John Durham Peters is the A. Craig Baird Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Speaking into the Air and Courting the Abyss, both also published by the University of Chicago Press. He lives in Iowa City.
"This book is about media the way that Moby Dick is about whaling. When Melville set the Pequod sailing between heaven and earth, he turned the ship into a lens through which his readers could examine humankind's place in the cosmos. In The Marvelous Clouds, Peters turns water, land, fire, and sky into lenses through which readers can explore the role of mediation in every aspect of their lives. This is a completely original, wildly ambitious, and deliciously lyrical book. It will certainly change the way you see media. It might also change the way you see the world." -Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties "Wide-ranging, playful, erudite, and delightfully diverse, The Marvelous Clouds redefines media in the largest possible terms, as anything that communicates meaning, including bodies, the environment, and the world itself. Although this may seem to rob 'media' of its specificity and therefore of its theoretical purchase, in Peters' hands it becomes the occasion for making surprising and insightful connections. A treat for academics and general readers alike, this is a book not to be missed." -N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis