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Elemental Readings: Air – Day 1

May 19, 2023 @ 1:20 pm - 5:30 pm

A Luskin Endowment for Thought Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the Departments of Classics and English, UCLA. May 19th – 20th, 2023.

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, art history and environmental humanities, for a multifaceted discussion of a common object.

The conference will be on site only. Please send any enquiries to purves@g.ucla.edu



May 19, 2023
1:20 pm - 5:30 pm


UCLA Luskin Conference Center
425 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
View Venue Website


UCLA Department of English
UCLA Department of Classics
UCLA Humanities Division