Nowadays, I actually feel it both more plausible and infinitely more soothing to think of a culture as a meteorological phenomenon. Almost immeasurably complex interactions of a small number of number of determinate variables – wind-speed and direction, pressure, temperature – produce determinate weather effects. There is no difficulty in establishing whether it is or is not, at any particular place and time, raining. But what is the ‘it’ that is raining, and that, so to speak, wills or weathers the weather? And where, or what is this it, before it becomes available to be presupposed as the action of an intending awareness? I hope we will want, or mean to learn to want, not to think of society as having self-consciousness and actively self-directing purpose on the analogy of an individual will. A cloud forms, a waterfall plunges and seethes; but not as a expression of the will, the desire or the unease of the cloud or the waterfall. Steve Connor, ‘What Can Cultural Studies Do?’ in Interrogating Cultural Studies: Interviews in Cultural Theory, Practice and Politics, ed. Paul Bowman (London: Pluto Press, 2003).
Weather Reports: a symposium on the work of Steven Connor
43 Gordon Square,
10am till 5:30pm
I will be airing some of my new work on the subject of twins at this symposium. Papers will be given in honour of Steve Connor who, after decades of teaching and researching at Birkbeck College, University of London, will be moving to the English department at Cambridge in September.