Notes & Letters Seminar

14.7: Inquiry into Earth Atmospheres

By Emery Jenson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

We’re excited to announce the launch of “14.7: Inquiry into Earth Atmospheres,” a new Borghesi-Mellon Public Humanities Workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Our workshop provides a forum for scientists, social scientists, and humanists to develop new methods, terms, and analytical frames for inquiry into Earth’s atmosphere(s).

As a collective, we hope to deepen our investigation of Earth atmospheres to shed light on problems that no one of our disciplines can engage alone. We will investigate the practices by which corporate energy giants like Enron use climate data to commodify atmosphere and weather patterns. We will bring together insights of postcolonial and area studies with those of meteorology. We will engage meteorological research showing that basic atmospheric mechanisms like heating and cooling occur via different dynamics in the tropics and the poles. We will explore multiple intersecting planetary atmospheres that challenge what Kristen Simmons has called “settler atmospherics,” a monologic account of atmosphere manifest as monoculturalism. We hope you will join us.

Upcoming Colloquia

Forecasting Futures: The Commodification of Air in Turbulent Times

A conversation with Timothy Choy, Tobias Menely, and Samuel Randalls

October 7, 2022, 11:00 CDT (UTC-5)

To register, please email

Poster for the first “14.7: Inquiry into Earth Atmospheres” workshop

While the Environmental Humanities struggles to develop an adequate transdisciplinary vocabulary for the study of atmosphere, air’s dynamism has long been appropriated by industry and finance. Our first symposium brings together three scholars whose work will allow us to trace how air and atmosphere have been central to economic practices and imaginaries as well as how these imaginaries inflect academic discourses, Timothy Choy (UC Davis), Tobias Menely (UC Davis), and Samuel Randalls (University College London). We ask: how do concepts such as “speculation” operate across financial markets and weather forecasting? What are the political and economic consequences of commodifying meteorological science? What does it mean to render the weather profitable?

Workshop contact

Emery Jenson | (919) 402 7126

Workshop Organizers

Monique Allewaert

Ángel F. Adames-Corraliza

Emery Jenson

Jen Rose Smith