vaporous or evanescent entities can be tracked, recorded, and programmed. In this way, studying the weather is a special case in media theory’s more general study of how media help constitute the world. 

Panelists

John Durham Peters, Yale University
Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology
Nina Wormbs, Royal Institute of Technology
Jesper Olsson, Linköping University
Jørgen Bruhn, Linnaeus University
Anders Ekström, Uppsala University
Anne Gjelsvik, University of Trondheim

Prospective schedule

09.00–09.15 Coffe
09.15–09.30 Introduction                                        
09.30–10.30 John Durham Peters: ”Weather as a Media Problem”
10.30–11.00 Anders Ekström
11.00–11.30 Nina Wormbs
11.30–12.30 Lunch
12.30–13.00 Jesper Olsson
13.00–13.30 Sverker Sörlin
13.30–14.00 Anne Gjelsvik
14.00–14.30 Coffee
14.30–15.00 Jørgen Bruhn
15.00–15.30 Concluding Discussion

Organising committee

Staffan Bergwik, Henrik Christensen, Johan Fredrikzon, Thomas Götselius, Christer Johansson, Charlotta Palmstierna Einarsson, Sonya Petersson, Aleksei Semenenko, Adam Wickberg Månsson.

For more information, please contact: christer.johansson@littvet.su.se.

Published May 18, 2017 6:58 PM - Last modified Apr. 1, 2020 12:42 PM