Signs of Nature: Mediazation, Environmentalism and Culture

This is an ongoing project that investigates the ways in which the media of mass communication help to shape public understandings of nature, and of particular environments. The project has included analyses of the characteristic discourses and semiotics of particular media genres (e.g. wildlife documentaries on TV), the use of those genres by environmental activists (e.g. the earlier generations of environmental activists, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth), and the relation between the genres and a variety of popular cultural practices (e.g. visiting zoos and wildlife parks, tourism/ecotourism, and museum design).

Dates: Originally 2000 – 2001 (and ongoing)

Supported by: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy

Key Publications: ‘Signs of Anthropomorphism: The Case of Natural History Television Documentaries‘ (Social Semiotics, 2001, Vol. 11 No. 3, 289-305); Mediating Nature (London/New York: Routledge, 2006).

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