CALL FOR PAPERS: From heterotopias to heterochronias

“Time is out of joint”. Non-human time is the order of the day, be it the fatal geological time of the Anthropocene or the nanoseconds of the algorithms informing our mediated realities. Beset by temporalities beyond the sensorial and cognitive bandwidth of humans, the challenges facing the work of culture today echo those of Swift’s proverbial hero – latter-day Gullivers, we are too fast or too slow, too big or too small.

Inextricably linked to the notion of borders and growth, cultures are recognized by the way they shape spaces and finalize the temporal horizons under which they exist – this is the construction of life worlds and communities and the raw material of artistic creation and investigation. In the final account the work of culture is the production and maintenance of forms of space-time continuums, thus literature and the arts provide privileged meta-spaces for the development of tools to map and navigate the chronotopes of cultural time-space.

In “The Time of the World Image” Martin Heidegger famously claimed that the epistemology of modern rationality rested on the principle of representatio – the world was a reality to be measured, mapped and manipulated, and in the final account, objectified through representations. If the homogenization of space and time remains a hallmark of modern thought, the production of heterotopias, “different spaces”, was nevertheless an unavoidable byproduct – places organized under different laws than those of the predominant scientific, political and economic practices.

While the protocols of space and time have always been a matter of content and strife – maps and clocks are technologies for imposing spatial and temporal orders – the present predicament seems to be characterized by two main tendencies: the pervasive and precarious reality of processes beyond the scope of the human (anthropogenic geomorphology and the temporalities of algorithmic governmentality), and the increasing complexities of experienced time. The temporalities that traverse our lives are becoming increasingly more difficult to negotiate.

Literature and art explore, map and experiment with the space in which we move and the time in which we exist. If anything, contemporary art practices bear witness to the polytemporality of the present, the increasing heterogeneity of the timescapes we inhabit.

This provides the backdrop for our seminar as a possible analytical framework for capturing the specificities of the aesthetic experience of late modernity and identifying the matters of concern that mark contemporary art and literature. With these perspectives as a starting point, participants are invited to reflect on notions of the historical complexities of temporal and spatial form and how these pertain to their dissertation subjects empirically, analytically or epistemologically.

PhD students from TBLR member universities are invited to attend and present their work. In addition, the course will be open to a limited number of students from other universities. The number of participants is limited to 18.

Key-note speakers

Nicolas Bourriaud (tbc)

Wolfgang Ernst (tbc)

Antoinette Rouvroy (tbc)


The programme will consist of plenary lectures (45 minutes + 30 minutes of discussion) and group work.

Application Process

Those who would like to attend should fill in the application form and submit a short draft of their paper by the 28th of February latest (roughly 300 words). If the total number of applicants exceeds 18, a selection will be made based on relevance, previous participation in the TBLR program, affiliation and status of PhD training. Early applications will also be prioritized.


The program will consist of plenary key-note lectures (45-minute presentation, 45-minute discussion) and group work. Participant papers will be presented in a conventional conference setting (15-minute presentation, 15-minute discussion). In addition, there will be text reading sessions. Participants can choose between presenting their own work or a theoretical text for a text session.

Working language



2/5 ECTS. Participation and presentation will result in 2 ECTS, working over and submitting and editing version of the presentation (10-12 pages) after the seminar, will yield an additional 3 ECTS.Signed and authorized course diplomas will be bestowed upon each PhD student participant on completion of the course.


Hotel reservations will be made by the participants themselves. Up to four nights will be reimbursed (up to 100 euro per night) for students from the institutions participating in TBLR.


Lunch every day and dinner Tuesday and Wednesday nights.


PhD students are expected to cover their own travel expenses.


Reading materials will be made available to the participants by Dropbox no later than a month before the seminar. The reading list will include texts by: (yet to be specified)