I am a Research Associate in Politics at the University of Exeter. The project that I am working on with Dr. Robin Durie and Dr. Katrina Wyatt, titled “Researching with Communities: Towards a Leading Edge Theory and Practice for Community Engagement”, is part of the AHRC led Connected Communities programme. The purpose of our scoping study is to investigate the usefulness of complexity theory for understanding the relations between academic researchers and the public communities they engage with, and more broadly, the conditions for successful community engagement. Challenging traditional conceptions of time is of course a central component of complexity theory. Thus if communities are understood as complex systems, and if complexity represents the most effective means for theorising the connectivity within and between communities and academic researchers, how time is conceived and interacted with will play a crucial role throughout the process of engagement.
Aside from this research project, I am also pursuing my interests in time and communities through a monograph that I am writing for Edinburgh University Press (2012). This book, titled History and Becoming: Deleuze’s Philosophy of Creativity, will examine the work of Deleuze and several of his conceptual forebears (Marx, Nietzsche, Bergson, Péguy and Braudel) in order to address the following problematic: what is the relation between history and the creation of the new? While much work has been done on the importance of Deleuze’s philosophy of time to his political and social philosophy for change, I hope to demonstrate in this book how an appreciation of his philosophy of history is equally indispensable. You can find out more about my work here.
Craig's Lightning Talk:
My interest in the workshop stems from my PhD research, which explores how we might approach the idea of ‘feminist history’ from a historiographical perspective that is not bound to a framework of historical totality, linearity or teleology. I am currently trying to work out an understanding of historical time based upon Dipesh Chakrabarty’s concept of ‘heterotemporality’, and Paul Ricoeur’s notion of historical time as a form of public/social time that is constructed through the overlapping of multiple time frames and concepts, including: ‘calendar time’ (the time of dating and periodizations); ‘generational time’ (based upon notions such as ‘legacy’, ‘predecessors’, ‘contemporaries’, and ‘succesors’); ontologies and epistemologies of the past as ‘trace’; and temporal concepts which ‘temporalize’ certain periods of history -or history per se- such as progress, decline, cyclicality or stagnation. These different overlapping ‘strands’ that constitute historical time, I will try to show, are socially and culturally specific, and always open to contestation and refiguration. I will then ask how this idea of historical time might alter how we think about and construct feminist histories. For example: if we work from a model of historical time as multiple or ‘heterotemporal’ (rather than from a model of temporal totality and historical alignment), in what terms can we speak of ‘feminist histories’ as ‘collective’ histories? And how would it affect our notions of historical agency and judgment?
My ideas at the moment are still being developed, so I am really looking forward to learning from all the different participants’ perspectives on social and cultural time.
Victoria's Lightning Talk
I have a long interest in eco/feminism, politics, activism, naturecultures, feminist theory, methods, and time manifests in multiple ways in this work.
I have been committed to recording and creating eco/feminist histories and archives, work which happens in the context of a feminism curiously obsessed with time, past, present and future. Feminist histories abound with accounts of the ‘end’ or ‘death’ of feminism; waves; movements; generations and generational conflicts’ legacy; claims for new waves of feminism, ‘third’ and ‘fourth’ waves, ‘new’ feminist materialisms. I am interested in what is disavowed in many of these moves, and how disavowal sometimes happens through placing people and events in the past, in history, by declaring them out of step, out of time. I am currently completing a monograph drawing on research with women environmental activists (The Changing Nature of Feminism: Unnatural Histories of Eco/feminism from Clayoquot Sound).
Stories of ‘burn-out’ from activism have led me to reflect on ways of refiguring politics as radical everyday activism which might sustain activists as well as the planet, and refigure care of the self as a profoundly collective and community-based practice. I am involved in participatory research with a young lesbian and bisexual women’s organic allotment project in Manchester, and I have emerging research interests in radical approaches to food and nutrition, alternative health practices, as well as other embodied practices such as yoga, Alexander Technique, and mindfulness; practices which stress an embodied mindfulness as an approach to being in the world. I am also interested in their take up as a resistance to Western notions of ageing as a degenerative process.
I am also fascinated by questions of time and research. As well having in mind the time involved in doing research with communities, and questions for researchers who are also involved in the communities being researched, of when is community being practiced and when is research being practiced, I am more generally interested in the temporalities of many methods (and disciplines) used in research with communities. Oral history, interviews, ethnography, memory work, genealogy, the generation and creation of archives, often carry implicit notions of history and time and how history is being recorded and researched, but also of how the research is understand to happen in and through time.
Niamh's Pecha Kucha
I'm Lecturer in Future Media in the School of Media, Music and Performance at the university of Salford. Trained to be a sociologist who largely uses qualitative research methodologies and methods and experienced in interdisciplinary research, my main work has investigated user participatory cultures and community-based innovation, especially the socio-technical dynamics in those communities that develop open source technologies and services (hardware and/or software). Membership of these open innovation communities is usually loosely defined, such that whoever share the same interest or a constellation of practices (in the sense of “a community of practice”) can be part of the community. Interactions in these communities are often socio-technical: members not only interact with each other but also with technologies (software, source code, infrastructures, computers, hardware). Also, members of these communities usually are not constrained by geographical locations. As such, inventing, adopting and learning to manipulate new information and communication technologies to facilitate collaboration and communication between members is key to the success of community building. Time is an interesting element in these communities in several aspects and through this workshop I am hoping to develop methodologies and conceptual frameworks for understanding the role of time in this body of work.
Yuwei's Lightning Talk
I am a PhD student at Cardiff University, School of Social Sciences. Prior to this I have been a community worker involved in a range of local community strategies and initiatives within the constituency. My current research explores the uses of community currencies to develop co-production in community health care initiatives. The form of currency being used is time-based and it is from my interest in community development and my interest in the application of the social theory of time to time banking (as a local currency) that I approach this workshop.
This workshop seems to build on the current understanding that time remains under-theorised in our conceptions of community and community practice. The workshop provides an opportunity to bring time into theoretical and practical considerations of community. The integration of time and community will require that we reposition our theories of community, participation, well-being, policy and welfare; but needs to be guided by analysis of how time is used. Time-based practices alter our relationships to our communities (through inclusion and exclusion), towards institutions, how we organise social relationship and how we value activities. The workshop offers an opportunity to engage in some of these key discussions from across academia to consider how the use of time shapes our community lives, institutions and activities: to consider how time exchanges develop different approaches to cohesion and become a resource of community regeneration, health and well-being.
Lee's Pecha Kucha Presentation
I am a social geographer engaged in interdisciplinary research and based at the University of Aberdeen. Currently I am based in the dot.rural digital economy research hub, which reflects my interest in rural and peripheral areas, and in July I move to the Gaelic department at the University to pursue my interest in the social geographies of the Celtic languages. I gained a PhD (geography) from the university of Aberdeen in 2009. My doctoral research examined the social identities of Gaelic speakers employed in the Gaelic language industries in scotland. In the course of exploring issues of community, identity and difference with Gaelic speakers in Scotland, I have observed a temporal dimension at work. The increasing hybridity of the 'Gaelic speech community', itself connected to processes of de- and re-territorialisation, is disrupting previously taken-for-granted notions of Gaelic speakers sharing a common past or shared future. This workshop topic challenges me to better conceptualise and attend to the role of temporality in negotiations of belonging within the Gaelic speech community. It raises questions over how memory, inheritance, inter-generationality and tradition are worked to legitimise some Gaelic-speaking identities, but disavow others. As well as provoking new ways of understanding identity formation/ascription, this also raises questions over how differential histories of places are reproduced to support particular claims for Gaelic language promotion and government support. I think the workshop represents an opportunity for me to start grappling with non-linear notions of time and community in this minority language context.
Marsaili's Pecha Kucha Talk
I work at the Countryside and Community Research Institute in an ESRC research project on flood memories and community resilience to floods. I completed my doctoral studies in anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2010. I am fascinated with the discursive power of the idea of community, as well as with the transformative potential of this concept. I am interested in temporality from several angles. During my doctoral fieldwork along a river in Lapland, I was struck by the stark seasonality of social and ecological life, and the manifold other rhythmical dynamics in which the seasons are embedded. More recently, I have tried to come to grips with the dynamics of memory and remembering, where a past (that is remembered), a present (that sees the remembering) and a future (informed by this memory) are constantly mixed and matched. I am curious to explore the relationships between temporality and community, for instance in collective memory practices, or in the common experience of recurring episodic events, both of which may illustrate ways in which flood memory and community resilience are linked.
Franz's Pecha Kucha
I have been based in Archaeology at the University of Manchester since 1997. My research has crosscut disciplinary and period boundaries, drawing on archaeology, social anthropology, history, and cultural geography, whilst ranging from the Neolithic to the present-day. The main enduring theme is the relationship between material culture, time, and various forms of identity (community, ethnic, national and diasporic identities). My recent projects have focused on: heritage, modernity and the nation-state; the production of social memory; the experience of authenticity; and the theory and practice of conservation. A new research project, jointly led with Melanie Giles, focuses on the urban public park as an arena in which class, ethnicity, taste, citizenship, health, leisure, memory and place have been produced and negotiated in the past and present.
The workshop is an exciting opportunity to explore approaches to the interconnections between time and community. I am interested in how communities are constituted in time and space through material culture and practice. I hope to offer insights into the ways in which community connectivities and time intersect in the form of memory-work. My presentation will focus on how historic objects, monuments and places facilitate forms of community connectivity across time and space, producing a tangible sense of immediate connection to the past and allowing people to negotiate networks of belonging. This will complement the presentation by Melanie Giles on temporalities of practice and the production of community connectivity, which is another important strand in our joint project.
Slides from Sian's Lightning Talk
Dr Greenhill is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Dr Greenhill has an extensive research and publication list exploring cultural practices of online communities. Dr Greenhill along with Dr Gary Graham is currently researching the changing role of the city, local communities and their use of community news media in the digital age. Both time and space play a major role in the preliminary findings of their research. Thurman (2010) has argued that the advance of the social media/Web 2.0 is eroding away the timeliness, relevance and utility of the local news product. However our research indicates that community news media firms are not a dying breed as predicted by Meyer (2004; 2008), but are evolving over time from product supplier into a multimedia content service provider. In response to the challenges of the internet, many media firms are retaining their community connectivity and therefore influence - for being trusted sources of locally produced news, analysis and investigative reporting about public affairs. However, there are concerns that news media organizations are moving online into the (virtual) community space rather than creating their own space. This is potentially detrimental to community connectivity and temporal belonging and raises questions over whether consumers (local community groups) will be willing over time to interact in these spaces or whether they will wish to create/find their own spaces. This paper presents the preliminary findings of research exploring time and the changing role of local communities and their use of community news media in the digital age.
Anita's Pecha Kucha Presentation