Workshop: Time, Technologies and the Anthropocene: Asian and Oceanic Perspectives

September 11‐12, 2017

There have been many arguments about whether human notions of time are universal or whether they are conceptualised and experienced differently in different linguistic and cultural contexts. Beyond ancient debates about time as linear, circular or spiral in conception, there has been discussion engaging anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, historians, literature and cultural studies scholars about the extent to which Indigenous notions of time in Asia and Oceania have been distinctive, whether seeing the past as in front of the speaker rather than behind, or plotting ideas of origins and epochs which engage different temporalities to the linear progress of ‘civilization’ or ‘modernity’.

  • How have Indigenous notions of time and history in Asia and Oceania either been transformed or themselves exerted wider influence through globalising processes?
  • How has the development of global capitalism influenced notions of time through ‘work disciplines’, new technologies of time and the increased pulse of communication through audio‐visual, electronic and social media?
  • The space‐time compression which characterises our current world system co‐exists with the global challenges of climate change in powerful and often alarming ways. How are these features of contemporary life manifest and experienced in Asia and Oceania?
  •  Does our present age, dubbed the Anthropocene, require all of us, across our several disciplines and regions, to think differently about time and to situate our studies of human beings not just in the long durée of centuries but the ‘deep time’ and hopefully the deep future of our planet?

This flagship event of the School of Culture, History and Language is projected to engage staff and graduate students across our several disciplines and regions. It will be a workshop on September 11‐ 12, to coincide with the annual visit of our Dean’s Distinguished Visitor, Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty from the University of Chicago, who has written a series of scintillating essays and books on some of the questions posed above. We envisage panels each morning will showcase the research of our ECRs and HDR students linking their projects to some of the workshop questions.

Please submit your title (with your name and affiliation) and an abstract (c. 250‐300 words) by email to Margaret Jolly (margaret.jolly@anu.edu.au) and cc to Anthony Chan (anthony.chan@anu.edu.auby July 31. Numbers of speakers will be limited and first preference will be given to staff and students of CHL. But the workshop will be open to others beyond CHL.


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Updated:  28 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  SARI director/ Page Contact:  SARI director