Viewpoints on Temporalities and History

By the Past & Present editorial team

A desire to accessibly explore the big themes the unite and animate those interested in historical studies has lain at the heart of the Past & Present project since the first issue of the journal in 1952. So pleasingly, since their revival in 2016, our Viewpoint articles-a series of person reflections-seeking to interrogate questions around and advance key overarching areas of discussion and debate for all who work in the discipline-have become some of our most read and engaged with publications. Continuing in this strong vein, Past & Present is pleased to publish as part of its May 2019 issue (#243) the thoughts, perspectives and insights of five scholars working across time and space, on the matter of temporality and history.

The Temporalities Viewpoints have been made free to read by our publisher Oxford University Press Academic and are available to read below:

“The History of Temporalities: An Introduction”, by Dr. Matthew Champion (Birkbeck, London)

“A Fuller History of Temporalities”, by Dr. Matthew Champion (Birkbeck, London)

“The Fetish of Accuracy: Perspectives on Early Modern Time(S)”, by Dr. Stefan Hanß (University of Manchester)

“Time and the Modern: Current Trends in the History of Modern Temporalities”, by Dr. A.R.P. Fryxell (Pembroke, Cambridge)

“Time, Space and Islands: Why Geographers Drive the Temporal Agenda”, by Dr. David Gange (University of Birmingham)

“Time, Temporality and the History of Capitalism”, by Dr. Vanessa Ogle (California, Berkeley)

To get a sense of the issues under discussion and the series as a whole, Matthew Champion has provided a very brief introduction:

“In recent years, and across multiple disciplines, temporality has become a focus of scholarly attention. Why is this the case? Haven’t historians always been concerned with temporalities? As the essays gathered here suggest, the answer to this question has to be ‘yes and no’. Like all categories of analysis, time has provoked scholars to think in different directions across multiple disciplines for many years. But with increasing unanimity scholars are now emphasizing histories of ‘temporality’ and not simply of ‘time’. What does this shift imply?

Thinking with ‘temporalities’ has helped historians to understand that ‘time’ cannot be considered as an object separate from human configurations, perceptions and measurements, as well as to emphasize that ‘time’ is always and everywhere a condition…”

Czech-2013-Prague-Astronomical clock face

Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

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