I am employed at Centre for Healthy Ageing – an interdisciplinary research centre focusing on the challenges of an ageing society. I am part of the program Innovation and Dissemination in which we focus on the cultural anthropological aspects of healthy ageing, working together with disciplines ranging from neurologists to epidemiologists to sociologists. - I am part of the interdisciplinary innovation partnership No Age. In the sub-partnership The Meeting Place we try to develop innovative welfare technologies for communities of elderly persons, and technologies that can facilitate meetings and be part of creating communities for the elderly. I conduct ethnographic fieldwork on activity centres and in the homes of elderly persons, which is used as user insights in the innovation process.
- This fieldwork I also use for my Ph.D.-project. The project is called Technologies and Communities for the active elderly. I focus on how notions of activity and community are used and practiced at activity centres for elderly. Ideas of prevention through exercise and extending ‘time left’ are ways of organizing and creating communities. The ‘in common’ of the community is age (time lived) and an expectation of extending ‘time left’ through communal activities. Thus, ‘time left’ and ‘time lived’ are substantial parts of these communities. I use technology as everything from information technology to ‘a way of doing something’. With this I also see community as a technology, i.e. as ‘a way of being together’.
- My background is in European ethnology and anthropology.
Kuldip Powar is the Director ‘Unravelling’-a journey into war, memory & loss, in collaboration with Nitin Sawhney and Goldmiths University and funded by the ARHC. He will be presenting the film at the workshop, followed by a Q&A.
'Unravelling’ recently won the Best Short Film Competition Award at the 13th London Asian Film Festival,2011. This film was also selected for : The Re-Orient festival in Stockholm; The Spinning Wheel Sikh Film Festival 2008 in Hollywood and Bombay Mix Film Festival 2010(Cine Lumiere). ’Unravelling’ also won the Best Short Film at the 2009 Sikh International Film Festival-New York as well as being screened at the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, RIBA, V&A & Tate Britain, The Southbank, Museum of London and most recently at The Black International Film Festival, Berlin.
Kuldip has also worked on various film projects that explore the lives of Asian people in Britain. Completed a short film piece Remembrance (2005) funded by the BFI ‘Screen Rootz’ Initiative, poetically exploring post-colonial memory of WWII vis-à-vis personal testimony and narrative. Co-Directed the film, Kabhi Ritz Kabhie Palladium (2003) about the social cinema scenes amongst the South Asian diaspora communities of Coventry, for an Herbert Art Gallery & Museum exhibition. Has experience in conducting oral and visual ethnographies across Britain. Created an oral history archive and directed a documentary (funded by the MLA) titled For the Record: the social life of Indian vinyl in Southall (2008), which was screened at The British Library (2009). Kuldip has also been a member of the ‘Music In Museums’ meeting group (programmed by the MLA) and has given presentations at The Horniman Museum and The Royal College of Music. He has worked with The Royal Geographical Society as a Volunteer Community Consultant for the ‘Hidden Histories’ and ‘Moving Journeys’ projects. He has worked for the Sorrell Foundation on the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme as a Project Facilitator.
He is currently working as an ‘Associate Artist’ for Tamasha Theatre Company, co-leading ‘Small Lives Global Ties' Writers Group.
I am Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, and co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) where I covene the research theme on ‘Topologies of Social Change’ - an inter-disciplinary group interested in the politics of space, time and matter. I am currently working with Hannah Knox on an ethnography of roads in the Andean and Amazonian regions of Peru. Our almost finished book - Precarious Infrastructures - tracks the material, moral and social controversies produced by a volatile mix of engineering expertise, transnational capital and territorial politics. We are particularly interested in how road construction projects mobilise spatial and temporal imaginaries. Roads are field sites that allow for the empirical study of trans-local places that register histories of travel and of settlement, and that draw together the preoccupations and speculative investments of multilateral funders, international trade and local enterprises. Since October 2010 I have also been working on a new ethnographic project entitled Unsettling the State: Law, Engineering and Regional Government in Cusco, Peru. This is a collaborative project in a research team of six ethnographers, which I run together with Deborah Poole (Johns Hopkins University) that looks at how the ambiguities that technical and legal knowledges create and sustain are mobilised in the exercise of state power. The tropes of temporality and community are central to this work.
I first became interested in the interconnections between time and community while I was writing my undergraduate (honours) thesis on Donna Haraway’s work and its implications for feminist coalition building. Looking at both her and Gloria Anzaldua’s work on hybrid identities it seemed that attempts to rethink community in terms of hybridity also appeared to involve challenges to linear conceptions of time, involving for example, critiques of teleology, progress and assumptions about how change happens over time. I took up this problem in my PhD thesis in Philosophy. However I found it quite difficult to approach this problem in the way I wanted to from a solely continental philosophical framework, and was particularly inspired by Carol Greenhouse’s work to explore the way the time of social life can be understood as being produced through the negotiation of social conflict. As a result I ended up developing an interdisciplinary approach to ‘time and community’ that draws on anthropology, sociology, feminist philosophy as well as continental philosophy.
My current project builds on this work, in order to develop an account of the way both time and community are being transformed in the context of climate change and resource depletion. Taking inspiration from Donna Haraway’s account of figurations as ‘condensed maps of contested worlds’ (1997, 11), I will produce case studies of three figures that might instead serve as ‘condensed clocks of contested worlds’. Looking at atomic and molecular clocks, leather-back turtles on the verge of extinction and community-led attempts to build sustainable cities, I want to analyse how an attentiveness to each of these different sites opens up a view onto the complex temporalities and relationalities that are being mobilised. It is envisioned that these ‘condensed clocks’ may enable new ways of understanding the task of ‘telling the time’ in the current context. This work involves a variety of collaborations including with Transition Liverpool and other members of the Extinction Studies working group.
While completing my PhD I often felt a little lost in the wilderness, with very few guides for how to approach the problems of time and community together in the way that I wanted to – at least none that I could find at the time! While there is certainly some enjoyment in feeling this way, I’m very much looking forward to working with others at the workshop to start developing a more explicit framework for thinking through these intersections.
I am a sociologist based at the Institute of Public Health in Cambridge. My PhD, completed at Goldsmiths, London in 2009, was structured around an ethnographic study of community mental health professionals based in an inner-city borough. Here in Cambridge I am currently engaged in implementing a further small scale, effectively one-person qualitative research project. This takes as its focus a large ongoing population-based, scientific study around genetic and lifestyle factors associated with diabetes and obesity.
There are clearly great differences between these two research landscapes. Yet in each, notions of community and time have played a major role – both in terms of various actors’ explicit articulations of what they are about, and my doubtless often quixotic attempts to discern fresh patterns and insights from their interaction. Despite each concept being taken as the target of philosophical unpacking over recent decades, I have the sense that both time and community are often still too often take-for-granted as self-evident parameters of analysis within much contemporary social science. Whereas a consistent thread within my own thinking involves following the lead of writers like Whitehead and Bergson in probing and destabilising such assumptions, particularly in the case of time.
This is one reason why I’m excited by the coupling of the two notions in the title of the workshop and their problematisation as its theme. I’m intrigued by the formatting of the event and the opportunities presented for the cross-fertilisation of ideas. Manchester in June – who wouldn’t be up for it!
Paul's Lightning Talk
I have been a member of the Archaeology Subject Area from 2005, specialising in later prehistory: specifically, the Iron Age of Britain and Ireland. Key themes in my research include aspects of identity (exploring the intersection of age, gender, skill and life-courses in prehistoric communities), and relations between people and place, animal communities and objects. I also study the archaeology and anthropology of death and burial: currently focusing on the chariot burials of East Yorkshire. In addition, I have been involved in the recording and analysis of historic farm graffiti in the Yorkshire Wolds, and this has led to an interest in interdisciplinary research involving buildings recording, archival and photographic analysis, combined with oral history. This latter research has provided the inspiration for my involvement in this conference, and I look forward to sharing ideas with fellow researchers on how we might understand time as key to shaping distinct communities, and how we might explore contrasting rhythms of temporality through material culture.
In association with my colleague, Siân Jones, I will also introduce a new collaborative project on Whitworth Park, which aims to explore how urban communities are constituted in space and time, through their material practices. We are also interested in how the intersection of past and present creates connections between communities over time, and how archaeology can act as a site of memory and identity work.
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
I am a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at Durham University. My PhD thesis is entitled as “Cultural Perceptions of Time and Space: On Negotiating Social Change in Rural Pakistan”. This research aims to investigate culturally perceived notions of time and space in a Pakistani village and to ascertain the extent to which these may have undergone changes in recent decades. The study will examine how the community has adapted to new temporal and spatial models, and determine the extent of such adaptations due to social change. I am particularly interested in the workshop’s themes related to community participation, self-reliance and resilience and sustainable community environments, places, spaces and institutions. Time is an important aspect of human experience which appears to be a universal phenomenon. In order to understand any cultural characteristics, it will be imperative to recognize the temporal organization of the community, essentially with reference to spatial models. Since culture is a process and change is inevitable so the changing models of time provide an insight into the mechanism of any socioeconomic change taken place in the community. Taking into account the community’s sensitivities to its culturally perceived models of time and space will help increasing the willingness of the community to actively participate in development programs to achieve sustainability.
I stopped being a lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Glasgow in 2009 to continue my work with my local community resilience initiative, PEDAL, and the broader movement for resilience in Scotland through Holyrood 350, and to resume working with Central African communities for the Forest Peoples Programme. I am a research fellow in social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of SASI (the St Andrews Sustainability Initiative). 'The title of my paper is Can Transition be in time? It looks at the kinds of time people in a transition initiative like PEDAL (Portobello Transition Town) have to negotiate between: - urgent 'war' time, and the sense of Imminent ecological collapse; - 'long' time, energy decent plans, community and resilience building; - 'clock' time, and the targets and deadlines set by government funding; - 'fantasy' time, especially in local newspaper coverage; - 'task' time and the immediacy of actions and relations in the present. Does Transition happen in time, or does it happen in place? Is Transition about recognising that mobilising place can vastly extend and deepen the quantity and quality of time available for making the transition?