Time in Variance

Series: 

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.

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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

Index
All interested in the interdisciplinary study of time, from the physical and social sciences to the arts and humanities.