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Walter Benjamin Kolleg Blog

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Timing TransFormations

Temporalities and notions of progress and innovation formed in Western modernity have been instrumentalized to structure developments and ordering things. But past and present transformations are too complex and ambivalent to be adequately explained by monocausal and linear narratives of change. In the course of reflecting time and timing, the key concepts of modernist and economic notions of linear historicity as well as a strict sequentiality of stasis and change have been questioned. The modern conception of History has become just one possible manifestation within a plurality of histories conditioned by socio-cultural particularities. We are no longer interested only in the history of timetables, calendars, time markers or clocks – taking and making linear time and space as human universals – but in post-isms, pre-isms and ana-chronisms, reactivations and revivals, devolutions, constant flows and nonlinear dynamics – in short, in timing trans/formations in the era of globalization, bio- and necropolitics and asymmetrical power relations. The Winter School 2013 analyses, discusses and challenges both modernist and postmodernist epistemologies as well as scientific paradigms of development and change from a historical, sociological, cultural and philosophical perspective.

Universität Bern | Phil.-hist. Fakultät | Walter Benjamin Kolleg | Graduate School of the Humanities | Muesmattstrasse 45 | CH-3012 Bern | Tel. +41 (0)31 631 54 74
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