This interdisciplinary volume of essays explores how the notion of time varies across disciplines by examining variance as a defining feature of temporalities in cultural, creative, and scholarly contexts. Featuring a President’s Address by philosopher David Wood, it begins with critical reassessments of J.T. Fraser’s hierarchical theory of time through the lens of Anthropocene studies, philosophy, ecological theory, and ecological literature; proceeds to variant narratives in fiction, video games, film, and graphic novels; and concludes by measuring time’s variance with tools as different as incense clocks and computers, and by marking variance in music, film, and performance art.
Arkadiusz Misztal, Ph.D. (2007), University of Gdańsk, is Professor in American Studies at that university. He has published work on contemporary fiction, narrative theory, and the philosophy of time, including Time and Vision Machines in Thomas Pynchon’s Novels (Lang, 2019).
Paul A. Harris, Ph.D. (1991), University of California, Irvine, is Professor of English at Loyola Marymount University. He has published work on interdisciplinary study of time, literary theory, and geo-humanities, including the co-authored book Contemporary Viewing Stone Display (VSANA, 2020).
Jo Alyson Parker, Ph.D. (1989), University of California, Irvine, is Professor Emerita of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She has published essays on time and narrative, including in the works of Kate Atkinson, David Mitchell, and Tom Stoppard, and the book Narrative Form and Chaos Theory in Sterne, Proust, Woolf, and Faulkner.
Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Notes on Contributors
Introduction Paul A. Harris, Arkadiusz Misztal, and Jo Alyson Parker
part 1: Variations on J. T. Fraser’s Hierarchical Theory of Time
1 President’s Address: Time in Variance Raji C. Steineck
2 Out of Plato’s Cave Steve Ostovich
3 From the Biotemporal to the Ecotemporal in Atilio Caballero’s La última playa Lucia Cash Beare
4 Founder’s Lecture: Is Time Out of Joint? Or at a New Threshold? Reflections on the Temporality of Climate Change David Wood
5 Slow Time: The Suspension of a Tension Paul A. Harris
part 2: Variant Narratives
6 Temporal Otherness and the “Gifted Child” in Fiction Adam Barrows
7 The Seductive Quality of Variable Time in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Sue Scheibler
8 In the Forest of Realities: Impossible Worlds in Film and Television Narratives Sonia Front
9 “Out of Repetition Comes Variation”: Varying Timelines, Invariant Time, and Dolores’s Glitch in Westworld Jo Alyson Parker and Thomas Weissert
10 Time in Variance and Time’s Invariance in Richard McGuire’s Here Arkadiusz Misztal
part 3: Measuring Time’s Variance
11 Variance in Time Morphologies in Production and Consumption of Incense in Medieval Japan Vroni Ammann
12 Understanding Computation Time: A Critical Discussion of Time as a Computational Performance Metric David Harris-Birtill and Rose Harris-Birtill
13 Variations of Narrative Temporalities in John Farrow’s 1948 Film The Big Clock Raphaëlle Costa de Beauregard
14 Transcending Temporal Variance: Time-Specificity, Long Distance Performance and the Intersubjective Site Emily DiCarlo
15 Temporal Experience in George Benjamin’s Sudden Time Martin Scheuregger
All interested in the interdisciplinary study of time, from the physical and social sciences to the arts and humanities.