A Luskin Endowment for Thought Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the Departments of Classics and English, UCLA. May 19th – 20th, UCLA.

Organizers: Louise Hornby (English) & Alex Purves (Classics)

Keynote Speaker: John Durham Peters, María Rosa Menocal Professor of English and of Film & Media Studies, Yale University.

Confirmed Speakers/Participants
Margareta Ingrid Christian, University of Chicago
Katharine Earnshaw, University of Exeter
Louise Hornby, UCLA
Hsuan Hsu, UC Davis
Eleanor Kaufman, UCLA
John Durham Peters, Yale University
Justine Pizzo, University of Southampton
Verity Platt, Cornell University
Alex Purves, UCLA
Mario Telò, UC Berkeley
Ben Tran, Vanderbilt
Victoria Wohl, University of Toronto
Dora Zhang, UC Berkeley

Recent work across a range of fields in the humanities and arts, as well as in environmental, media and digital studies, has paid increasing attention to the role of the elements in shaping our experience and understanding of the world. This conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines who are seeking to redefine the role of air, atmosphere, and the weather in traditionally non-scientific media (predominantly poetry, writing, music, photography, and film). The topic invites discussion of the mutability of weather as an invisible ontology (and marker of climate change) as well as discussions of atmosphere (whose porous and unfinished nature embraces a broad range of entities, from modes of knowing and feeling, to the stuff we breathe, to outer space). In each of these cases, air’s mediating possibilities across fields, materials, and periods are especially rich for collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

Our conference seeks fruitful points of contact between two colleagues in English and Classics at UCLA, who both work on air and the elements, joining with scholars from media studies, music and environmental humanities, for a multifaceted discussion of a common object.

More information on the conference will appear shortly, including links to register. The conference will be on site only. Please send any enquiries to purves@g.ucla.edu