There is nothing new about atmospheres, even if the term has only come into vogue relatively recently. Atmospheres are fundamental conditions of human life – being located in space, past and present. Through the 20th century, however, there has been an increasing focus in philosophy on trying to understand what implications this fundamental condition then has for our understanding of human perception and life-worlds.
This presentation draws on the writings of Heidegger, Bollow and Böhme to outline some of the central features of current understandings of atmospheres. It then takes these philosophical writings into the world that people actually inhabit. This move will involve highlighting how the social sciences since the late 1990s have used the theories of the above mentioned philosophers to develop better understandings of life-worlds, as well as to ground and question aspects of these theories.
Mikkel Bille is Associate Professor at Roskilde University. His PhD in Social Anthropology from University College London (2009) explored Bedouin material culture and heritage, including domestic atmospheres and lighting. He currently leads a project on urban lighting in Scandinavia, Living with Nordic Lighting, and a COVID-19 project on The Pandemic City. He is the author of Living with Light (2019), Being Bedouin around Petra (2019), co-editor of a special issue of Emotion, Space and Society on “Staging Atmospheres,” as well as the co-edited books Verden iføge Humaniora (2019), Elements of Architecture (2016), Politics of Worship in Contemporary Middle East (2013), and An Anthropology of Absence (2010).
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.