Textures of time: time, affect and anthropology

Lucy Pickering (The University of Glasgow)
Phillippa Wiseman (University of Glasgow )
Sarah Armstrong (University of Glasgow)
Hogan Lovells Lecture Theatre
Start time:
7 July, 2016 at 16:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel explores the 'feel' of time in anthropological research. It seeks to bring together the feel of time as individuals and communities navigate multiple temporal flows, and the feel of time in its affective dimensions.

Long abstract:

This panel sets out to explore the 'feel' of time in anthropological research. As anthropologists navigate diverse timeframes in the movement into and out of the field, in increasingly diverse forms of fieldwork, and in writing up and beyond, they move between different temporal textures - time that feels different, time that is affectively different. The countercultural invective to 'be here now' (Das 1971) might trigger distinct emotional responses to the passage of time from, for example, the 'frenetic stillness' (Sayeau 2010) of waiting to the recurrent time of PTSD (Zimbardo 2012). In a global society seemingly increasingly characterised by time-space compression (Harvey 1989), accelerating rates of innovation (Lübbe 2009) and 24/7 cultures (Hassan and Purser 2007), time becomes a space of marginalisation: refugees, prisoners and others who have 'too much' time reside at the margins of many societies that in turn reside at the margins of a global order of speed. This panel explores the place of time time in anthropological research, in particular the spaces where different textures of time meet, which anthropologists and others must navigate a way through. It also dwells on the affective dimensions of these temporal textures, to explore how textures of time shape emotional engagement with the world. As affect becomes an increasingly powerful lens through which to view the world, it is time to heed the affective dimensions of time.