Conferences & lectures

ATMOSPHERES: Atmosphere and Circumstance

Friday, November 20, 2020
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Derek P. McCormack (Cultural Geography, Oxford University, UK)


This event is free




Allison Peacock



CISSC ATMOSPHERES virtual lecture series

Given the circumstances. Under the circumstances. In light of the circumstances. Despite the circumstances. If circumstances allow. Such familiar, unremarkable terms are used frequently (but not exclusively) to denote presents tensed by conditions of varying degrees of crisis and disruption. This presentation considers the relation between these senses of circumstance and the concept of atmosphere. It takes as its point of departure the fact that both terms gesture towards some form of influential ‘surround.'

It then speculates about a series of questions including the following: How are circumstances accounted for in atmospheric terms? What does it mean to offer a circumstantial account of atmospheres? How do concepts of circumstance and the circumstantial participate in the political atmospheres of the present?

About Derek McCormack

Derek McCormack is Professor of Cultural Geography in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He has written about non-representational theories, atmospheres, and, more recently, the elements. He is the author of Refrains For Moving Bodies: Experience and Experiment in Affective Spaces (2014) and Atmospheric Things: On the Allure of Elemental Envelopment (2018), both published by Duke University Press.

All lectures and ensuing discussions will be live on zoom at the designated hour and last about 90 minutes.

Please write to Allison Peacock to register (include ATMOSPHERES in the subject line). You will be sent a zoom link by return email.

This Virtual Lecture series is curated by David Howes, the outgoing director of CISSC. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the CISSC Gardens, Sensing Atmospheres, and Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) Working Groups.

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