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:
I am a post-grad student and part-time (philosophy) lecturer at Staffordshire University. By the time of the workshop I will have submitted by PhD thesis. This thesis is an attempt to explain the mergence of social order from the joint perspectives of contemporary French philosophy and complexity theory. I have had the opportunity to undertake a small research project (in partnership with my supervisor) that attempted to apply some of my researching findings to a practical situation – a local regeneration project. I also have been in contact with other research groups that have been researching community regeneration and sustainability from the perspective of complexity theory. Prior to undertaking this research I was employed in the social sector. My experience of working towards the last government’s ‘social inclusion’ agenda, and my realisation that it was not premised on any firm theory, greatly influence my research topic. The interconnection of time and the emergence of social order/structure goes to the very core of my research; I argue that ontologically they are the same – that order is born from the same repetitions that give birth to time – or more accurately times. From my perspective a singular, objective ‘time’ is a (pragmatic) codification of a plural temporality.
Kelvin's Lightning Talk