May 1 - May 5, 2017
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM each day
602 Cathedral of Learning
Each spring term, the Humanities Center brings one scholar to campus to host the Faculty Seminar, a five-day intensive event featuring advanced readings or film screenings and revolving a particular topic of wide interest that cuts across departments and disciplines.
Our time is characterized by a double overload: of carbon and of information. Climate change and big data, in other words, are two existential horizons of our moment. Media studies has the challenge to consider these two things together. In this seminar, I propose to look at the ways that media monitor, capture, document, model—figuring out the right verbs is part of the problem—fluid, dynamic, and elusive entities such as weather, climate, opinion, votes, sounds and clouds. Of equal interest is how media fail to model such processes. The seminar will explore the tension between the nebulous and the recorded in a variety of domains such as clouds, religion, breathing, digital media, and sounds. The question of time and its mediation will naturally recur throughout the discussion.
John Durham Peters, Professor of English and Film and Media Studies at Yale University, was previously the A. Craig Baird Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, where he taught for 30 years. An intellectual historian and philosopher of media and communication, Professor Peters has published books and essays on such varied topics as the history of communication research, the philosophy of technology, pragmatism, the public sphere, and media and religion. His first book, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1999. The winner of the James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address from the National Communication Association, Speaking into the Air has been translated into eight different languages and earned Professor Peters wide recognition as an intellectual and cultural historian. His second book, Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2005. His most recent book, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media, which explores a range of media infrastructures—from television transmitters to the sun—was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015.
If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please RSVP to the Humanities Center to confirm. Although all are welcome, these seminars have filled in the past, so an early confirmation is recommended to help guarantee your space in the seminar. We will hold a series of preparatory discussions through the spring term to begin conversation on its topics. Please address questions about the seminar to Brent Malin, the center’s Associate Director.
In conjunction with the seminar, on Tuesday, May 2nd, John Durham Peters will give a public lecture entitled “Projection and Protection: On the Deep Optical and Ballistical Intersections of Screens” from 5:00 - 7:00 PM in 501 Cathedral of Learning.