German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


calendar & information

Breadcrumb navigation:


Conference to be held at the German Historical Institute London 14-16 May 2020. Convenors: Tobias Becker (GHIL), Christina Brauner (University of Tübingen) and Fernando Esposito (University of Konstanz); organised in co-operation with the Arbeitskreis Geschichte+Theorie.

Time is so deeply interwoven with all aspects of politics that its importance is frequently overlooked: politics take place in time, need time and bring forth time; time can be an instrument and also an object of politics. Political actors use time as a resource as well as to legitimize or delegitimize policies and politics, for instance, when differentiating between conservatives and progressives or when constructing “primitives” existing outside of (modern) time as objects of civilizing missions, development aid and modernizing projects. More generally, politics aims at creating futures in the present—or at preventing them. The “politics of time” is strongly connected to the question how social change is understood and managed.

The international conference “Chronopolitics: Time of Politics, Politics of Time, Politicized Time” sets out to engage these issues and questions in an interdisciplinary framework. It attempts a first systematization of respective debates on chronopolitics, temporality and historicity. The emphasis on chronopolitics connects traditional fields of historical inquiry—politics, society, economy—with the history of temporalities, thereby demonstrating the importance of reflections on time and temporality for all historians and historiographical practice.Not least, we would like to further discussions on the chronopolitics of historians and historiography –not least our own. How do historians and other scholars create and contribute to “images of history and temporal order“ (Charles Maier)? Both time and history have their own histories and are thus in need of historical investigation.

The first panel “Synchronicity. The Simplification and Coordination of Time” focuses on the construction of non-synchronicities or temporalities of difference, while the second, “(Post)Colonial Temporalities, or: Pluritemporality”, explores conflicts between colonial or Western and different local temporal regimes, analysing how eurocentrism is built on chronocentrism. The third panel, “Ideological Temporalities from Communist to ‘Neoliberal’”, studies transformations of ideological temporalities in the last third of the twentieth century focussing on (post-)communist and neoliberal temporalities. The fourth panel, “A Tale of Many Historicities”, discusses historicity as a specific form of temporality. It takes up the critique of a history in the singular, closely entangled with teleological narratives of modernisation, and reflects on the chronopolitics of more recent calls for pluritemporal histories.

To register for the conference please write to Carole Sterckx (sterckx(ghi) Deadline: 30 April 2020. There is no conference fee. Only a limited number of seats are available.

Download Call for Papers (PDF file)

Conference programme (PDF file)