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The Mediatization of Time

ZeMKI international conference „The Mediatization of Time“ December 6-8, 2017 Conference venue: Swissôtel Bremen Hillmannpl. 20, 28195 Bremen, Germany Organizer: University of Bremen, ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research http://www.zemki.uni-bremen.de Topic: Recent innovations in the digitalization and datafication of communication fundamentally affect how people conceptualize, perceive and evaluate […]

The acceleration of social theory

There’s a section in this 1997 chapter by Roger Burrows which my thoughts have been intermittently turning to since reading it last week. On pg 235 he writes: It is not just technology which appears to be accelerating towards meltdown, so are our cultural and sociological understandings of the world. […]

Anticipatory Urgency

Earlier this morning, I found myself impatiently waiting in my local petrol station to purchase a drink before I went swimming. The woman in front me in the queue was rather slow. Initially seeming surprised that money would be required for the transaction, she proceeded to initiate an entirely different process to locate her […]

On Social Acceleration

Earlier on this month, Hartmut Rosa gave a fascinating lecture at the LSE, marking the launch of this new book on the Sociology of Speed. It’s a great overview of his theory of acceleration, but it also included some things I hadn’t encountered before: His intellectual trajectory was shaped by […]

What is ‘the literature’?

My experience of watching the literature on asexuality spiral from a handful of papers ever through to new ones each month has left me fascinated by how quickly ‘the literature’ can become unmanageable. Within a relatively small and nascent field, it’s possible to grasp ‘the literature’ as a totality. But […]

Ambient intimacy and cultures of overwork

In a recent book about the neoliberal superstar turned aspiring world saviour Jeffrey Sachs, a quote from his wife caught my attention. On loc 2909, she describes how Sachs only sleeps for four hours a night and works constantly throughout his waking hours. Even on a family holiday, he often gave two […]

The emotional dimension of chronopolitics

A really interesting suggestion from pg 169 of Arlie Hochschild’s Outsourced: Could it be, I wondered, that we are dividing the world into emotional types—order-barking, fast-paced entrepreneurs at the top, and emotionally attuned, human-paced mediators at the bottom? Talking one’s way past the protective layers of a top executive, teaching […]

UCU workload survey report

Recording this for future use when Filip Vostal and I progress a bit further with our book: You will remember that earlier this year we surveyed all members to find out more about your concerns around workload intensification and working hours. The report and an executive summary are now available […]

The threat of pseudo-activity

From Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, pg 174-175: The threat today is not passivity, but pseudo-activity, the urge to ‘be active’, to ‘participate’, to mask the Nothingness of what goes on. People intervene all the time, ‘do something’, while academics participate in meaningless ‘debates’, and so on, and the truly difficult […]

The Second Accelerated Academy

Good news! This week it was learnt that CWTS will play host to the second annual conference ‘The Accelerated Academy: Evaluation, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life’. Generously sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the event will take place from 30th November to 2nd December 2016 […]

The Fracturing of Free Time

From Refusal of Work by David Frayne, pg 70: Consider the extent to which the standard eight-hour working day fractures free-time into shards. The full-time worker experiences time as a rapid series of discrete pockets: a constantly rotating cycle of work periods and free periods, in which free-time is restricted […]

Against the ‘slow professor’

A letter Filip Vostal and I have written to University Affairs in response to this interview: We read your recent interview with the authors of the recent book Slow Professor with interest. While we welcome the continued expansion of critical debate concerning academic labour, we nonetheless found much to be […]

Henry Rollins on the pleasures of acceleration

At various points in the last year, I’ve made the argument that acceleration can serve to “reduce the time available for reflexivity, ‘blotting out’ difficult questions in a way analogous to drink and drugs”. My point is that this is pleasurable: it’s something that people embrace because of the satisfactions they find in […]