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. 


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

9.15–9.30 Introduction


John Durham Peters: “Weather as a Media Problem”




Anders Ekström: ”Thinking media in the expansion of time”


Nina Wormbs: ”Media and environing technologies”


Jesper Olsson: ”Bad trout rising: Literature and general ecology”


Lunch break


Sverker Sörlin


Anne Gjelsvik: ”How to cope with whateverness in our mediated situation”




Jørgen Bruhn: ”The Anthropocene as mediated fact”


Concluding Discussion

Organising committee

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

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