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Organised by the Department of Development Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

University of London

Convenor: Professor Gilbert Achcar


(A video and slides will be shown during the lecture.)


Art historian and critic, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Goldsmiths College, University of London

Wednesday 31 October, 6:30pm

SOAS, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Free entrance, no booking required, first come first seated

MARCUS VERHAGEN is an art historian and critic who has taught at universities in the USA and the UK. In the years since 2002, when he started to work on contemporary art, he has written over 60 articles and reviews for art magazines such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Art Review. He has also published in several journals, including Representations, Third Text, New Left Review and Afterall. He currently teaches at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Goldsmiths College.


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Call For Papers
As editors of a book proposal accepted for publication by Cambridge Scholar Publishing, we announce a call for submissions to a collection of essays exploring the connection between concepts of time and social change. The volume will have a strong focus on interdisciplinarity, the fusion of theory with practice, and presenting possibilities for ways in which the consideration of alternative notions of time could bring about social change. Thus it is not only practical philosophy papers that we invite, but also contributions from fields such as literary studies, media studies, cultural studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, sociology and political science.

The Revolution of Time in a Time of Revolution
The year 2011 marked a global turn in acts and ideas about revolution. Western culture and media categorized uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other nations as “the Arab Spring.” Yet revolution does not take part only on the national stage: radical social change is constantly being called for globally on the levels of gender, race and class, reflecting a future-oriented view of time that aims to change the thrust of history.

Merely looking into the future is itself a limited way of evaluating approaches through which we can create a more just society. Philosophers have long critiqued the patriarchal, linear notion of time reflected in national narratives and teleological worldviews, which often function only to reinforce the status quo. Marx himself calls for an end to temporal limitations, while Negri considers the possibilities of kairos time, and Deleuze and Guattari the importance of becoming, expanding into Agamben’s and Benjamin’s notions of messianic time.

Time is thus not simply socially constructed notions of linear clock time and teleological conceptions of history, but rather time is an encounter that differs according to human experience. Julia Kristeva’s work on women’s time, for example, outlines the cyclical temporalities and specific subjectivities unique to women, while Robert Levine suggests that climate can have an effect on the pace of life in  various countries, although postcolonial writers have critiqued this perspective as at least uninformed if not racist. Literary, postcolonial and media studies conceive time as something that can be reversed or stopped altogether, portraying history as plural and emphasising the subversive and oppressive facets of time ideologies. 

Nations are held together by popular conceptions of shared times which often function to exclude minorities and repress their actual histories, while class antagonisms are partly characterised through ideas of productive time and leisure time.

The breaking and rupture of such a standardized conception of time which remains that of Western Modernity is the task of the essays being collected in this work, seeking “to brush history against the grain” as Benjamin would have it. Non-Western belief systems have also put forward alternative conceptions of time. Indigenous cosmologies, for instance, portray time as cyclical, while Buddhism separates time into tiny moments or even offers possibilities of transcending time. Literary, postcolonial and media studies conceive time as something that can be reversed or stopped altogether, portraying history as plural and emphasising the subversive and oppressive facets of time ideologies.

The Revolution of Time in a Time of Revolution is interested in the intersection between theory and practice, including case studies that consider ways in which ideologies of time and alternative temporalities can be useful for solving conflicts and overcoming stereotypes created around questions of gender, race, ethnicity and socio-economic inequality. Time-perception is often used as a tool for marginalisation, but the alternative temporalities of the subaltern may also provide a way out of current restrictive policies around the world. The focus of the collection will be on time as an element of radical activism: how can visions of the future and the past, embodied time, untimely time, protest time and political time be implemented both theoretically and practically in order to change the way in which time functions as a vital element of social, political and cultural revolution?

As a thread that connects human life on so many levels, time is at once both subtle and dominating, reminding us that the moment of change must be seized before time itself, our creation, escapes us, or that to enact change we must escape or recreate time, or do something totally new with time. There has never been a better time to consider how both ancient and modern, philosophical and aboriginal conceptions of time and temporality might be employed in a quest to reconcile alternative  histories, and to bring about radical social change.

Please email expressions of interest in the form of an abstract (up to 500 words) with “Time and Revolution book proposal” in the subject line, as an attachment to Cecile Lawrence at ( by the 8th of January 2012, with a c.c. to Natalie Churn at messiahy@hotmail.comand, Christian Garland

Please send your completed submission as a Microsoft Word document by Sunday, the 31st of January 2012.

Contributions should be written in Times New Roman and follow the Chicago referencing style or we won’t consider them. Authors of accepted papers will receive a short guide to the specific Chicago method to be used for references. If your article includes images, please let us know in advance. Papers should be no more than 3,000  words in English or approximately 20 double spaced pages, inclusive of notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, must be the original work of the author, and previously unpublished. Please also include a brief biographical statement of no more than 50 words.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.
Co-editors Cecile Lawrence, Natalie Churn and Christian Garland.


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski:

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The Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture Student Alliance at Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.) Presents:
*The Revolution of Time and the Time of Revolution*
*A conference*
The 25th – 26th of March, 2011

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Peter Gratton, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of San Diego, CA

What sense of time is produced through radical politics? Is the understanding of time as future part of a radical imagination? If the commitment to radical social change involves looking forward into the future, will that leave us with a sense of futurity that depends on the linearity of yesterday, today, and tomorrow?

To interrogate the emergence of radical creations and socialities, we welcome submissions that theorize time as it relates broadly to politics, cultural conflicts, alternative imaginaries, and resistant practices. Time has historically been thought and inhabited through a variety of frameworks and styles of being. At times the present repeats or seems to repeat the past. There are actions that seem to take place outside of time, to be infinite or instantaneous.

Theories of emergence view time as folding in on itself. Indigenous cosmologies and Buddhist philosophers put forward the possibility of no-time or of circular and cyclical time.

The radical question of time is one around which the work of many scholars has revolved: Derrida on the to-come [*a-venir*] of democracy, Negri’s work on *kairos*, Agamben on kairology, Santos on the expansive notion of the present, Deleuze and Guattari on becoming. This heterological list is far from exhaustive, while hinting at the depth of the theme that our conference cultivates. A central political concern, time invokes our most careful attention and the PIC conference provides the setting for this endeavor. We must find the time for time.

At its core, this conference seeks to explore the relationship between time and revolution. Time here may mean *not just *simple clock and calendar time but rather a way of seeing time as part of a material thread that can go this way and that, weaving* *together* *the fabric of political projects producing the world otherwise. Ultimately, the question of time fosters a critical engagement with potentiality, potency, and power; as well as with the virtual and the actual, of the to be and the always already.

We seek papers, projects, and performances that add to the knowledge of time and revolution, but also ones that clear the way for new thinking, new alliances, new beings.

Some possible topics might include:

  – Radical notions of futurity, historicity, or the expansive present.

  – Conceptions on the right moment of action.

  – The political reality of time as stasis or cyclical.

  – The colonial creation of universal time, and decolonial cosmologies of time.

  – Work on thinkers of time and revolution.

  – Work on potentiality, the virtual, and the actual.

  – Capital and labor time.

In keeping with the interdisciplinary emphasis of Binghamton University’s Program in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture, we seek work that flourishes in the conjunction of multiple frames of epistemological inquiry, from fields including, but not limited to:  postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, queer and gender studies, ethnic studies, media and visual culture studies, urban studies, science and technology studies, critical theory, critical animal studies, continental philosophy, and historiography.

Workers/writers/thinkers of all different disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and non-disciplinary stripes welcome, whether academically affiliated or not. Submissions may be textual, performative, visual.

Abstracts of 500 words maximum due by Feburary 1, 2011.  In a separate paragraph state your name, address, telephone number, email and organizational or institutional affiliation, if any.

Email proposals to: with a cc: to

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Speed of Life




Ten years ago, Michael Neary and I wrote a paper for the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2000 called The Speed of Life: The significance of Karl Marx’s concept of socially necessary labour time. The paper was selected by the BSA’s Publications Committee for inclusion in the annual ‘book of the conference’ for 2000.

We revised and edited our paper, and it came out as Time and Speed in the Social Universe of Capital, in Social Conceptions of Time: Structure and Process in Work and Everyday Life, edited by Graham Crow and Sue Heath (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).



In addition, our original paper was also put out on The Flow of Ideas website on 13th May 2006. It is in two parts.

Recently, the journal Principia Dialectica has alerted folks to our original paper at The Flow of Ideas on their blog. The relevant post is called ‘Marx, Einstein, Postone…’ and was posted to the Principia Dialectica blog on 1st December 2010. This has led to a lot of traffic going to the original paper posted to The Flow of Ideas in 2006. However, the link provided there does not work, so people have been coming to the paper by other means (including a general link given for The Flow of Ideas in the Principia Dialectica blog’s ‘Links’ section).

Thus, to make it easier for people to get to our original paper I have included the working link (and full reference) here, as:

Neary, M. & Rikowski, G. (2000) The Speed of Life: The significance of Karl Marx’s concept of socially necessary labour-time, a paper presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2000, ‘Making Time – Marking Time’, University of York, 17 -20 April:

The Principia Dialectica blog home page is at:

The page with their blog about our paper, ‘Marx, Einstein and Postone…’ is at:

Glenn Rikowski

 The Flow of Ideas:


Tempus fugit


Kurt Richards, Kurt Rikowski (14th June 1927 – 15th February 2009)  

It has taken me some time to get the psychological strength for putting the Eulogy I wrote for my father’s funeral in the public domain. It can now be read on The Flow of Ideas web site.

A Tribute to My Father can be found at:

Glenn Rikowski

London, 14th November 2010

The Flow of Ideas:

My Father

After a long battle with cancer, my father, Kurt Richards (formerly Kurt Rikowski) died on 15th February.

I wrote ‘A Tribute to Kurt Richards’ a few days after he died, which I shall put on The Flow of Ideas web site in due course.

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: