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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

About Time Public lecture: 'Putting Time in its Place: multiple times, multiple spaces, and complicating space times'

4th February 2013, 18:15 to 19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University, Professor Mike Crang (Durham University)

This is the fourth lecture in the series, 'About Time'. 

Social action occurs in space and time, so that in many cases we talk of space-time conjoined. But that time is joined to what space? Our sense and use of time has multiple dimensions and creates multiple temporalities – of speed, of heritage, duration, rhythm, sequence, synchronisation and more. It is possible to argue that different places are characterised by different temporal regimes and configurations of these dimensions. That the sense and use of time varies over space is well known. However, there are also multiple senses of space with multiple dimensions and spatialities – of scale, connection, as site, as co-location, as distance or milieu and more. The question then is not then only Kevin Lynch’s ‘what time is this place?’ but also what sort of place is this at a given time. This talk will explore the different intersections of different temporalities and spatialities to forge differentiated spacetimes. These differentiated spacetimes are enabled and enacted through a variety of forms of social organisation and technologies. It will suggest that these differences are the stuff of power relations, creating advantages and restrictions for different kinds of actors.

Mike Crang is a Professor of Geography at Durham University. He has studied the organisation of social life through the dimensions of space and time. Theoretically he has written on different approaches to relating space and time in the contemporary and historic urban milieu. More empirically one strand of his work has focused the role of the past in the present, looking at popular understandings of cultural heritage and practices of social memory. This has involved looking at preserved landscapes both materially and in photographic archives and looking at the work museums do in remembering the past and framing current social identities. It has also looked at the converse -- decay, dereliction and forgetting in the landscape. A second strand has focused on the changes that digital communications have made to our senses of space and time, the logistics of daily living. Here he has explored  the effects of digital media on daily practices in globalised cities. He was the editor of the journal ‘Time & Society’ from 1997 to 2007.



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