CFP Beyond the Clock: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Time

Justin Clark's picture
March 15, 2019 to March 16, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, World History / Studies

Beyond the Clock: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Time

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

15-16 March 2019


Keynote Speakers:

Jimena Canales (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Stephen Kern (The Ohio State University)


The “Beyond the Clock” Symposium brings together scholars from the humanities and social sciences for two days of presentations and discussions on what might be called the third generation of temporality studies. 


Before the 1990s, most scholars of temporality followed Weber, Durkheim, and Simmel in focusing on abstract, rationalized time as a unifying central force of modern social life and its cultural productions. In the 1960s, E.P. Thompson famously placed this force on historical footing by contrasting pre-modern task-oriented society with post-industrial timed-labor society. A generation later, Benedict Anderson envisioned an “empty, homogenous time” as the foundation of the modern nation state. These thinkers established the importance of rationalized time to modern labor practices, to the postcolonial social imagination, and to art and literature, among other scholarly concerns. 


In the new millennium, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, and literary scholars have pioneered more pluralistic approaches to time, challenging the assumption that a single model of time prevails in any given society or nation. In the last decade, scholars in particular have shifted their attention from rationalized and synchronous clock time to the mobile, compressed, and/or dilated time of the knowledge economy or the anthropocene. This new approach is evident across a staggering range of disciplines: critical theorists Harmut Rosa and Sarah Sharma’s consideration of the problem of “social acceleration,” sociologist Benjamin Snyder’s exploration of “flexible time” in the post-Taylorist workplace, engineer and historian of science Jimena Canales’ deconstruction of physics’ reliance on metaphorical clocks, and historian Stephen Kern’s re-examination of the “culture of time and space” in the electronic age. This symposium aims to bring these parallel social, cultural, and philosophical engagements into a collective conversation on time in its irrational, disparate, and fascinating forms.


Possible Topics May Include:

Time and (post)colonialism

Acceleration and its critics

Time, space, and the built and/or natural environment

Time, economics, and capital

Time, medium, and narrative

Time, immigration, and borders

Time and affect

Time, crisis, and risk

Time, science, and objectivity

Time and the senses

Embodied and experienced time



Please send a short bio and 250-word abstracts for individual papers (15-20 minutes) to Justin Clark ( and Kevin Riordan ( Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis from now until 15 September 2018.

Contact Info: 

Justin Tyler Clark and Kevin Riordan

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Contact Email: