The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation


Event Dates: 5 – 7 June 2018

John McIntyre Conference Centre,
The University of Edinburgh
Pollock Halls,
18 Holyrood Park Rd,
Edinburgh EH16 5AY

The Temporal Belongings Network presents:

The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation

The 1st Temporal Belongings International Conference

Supported by the Wellcome Trust

Since 2011 the Temporal Belongings network has brought together scholars from across the arts, humanities and social sciences to investigate the role that time plays in communities. Our first meeting in Manchester set our initial agenda and since then we have explored a range of issues including community futures, the role of power and agency, time in community development and methods for studying social time. We’ve expanded understandings of community to explore time in more-than-human worlds and have also rethought the material infrastructures communities use to keep time in our Temporal Design events. Throughout we have argued for deeper understandings of the ‘social life’ of time (Appadurai 1988, Law 2009, Law & Ruppert 2013) and asked questions not only about the rhythm, pace and directionality of time, but also how particular constructions of time challenge or enact particular forms of relationality. Who belongs in particular accounts of time, and who is excluded? What are the effects and affects of various social understandings of temporality? What are the politics of time? How are power and legitimacy operationalised through temporal frameworks? What might it mean to transform dominant conceptions of time?

Research on the role of time in social life has rejected the notion of time as an inert container in favour of a more complex and contested field of interactive relations (e.g. Sharma 2017, Birth 2014, Huebener 2016). Here time arises from relationships between actors, both human and non-human. Indeed some theorists such as Bruno Latour go as far as to claim that “time is not in itself a primary phenomenon. Time passes or not depending on the alignment of other entities” (2005, 178). The Temporal Belongings network has sought to build on this framework by paying attention to how time is made through relations, but also, and most importantly, to the ways that relations themselves happen through the organisation, conceptualisation and experience of time.

We are now keen to gather up the work we have done so far and launch a larger, international platform for exploring these issues. Thus, in collaboration with the Waiting Times project, led by Lisa Baraitser and Laura Salisbury and funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is investigating the relationship between time and healthcare.

Introductory Remarks by Dr Michelle Bastian (Edinburgh)

download Michelle Bastian’s introductory remarks(.pdf)

[NB: the download mechanism for the pdf file above is a little temperamental – please right-click or Ctrl+click, and then ‘save file as’. Sorry about the inconvenience, we are trying to fix this] ========
Recorded programme:

Session 1
Keynote: Charles Mills –  Racial Time
Chair: Andrew Hom, University of Edinburgh
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Session 2
2A Pentland | Exploring Presents across media, culture and the economy
Chair: Ruth Raynor, University of Newcastle, UK.

Ruth Raynor & Rebecca Coleman –  Introduction
Ruth Raynor (and Ben Anderson) – Scenes: The Present-Tensed

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Rebecca ColemanDigital Media, Infra-Structures of Feeling and the production of ‘the Now’
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Carolyn PedwellDigital Tendencies: Habit, Intuition and Activism in the Present
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Session 3
3A Pentland | Designing Time, marking time
Chair: Larissa Pschetz, University of Edinburgh

Yair BarakThe internal Israeli dispute about the time limits of Daylight Saving Energy
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Michael Crawley‘You Need to Know the Value of One Second’: Ethiopian Professional Runners and Means of Measuring Time
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Carl A. Smith (Edmund Harriss and Angela Carpenter) – Geometry in the Walnut Grove: Marking Time and Belonging
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Session 4
Keynote: Paul Huebener –  Telling Stories About Time: Toward a Critical Literacy of the Temporal Imagination
Chair: Michelle Bastian, University of Edinburgh
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Session 5
5A Prestonfield | Waiting Times (1): Waiting and Care in Modern Times
Chair: Lisa Baraitser, Birkbeck, University of London
Lisa Baraitser and Laura SalisburyWaiting Times: An introduction to the stream

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Raluca SoreanuThe Times of Social Clinics: On Psychoanalytic Economies of Care
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Michael Flexer The ‘telegraphic schizophrenic manner’: The non(sense) of time in psychosis and literature
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Martin MooreWhat did it mean to wait in the early NHS? Discourses of waiting in the British Health Service c. 1940s-1960s
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Session 6
6A Prestonfield | Waiting Times (2): Transforming Times
Chair: Jocelyn Catty, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist Senior Research Fellow, Waiting Times

Sare AricanliFunction of Time: temporality and the Chinese medical body
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Mary CoatenTemporality and Spatiality in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP)
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Elizabeth BarryDementia, Care and the Temporality of Laughter

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Martin O’BrienBodies of (Dis)order: Performance, Endurance, Sickness
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Session 7|
7D Salisbury | Waiting between hope and violence
Chair: Vanessa May, University of Manchester
Christine M. Jacobsen, Randi Gressgård, Kari Anne K. DrangslandWaiting for an uncertain future: the temporalities of irregular migration

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Natascha Mueller-HirthStill waiting or refusing to wait? Hope and victims’ experiences of
reparations and change in Kenya and South Africa
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Jason FarmanDesigns of Waiting: Buffering, Queuing, and Embedded Systems of Power
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Session 8 |
Keynote: Jackie SumellTime in Solitary (Gardens)
Chair: Lisa Baraitser, Birkbeck, University of London
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Session 10
10A Pentland | Emergent Lifetimes
Chair: Helge Jordheim, University of Oslo
Helge JordheimEmergent Lifetimes: An introduction to the stream

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Hugo ReinertThe Temporality of Research Extraction
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Anne Kveim LieThe Emergent Times of Epidemics
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Bodhisattva ChattopadhyayThe Muddled Times of the Quantuum (via Skype)
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Helge JordheimEmergent Geo-generational Lifetimes
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Session 12
Concluding panel discussion
Chair: Michelle Bastian, University of Edinburgh
Cressida Heyes, University of Alberta
Helge Jordheim, University of Oslo
Filip Vostal, Czech Academy of Sciences

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