John Durham Peters

Nicholas Mangan, Ancient lights (Brilliant Errors), 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Labor, Mexico City.

Sat, Feb 17, 2018

Swift Hall, Third floor
1025 E 58th St

We tend to treat media like immersive environments, as exemplified by the internet, our smartphones, and the invisible proliferation of “the cloud.” If media seem to act like nature, can we look at nature as media? John Durham Peters explores this inversion in his 2015 book The Marvelous Clouds, as it becomes hard to tell where media end and the elements begins. In his current research, Peters looks closely at the weather as a compelling case in the study of human-nature interaction.

This talk marks the opening of Unthought Environments.

John Durham Peters is María Rosa Menocal of English and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Yale University. He is an interdisciplinary media historian and theorist with allied interests in cultural and intellectual history, anthropology, religious studies, philosophy, sound studies, and the history of science and technology. He received a BA and MA from Utah and a PhD from Stanford. He arrived at Yale in 2017 after three decades in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (1999), Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and Liberal Tradition (2005), and The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (2015), all from the University of Chicago Press, a co-editor of two volumes, and author of over a hundred articles, essays, chapters, and reviews.

Co-sponsored by the Art, Culture & Science Initiative at the University of Chicago.