The Material Life of Time

Image by Ryoji Iwata, via Unsplash
Monday 15 - Wednesday 17
March 2021

Online via QiQo Chat



Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Lifetimes, University of Oslo
Waiting Times, University of Exeter
Wellcome Trust

The second international Temporal Belongings conference. In addition to 40+ paper sessions, there will be films, workshops, roundtables and book talks. The platform will also have dedicated space for networking with a tool that allows easy video conversations amongst pairs and small groups.

Much of the time of our lives is given to us by the relationships, properties and movements of worldly materialities. Atmospheric carbon has irrevocably transformed agricultural time (Kassam et al 2018), microplastics are queering reproductive time (Davis 2015), dissolvable sutures have remade the time of health, while rare earth minerals make possible the mobile phones at the heart of debates around acceleration and time squeeze (Wajcman 2008). In all of these ways and more, we see material objects — their uses, cost, manufacture, changing composition and characteristics — at the heart of modern debates about how time should be used, lived and valued.

A deeper recognition of the material lives of time thus attunes us to questions of how times are being made, where its materials are coming from, who or what is being displaced in the process, and what kinds of material practices are being called forth. How does the global race for resources in a time of climate breakdown, including for oil, gas, arable land and fresh water, make new times of migration, colonialism and dispossession? How are new bio- and medical technologies affecting embodied temporalities? How are particular generational, political or bureaucratic times out-of-synch (or not) with geological times, biological times or ecological times, and what are the consequences? What kind of resonance do concepts such as ‘modernity’, ‘post-modernity’, ‘growth’, ‘recession’, ‘crisis’ and ‘acceleration’ take on from this perspective? What kinds of speculative futures are being produced and for whom (Keeling 2019)?

This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together scholars, researchers and practitioners interested in the socialities and materialities of time in order to explore how each is shaped by the other.

View the full programme here and keynote info here.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Distinguished Professor Karen Barad, UC Santa Cruz
Professor On Barak, Tel Aviv University
Professor Karim-Aly S. Kassam, Cornell University
Dr Rahul Rao, SOAS University of London
Nisi Shawl, Author, Editor and Journalist

Conference Committee

Michelle Bastian
Lisa Baraitser
Helge Jordheim
Hugo Reinert
Laura Salisbury
Thom van Dooren