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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

About Time Public Lecture: What time was it? A closer look at time-telling conventions from antiquity to the 21st century

28th January 2013, 18:15 to 19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University, Dr Kristen Lippencott


Conceptualizing time is not an easy matter. The earliest Greek philosophers argued that we know that time exists because we experience its passage through the agent of change. Long before that, however, mankind made repeated efforts to find some measuring system that might help to quantify this agent of change. For, how does one measure this thing called time? As this lecture will show,  the variances in the time-measuring systems that different cultures developed provide interesting insights into what those individual societies deemed to be most important.

Dr. Kristen Lippincott received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the History of Art. She was a Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London, where she studied the representation of scientific information in the visual arts from antiquity to the present day. She has served as Curator of Astronomy at The Old Royal Observatory, as Director of The Royal Observatory Greenwich, and as Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. In 2004 Dr. Lippincott was visiting professor at Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti in Florence, and she has published over 60 scholarly books and articles in the fields of art history, history of science, and history of scientific instruments and cultural history. She currently is a museum consultant with the London-based consortium, The Exhibitions Team.



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