Chronotopic materialities

Safet HadziMuhamedovic (University of Bristol )
Magdalena Buchczyk (University of Bristol)
Professor Tom Selwyn (SOAS University of London)
Magdalen Old Law Library
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Short abstract:

How do objects - their placements, textures, routes and traces - come to encapsulate the bonding of time and space? And, to what ends? What claims do they make and what novel directions do they indicate? What is the breadth of such objects' sensorial potency?

Long abstract:

Time, even in its most abstract conceptualisations, is a spatialised phenomenon. Its telling requires a bodily turn - a relation - towards another thing/body/… Space is, likewise, temporalised, imbued with cycles, durations and stoppages, coloured by epochs and speed, punctuated by intervals and rhythms. Some such relations congeal into timespaces. 'Time', as Bakhtin has famously told us, 'thickens, takes on flesh' and 'space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, plot and history' (1981: 84). For Bakhtin, narratives are constructed within specific settings that intersect with temporalities, rendering certain spaces powerful materialisations of the past. Anthropologists have indicated the affective disclosure of chronotopes, for example through dreaming and historical consciousness in Greece (Stewart 2012) or the affective ruination in post-partition Cyprus (Navaro 2012). Buchczyk (2016) has shown how a Romanian village is situated between contrasting chronotopes of folkloric past and utopian future, whilst HadžiMuhamedović (2018) has described the rift between two dominant timespaces - a schizochronotopia - in the Bosnian Field of Gacko, where the past ('religiously plural and shared') and the present ('nationalist and ethnically cleansed') landscape have rendered each other unbidden. This panel explores the affective resonances, directionalities and political deployments of chronotopes in material contexts and asks: How do objects make bodily impressions in the form of chronotopic claims? Or, what kinds of historicity and transformation in social life can objects signal? How are experiences of time and space mediated through material culture? What chronotopes might be revealed in traces or artefactual collections, archives and museums?

Accepted Papers: