Values of time, times of value 
Michael Edwards (University of Cambridge)
Nikita Simpson (London School of Economics)
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Karen Sykes (University of Manchester)
Evolution (C201), R.N Robertson Building
Tuesday 3 December, 9:00-10:45, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the relationship between values and time by drawing ethnographic attention to multiple ways in which values are realised, reformulated, or resisted through people's experience and reckoning of time.

Long Abstract:

Recent years have seen anthropologists devote increasing attention to time (Ssorin-Chaikov 2017) and value (Robbins 2013). However, notwithstanding some notable exceptions (e.g. Bear 2017; Harms 2011; Ringel and Morosanu 2016), there has yet to be a sustained effort to think through these two concepts together. Attending to the relationship between time and value, this panel explores how ethnographic attention to the ways in which people represent, narrate, and experience time might offer insights into how they evaluate their moral worlds and aspire to actualise or resist certain values. We invite papers that respond to questions about both how time is valued, and how values are represented in time. Why, for instance, and through what technologies, are some temporalities and forms of temporal reckoning invested with ethical and political significance? What might attention to material 'time-maps' (Gell 2001) or 'time-scapes' (May and Thrift 2001) tell us about how people navigate diverse, and sometimes conflicting, systems of value? How might processes of 'time tricking' - whereby people 'attempt to modify, manage, bend, distort, speed up or slow down' time (Ringel 2016: 17) - be linked to the realisation or resistance of particular values? How are individual and collective evaluations of moral life-worlds rendered in temporal idioms of decline, stasis, and renewal? What does the marginalisation of certain temporalities tell us about hegemonic evaluations of labour, identity, and belief? How, finally, are anthropology's values realised and frustrated through the temporalities of a disciplinary practice involving fieldwork, writing, publishing, and teaching?

Accepted papers: