In the two decades bracketing the turn of the millennium, large-scale weather disasters have been inevitably constructed as media events. As such, they challenge the meaning of concepts such as identity and citizenship for both locally affected populations and widespread spectator communities. This timely collection pinpoints the features of an often overlooked yet rapidly expanding category of global media and analyzes both its forms and functions. Specifically, contributors argue that the intense promotion and consumption of 'extreme weather' events takes up the slack for the public conversations society is not having about the environment, and the feeling of powerlessness that accompanies the realization that anthropogenic climate change has now reached a point of no return. Incorporating a range of case studies of extreme weather mediation in India, the UK, Germany, Sweden, the US, and Japan, and exploring recent and ongoing disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, the Fukushima nuclear crisis, flooding in Germany, and heat waves in the UK, Extreme Weather and Global Media generates valuable inquiry into the representational and social characteristics of the new culture of extreme weather.
"Weather is all around us: proliferating in every medium; swirling through communities; becoming more volatile in the epoch of climate change. This astonishing, affecting volume exquisitely arrays the social and intermedial ecologies of everyday nature—and the extremities of contemporary existence." —Janet Walker, University of California Santa Barbara
"This is a highly original collection of essays, bringing the insights of a critical media studies to the environmental humanities in order to elaborate the complexities of the cultural politics implicated in the 'hypermediation' of extreme weather events." —Graeme Turner, University of Queensland
Introduction: Extreme Weather and Global Media Julia Leyda and Diane Negra 1. Televising Superstorm Sandy: New Configurations of Poverty and Neoliberalism in Extreme Weather Coverage Jon Kraszewski 2. Eye of the Storm: CCTV, Surveillance and Media Representations of Extreme Weather Justin Carville 3. Picturing High Water: The 2013 Floods in Southeastern Germany and Colorado Susanne Leikam 4. "Blowtorch Britain:" Labor, Heat and Neo-Victorian Values in Contemporary UK Media Paula Gilligan 5. Post-Political Crisis Management: Representations of Extreme Weather in Swedish Media Annika Olsson 6. Disaster Data, Data Activism: Grassroots Responses to Representing Superstorm Sandy Max Liboiron 7. Mangoes and Monsoons: South Asian Media Coverage of Environmental Spectacles Sujata Moorti 8. Rain with a Chance of Radiation: Forecasting Local and Global Risk After Fukushima Laura Beltz Imaoka