Affect and Material Cultures of Weathering: Histories, Temporalities, and Spaces

Affect and Material Cultures of Weathering: Histories, Temporalities, and Spaces

The Greenhouse Center for Environmental Humanities, University of Stavanger
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10.12.2024 - 11.12.2024
Melina Antonia Buns, Department of Cultural Studies and Languages, University of Stavanger

This call invites scholars of histories of science, medicine and technology, environmental history, art and architectural histories, and historically-based literary and cultural studies to think with the weather and weathering, and discuss linkages between affect, material cultures, climate and weather from the late-eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.

Affect and Material Cultures of Weathering: Histories, Temporalities, and Spaces

One of the well-known ironies of the current climate crisis is that, despite its planetary and temporal scale, its effects manifest themselves in everyday experiences of seasons and weather. Present-day anthropological studies have engaged with the concept of weathering to underscore lived experiences of climate change and (extreme) weather events as inseparable from socio-political factors that differentiate human bodies across space and time. While weathering enables interactions between large-scale climate science, meteorological events, and the embodied socio-political to think about environmental justice and activism, it is now imperative to bring historical studies closer to extending weathering as an element in addressing historical realities of class, race, colonialism, nationalism, gender and spatial hierarchy.

This two-day workshop seeks to explore how people have historically understood and experienced climate and weather through material cultures of instruments to measure and quantify these larger phenomena, but also public and domestic spaces, everyday technologies, clothing, nutrition, and their own bodies. Who made environmental, urban, political and cultural decisions, and who faced the consequences? What set of affects has weather and the material world produced, and how could affects be deployed in understanding weathering? How do narrative, historical archive, film, photography, and art represent the affective elements of consciousness, values, meanings and relationships of climates, weathers, and material cultures in the past and the present?

The workshop also invites participants to discuss how vastly different temporal and spatial scales, methodologies, sources, and styles of historical inquiry could be applied for the sorts of lessons that might be sought within current institutional arrangements and policy processes.

Contributors may engage with one or more of the following themes, or even suggest new ways of thinking about:
- historical, temporal and spatial scales of climate and weather;
- material cultures in weathering and understanding weather;
- human and more-than-human bodies as instruments in historical scientific studies of weather;
- affects, emotions, continuity and change in past experiences of weather and climate;
-climate and weather in the arts;
- introducing history, affect and material cultures in climate policies.

The workshop will take place in-person in Stavanger, Norway. Accommodation and meals during the workshop will be covered. Participants must, however, arrange their own travel to and from Stavanger.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and an author bio to by 15 July 2024.

Please direct your questions to either Animesh Chatterjee ( or Melina Antonia Buns (
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