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Time

THE REVOLUTION OF TIME IN A TIME OF REVOLUTION

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 (clawren1@binghamton.edu) by the 8th of January 2012, with a c.c. to Natalie Churn at messiahy@hotmail.comand, Christian Garland atchristiangarland@hotmail.com

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.
https://sites.google.com/site/timeandrevolutionbookproject/

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