segunda-feira, 15 de outubro de 2012

Power, Time and Agency‏

Despite time often appearing as an inert background to social life, there has been a wide array of work across a range of disciplines that argues that varying understandings and embodied experiences of time are intimately intertwined with power and agency. Johannes Fabian’s diagnosis of a denial of coevalness (or shared time) within classical anthropology represents a key example. But his analysis of the use of time to distance self from other has been significantly extended within a variety of critical fields of inquiry including post-colonial theory (e.g. Chatterjee, 2001 and Chakrabarty, 2008), queer theory (e.g. Freeman 2010, Halberstam 2005) and feminist theory (e.g. Grosz 2005, Hemmings 2011). These and other areas of work have sought to situate time as a significant component in social mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, of social legitimation and in social responses to perceived threats.

Recognising that particular kinds of time uphold, and seek to
enforce, particular kinds of social formations and power relations, a
range of what might be called ‘critical temporalities’ have been
proposed, both from within and outside of the academy. The need to
think and live time differently has come to be seen as a necessary
part of the work of challenging particular hegemonic regimes and of
opening up new modes of agency and action. Homi Bhabha’s ‘enunciative
present’, Barbara Adam’s ‘timescapes’, Dana Luciano’s
‘chronobiopolitics’, Jacques Derrida’s ‘time out of joint’, Elizabeth
Freeman’s ‘chrononormativity’ and Deborah Bird Rose’s ‘multispecies
knots of ethical time’, as well as social movements such as
Cittaslow, Voluntary Simplicity, the Long Now Foundation and
Transition Towns, all problematise and rework traditional Western
allegiances to a supposedly progressive, all-encompassing linear
time. The role of ‘critical temporalities’ is thus complicated and
wide-ranging, bringing multiple disciplines into proximity around a
shared concern with the role of time in the workings of power and the
possibilities of agency.

The aim of this workshop then is to draw together these
multi-disciplinary attempts to challenge and rethink time in order to
provide participants with the opportunity to explore potential
overlaps, dissonances and opportunities for cross-disciplinary
conversation. How might queer temporalities and the temporalities of
post-colonialism speak to or challenge each other? Could the time of
feminist visions of heterogeneous community provide insights into how
to think multi-species communities? Might movements like Cittaslow
and the Long Now federation that challenge the accelerating, and yet
narrow, time of neoliberalism be further challenged or extended by
indigenous critiques of the temporalities of international
development agencies?

We are thus inviting applications from those researching the links
between time, power and agency from across the humanities and social
sciences who would be interested in thinking with the broad spectrum
of critical temporalities. We are also inviting applications from
those working within community organisations, government or policy
who would like to explore how questions about time, power and agency,
arise within their work.

Format of the workshop

The residential workshop will include around 40 participants and will
take place over two days at the University of Manchester’s conference
and hotel facility; Chancellors. In order to explore the breadth of
approaches, and support new collaborations, the workshop will include
a variety of session formats. Along with a small number of longer
invited papers, there will be standard sessions of 15 minutes papers,
as well as themed sessions of lightning talks or Pecha Kucha
presentations followed by discussions. There will also be
collaborative, participant-driven sessions where themes emerging from
the paper sessions can be synthesised and explored in greater depth.

Suggested Themes

Presenters are welcome to approach the theme in the way they think is
most thought-provoking, although we have suggested possible topics

- Time and Power:
Articulating and/or critiquing the variety of ways concepts of time
are used to include and/or exclude | Time as a means to create
distance and hierarchy | Using different mobilisations of time to
legitimate power relations (e.g. how might mobilisations of class and
class privilege be supported or undermined by time use, conceptions
of the future or understandings of the temporalities of action?) |
The denial or assertion of coevalness for political or ethical ends,
for example causes or peoples being dismissed as anachronistic,
asynchronous, or timeless | Inter-relations between alternative
concepts of power and alternative concepts of time?

- Organising Time:
Explorations of conflicts between different senses or modes of time,
within bureaucracy, between conservationists and policy makers,
between activist organisations, between evolutionary time scales and
neoliberal speeds of production, etc. | Challenging/transforming
normative life-course narratives | Learned time codes, learning
through such codes what is valued and what is not…

- Critical Temporalities:
Counter-stories, counter-temporalities| the temporalities of
resistance to neo-liberalism? | Critical analyses of the use of
non-linear accounts of time for seeking to adequately respond to
pluralism, non-homogeneous communities etc | Actively seeking to
extend sense of time beyond usual frameworks to connect issues,
groups, peoples usually thought to be separate form each other

- Time and Agency:
Rethinking the link between senses of agency and a sense of futurity
| Thinking time differently in order to open up different
possibilities of action, concepts of agency and/or future visions |
Exploring the continued potential of the past for marginalised groups
through notions such as ‘what might have been’, the ‘not yet’, the
‘to come’.

- Conceptualising/ Experiencing Time:
Temporalities of diaspora and migration | Challenging the hegemony of
‘progress’ as a justification for action | Challenging who or what
represents the future, be it the West in general, children, men,
science, culture etc. | Critiques of exclusions/ inclusions produced
through periodisation | Time poverty and responses such as slow food,
slow cities and voluntary simplicity. | How might conceptualisations
of community be produced through, or perpetuated by particular uses
of time? For example, examinations of the link between presence and
community, or techniques of distancing community into an idealised
past free of conflict


There is a fee of £60 for this workshop. However, as the workshop has
been funded generously by the AHRC this includes all workshop fees,
accommodation costs and workshop dinner costs.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate please submit your abstract here:

Applications are due no later than the 31st of October 2012.
The list of participants will be confirmed in mid November.

Confirmed Speakers

J. Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California)
Lisa Adkins (University of Newcastle)
Gurminder Bhambra (University of Warwick)
Jane Elliot (Kings College London)


Michelle Bastian
Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC)
University of Manchester
178 Waterloo Place
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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