Where are we now? Temporalities of globalisation

Amsterdam, 15-16 December, the 3d ACGS conference.

Keynote speakers: Amy Allen (Pennsylvania State University), Louise Amoore (Durham University), Michael Shapiro (Hawaii University), Rolando Vazquez (Utrecht University)

Globalisation is often seen as a single process, unfolding in a single timeframe that serves as a universal measure. This synchronic, or perhaps better still, monochronic conception of globalisation’s temporality creates problematic distinctions between the ‘contemporary’ and the ‘archaic’, between the ‘modern’ and the ‘traditional’ and between globalisation’s GMT and cultures, subjects and areas that are seen to remain out of time. Such a vision of the temporality of globalisation, and its underlying ‘denial of coevalness’ (Johannes Fabian), entails a perpetuation of the dominant narrative of modernisation and modernity as progress and temporal advance, as the integration (or lack thereof) in the universalising timeframe of the contemporary (Amy Allen). Today, we witness many cultural practices that challenge, refute or problematise this narrative: from new forms of cultural translation (including a validation of the untranslatable) and the proliferation of decolonial altermodernities to the emergence of Euro-American populist nostalgia; from accelerationism and hyper-temporalities (such as that of climate change), to renewed appraisals of slowness and reflection on the end of temporality (Fredric Jameson).

The 2016 Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies conference highlights the urgency to reconsider globalisation from the perspective of today’s multiple temporalities. We want to explore new conceptualisations of the multiple, differentiated temporalities of globalisation. What if still dominant representations of globalisation as an unfolding process – an agent of sorts that is alternatively embraced, resisted, missed out on; that homogenises or pluralises – are simply inadequate to grasp what we refer to as globalisation today? We call for contributions that investigate globalisation as the simultaneity of different and radically divergent temporalities. Emerging decolonial temporalities (Walter Mignolo), Euro-American populist withdrawal, re-emerging imperialisms (U.S., Europe, Russia, Middle East, China), the project of de-imperialisation, de-Cold War and de-colonisation (Chen Kuan-Hsing), 24/7 neo-capitalism (Jonathan Crary), the hyper-temporality of climate change, imperial ruination (Ann Laura Stoler), the exclusion of states and regions (i.e. Africa, Greece) from the rhythms of neoliberal capitalism (Maurizio Lazzarato), high-speed financial trading, revelations of global economic warfare, aging workforces (Europe, Japan): all these examples demonstrate that globalisation, in its present, singular tense, no longer covers our fractured and multi-temporal present.

We invite theoretical and empirical interventions to analyse the ways in which globalisation’s manifold temporalities – and their problematization – appear in the socio-­‐ cultural realm: from decolonial cinema and novels flaunting their untranslatability to the way news and social media ‘chase’ each other; from the use of extreme duration in theatre and contemporary art and the fashionability of yoga classes and mindfulness to the global boom in plastic surgery and expressions of imperial nostalgia; from the seeming endlessness of crisis to regressive and progressive attempts to find a ‘way out of here’.

For more information, see here: http://acgs.uva.nl/news-and-events/upcoming-events/item/3rd-acgs-conference.html