The critical importance of time for all practical activities naturally puts it in the centre of any worldview, and its effects on the individual make it a very personal experience. The Time Theme will address two broad issues: concepts and misconceptions and pragmatics and uses of time.
The critical importance of time for all practical activities naturally puts it in the centre of any worldview, and its effects on the individual make it a very personal experience. The IAS Time Theme will address two broad issues: concepts and misconceptions and pragmatics and uses of time through a series of interdisciplinary workshops.
The increasing importance of time in recent decades follows the developments of technology, the needs of the economy and the demands of politics (from fixed-term elections to automated stock trading to coordinating political decisions with the news cycle) and produces a diverse field of interpretations in the sciences, humanities and economics, thus providing a fertile ground for interdisciplinary exchange.
The Time Theme will be led by Prof. Peter Kawalek (SBE); Dr. Thoralf Klein (SSH); Dr. Alexandre Zagoskin (Science); and Dr. Arianna Maiorani (SSH), who will work together with IAS Visiting Fellows on an exciting interdisciplinary workshop programme over the academic year 2020/21.
Workshop 1: Time Theme Launch - Friday, 27 November 2020
This online workshop will officially launch the Theme. The workshop will examine how different scholarly disciplines conceptualise time: while the natural sciences hold that time is objectively measurable, fundamental and independent of any social context, the humanities and social sciences are more interested in how time is socially and culturally constructed, as well as subjectively experienced. It is therefore essential to enter into a dialogue of what we understand by time, and how different philosophies of time affect social and cultural change.
Visiting Fellows: Professor Lawrence Eaves (Physics, Nottingham), Dr Sebastian Dorsch (History, Erfurt), Professor Meghan Sullivan (Philosophy, Notre Dame, IN, Director of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study).
Workshop 2: Time, Disaster and Decision-Making - Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Within the context of the current global pandemic, the second workshop addresses a highly topical issue, namely the role that time plays in the modern “risk society” (U. Beck). Both disasters and the response to them unfold in time, and the speed (or, in other words, the shortening of time) with which the response can be formulated and implemented can make a critical difference.
Workshop 3: Time, Text and Media (to be organised in cooperation with the Institute for Media and Creative Industries, LU London) - Friday, 30 April 2021
Time is one of the fundamental dimensions of human existence and human experience. Texts, which incorporate and relate human experience, unfold in space and time and traditional texts (literary and non-literary) reproduce the passing of time through the lenses of human experience. Yet, with the advent of digital communication and the unprecedented, widespread production and consumption of digital texts, time has undergone a radical change: the digital dimension has uncovered a more complex notion of time that merges with hyperspace and that can be represented and perceived in multi-faceted ways. This workshop will investigate and discuss the changing notion of Time in relation to Text and Media, with a particular focus on the development of digital environments and digitally experienced texts, in order to formulate a more complex and ‘up-to-date' definition of this fundamental concept.
Visiting Fellows: Professor John Bowen (English and related literatures, University of York); Professor Valeriy O. Yampol’s’kyy and Professor Oleg V. Usatenko (Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kharkov); Professor Claire Warwick (Durham University); Dr Gabriele Balbi (Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland).
Workshop 4: Living in the Anthropocene – How to Deal with a New Epoch - Thursday, 24 June 2021
The final workshop opens up both conceptual and pragmatic perspectives on living in a new epoch called – among others – the Anthropocene. Both the natural and social sciences as well as humanities have recently been finding common ground in their diagnosis of the current age as a both geological/palaeobiological and historical epoch in which human beings have become the crucial factor shaping the Earth and life on it.The workshop addresses both how we define this epoch in a multidisciplinary perspective and how we can practically live in and with it.
Visiting Fellows: Professor Jan Zalasiewicz (Palaeobiology, University of Leicester); Professor William F. Ruddiman (Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA); Dr Elizabeth Chatterjee (History, Queen Mary University of London).