Roy Liuzza Lecture
The Sense of Time in Anglo-Saxon England
Apr 10, 2009
from 12:00 pm to 01:30 pm
|Where||Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library|
|Contact Name||Andrew Rabin|
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It is sometimes said that the modern world is ruled by the clock, the calendar, and the idea that time can be mechanically chopped into identical units, whether the billable minutes of an attorney or the nanoseconds of a physicist. This sense of time is inseparable from the sophisticated devices by which we measure it—the appointment books, timers, watches and schedules that govern our lives. Our practices of timekeeping create and sustain our belief that time is a thing that is objective, standardized, and separate from ourselves; there is a connection between the ways we measure time and the ways we imagine it. This talk will look at different ways of measuring and recording time in Anglo-Saxon England—rural time, regional time, ecclesiastical time, liturgical time, and others—and the influence these may have had on the ways the Anglo-Saxons situated themselves in the temporal world. A culture’s "sense of time" leaves its mark on its vision of the past and its hope for the future, on its ideas about permanence and transience, on its rituals and ceremonies. Recapturing this sense of embodiment in time, and the diversity of ways it is manifest in other cultures, is an important task for literary and cultural history.