Office: CJ 4.327
Phone: 514-848-2424 x2561
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Office Hours:

I am on leave from June 2014 to July 2015.

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Peter C. van Wyck


BSc, Environmental Science / Social Ecology, Trent University, 1987

MA, Methodologies for the Study of Western History Culture, Trent University, 1992

PhD, Graduate Program in Communication, McGill University, 1997

Postdoc, Methodologies for the Study of Western History and Culture / Environmental Studies – SSHRC, Trent University, 1997-1999

Postdoc, Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Assistant Professor of Geography, Queen’s University, 1999-2000

My academic background is broadly interdisciplinary, with training in environmental and ecological sciences, philosophy, environmental and cultural studies, and communication studies. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses (MA & PhD) in semiotics, communication theory, visual culture, and special topic seminars such as “Reading Freud,” “North and Nordicity: Theory in a Cold Climate,” “The Arts of Memory,” “Landscapes of the Local: Rethinking Space and Place,” and Landscapes of the Sign: The Place of the Photographic Image.” My current research and writing interests include the theory and philosophy of communication; semiotics of environment; atomic & nuclear history; landscape, memory, chorography, and critical topographies; discourses of North and nordicity; and the photographic image.

At the moment I am developing a new SSHRC-funded project with Dr. Myra Hird of Queen’s University that concerns nuclear waste, the media of apology, justice and the future.

My latest book, released in November 2010, published by McGill Queen’s University Press, is entitled The Highway of the Atom. It was awarded the 2011 Gertrude J. Robinson book award for the best new book in communication studies by the Canadian Communication Association, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences – The Harold Adams Innis Award of the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities. It was recently reviewed in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 27, 2012.

The following texts have recently appeared in print:

“Footbridge at Atwater: A Chorographic Inventory of Effects,” Thinking with Water, edited by Cecilia Chen, Janine MacLeod, and Astrida Neimanis, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

“Innis and I,” Harold Innis in the North, edited by William Buxton, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

“An Archive of Threat,” invited for Special Issue, “Re-Thinking the Monument,” Future Anterior, 9.2 Winter: 53-80.

“Northern War Stories: The Dene, the Archive, and Canada’s Atomic Modernity.” Bearing Witness: Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts and Humanities, edited by Sherrill Grace, Patrick Imbert, and Tiffany Johnstone. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

My previous book, Signs of Danger: Waste, Trauma, and Nuclear Threat (2005), published in the Theory out of Bounds series at the University of Minnesota Press, was also awarded the Gertrude J. Robinson Book Prize. Several recent reviews can be found here: Semiotic Review of Books, Organization & Environment, and The Canadian Journal of Sociology Online.

My first book, Primitives in the Wilderness: Deep Ecology and the Missing Human Subject, was published in 1997.

Last update: July 02, 2014 – 8:40
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