John Durham Peters: Environments as Media

November 13, 2018
Lisa Weighton

What does a tree have in common with a tablet or a computer with a cloud?

You might be thinking these things couldn’t be more different. Not so, says John Durham Peters, a renowned communications scholar and Maria Rosa Menocal Professor of English and of Film and Media Studies at Yale University

Peters will present a guest lecture, Environments as Media, Nov. 20, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m. on the Grant Building Quarterdeck at Royal Roads University. 

Hosted by Royal Roads School of Communication and Culture in partnership with the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, Peters will speak on the similarities between modern media and the environment.

“The basic idea is that we can apply the ways we have learned to think about media—as contexts essential for life, powerful, biased, full of meaning at superficial and deep levels—to our natural environments,” Peters says.

His presentation is based on his 2016 book, The Marvelous Clouds, which argues that the natural and technological worlds are more alike than dissimilar.

Until recently, Peters says media pointed to contexts outside our contemporary understanding.

“If you asked anyone before about 1900 about media, they would assume you are talking about natural contexts such as air, water, minerals and electricity,” he says.

The public is welcome to attend the free lecture or join the conversation on Livestream.