CfP: The International Society for the Study of Time Seventeenth Triennial Conference

Time in Variance

23 June to 29 June 2019, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California USA

Proposals (300 words) due by March 31, 2018

The International Society for the Study of Time (ISST) seeks proposals for presentations at its 2019 conference at Loyola Marymount University on the theme of Time in Variance.

The ISST, renowned for its interdisciplinary scope, invites scientists, scholars, artists, and practitioners to explore the singular/multiple nature of time and temporalities within and across disciplines. Our format of plenary presentations delivered over four days creates a sustained interdisciplinary discussion among participants; we thus expect participants to register for the entirety of the conference. We also take a day off mid-conference and provide participants a choice of time-related excursions in Los Angeles. The Loyola Marymount campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and it is just a few miles from Los Angeles International Airport. The campus is home to ISST Founder J. T. Fraser’s Personal Papers and the Collection of the International Society for the Study of Time Records. The campus also features various slow time installations, including the Garden of Slow Time, a classical labyrinth on a bluff that offers panoramic views of the city.

“Time in Variance,” in evoking temporalities at odds with one another, speaks to an the ever more poignant human awareness that our reality unfolds on several timescales simultaneously, from instantaneous demands on attention in a mediated environment to local and global ecological catastrophe and change, to long-term planetary and cosmological processes. The Anthropocene marks a disjunctive juncture between
geologic timescales and the “Great Acceleration” in humanity’s planetary imprint since 1950. Not surprisingly, tensions among heterogenous temporalities characterize contemporary scholarship, art, and experience across a range of disciplinary and cultural contexts. But this in itself may not be a new condition: at any time in history, human beings have found themselves implicated in processes belonging not only to different scales, but also building different shapes of time – some oscillating, others circular, yet others linear. “Time in Variance” also evokes its mirror opposite, “time invariance,” creating a dialectic between temporal inconsistencies and constants, and a search for stable time measures, markers, or laws in a unstable world.

We invite papers that explore conceptual and experiential complexities comprising variations in and between timescales or time-rates, time regimes, or temporal orientations within given frames or contexts. The theme is to be interpreted broadly or as individuals understand it within the scope of their work. Below several topics, themes, and terms are offered as suggestions rather than limitations on the scope of the conference.

Possible Topics

  • Cosmic variance
  • Time lost and (re)found
  • Time variance in society and history, eg. “peasant time” vs. “factory time”
  • Varying disciplinary conceptions of time (chemistry vs. physics vs. biology vs. history)
  • Time variance in business models, e.g., “just in time” manufacturing
  • Variations in timescales in the Anthropocene and/or Big History
  • Variance in time perception, e.g., due to aging, disease, psychedelics, cultural
  • differences
  • Time-related acceleration/deceleration, e.g., Moore’s Law, entropy, slowing time
  • Time compression, time dilation
  • Variations in narrative temporalities
  • Artistic representations of time in variance and/or of time’s invariance
  • Time variance in ecological webs
  • Divergent manifestations of temporal aspect across languages
  • Nested Hierarchies of Time
  • Interconnections, convergences or disruptive relations between timing mechanisms, e.g., circadian rhythms, lunar phases, solar cycles, neural timing, radioactive decay
  • Varying measures of time, variance
  • The Eternal and the temporal
  • Genetic, epigenetic, and phenotypic variability, evolutionary pathways

Guidelines and Timeline for Proposals: Proposals will be for 20-minute presentations in diverse formats: scholarly paper, debate, performance, overview of creative work, installation, workshop. Proposals for interdisciplinary panels are especially welcome. In this latter case, three speakers might present divergent points of view around the central theme, with a moderator providing a response. (Each paper for a panel must be approved by the selection committee.)

All work will be presented in English and should strike a balance between expertise in an area of specialization and accessibility to a general intellectual audience. Proposals, no more than 300 words in length, are submitted electronically. The author’s or authors’ name(s) should not appear in the proposal as the ISST does blind reviewing in selecting papers for its conferences. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2018, with acceptances communicated by August 1, 2018. The Society also seeks session chairs, whose names will be included on the printed conference program.

To submit proposals, go to the ISST website:

Posted: 18-02-2018 | Updated: 14-10-2022