Dislocating Time and Temporality: Synchronization, Syncopation, Anticipation (Due: 11/15/12)

Dislocating Time and Temporality: Synchronization, Syncopation, Anticipation

Seminar Organizer(s):

  • Matthew Lau (Queensborough Community College – CUNY)


The whole of our past is played, restarts, repeats itself, at the same time, on all the levels that it sketches out.” – Gilles Deleuze

“Even the most technical description of music will bring us eventually to history.” – Charles Rosen

This seminar seeks to explore how the concepts of synchronization, syncopation, and anticipation might provide, as they do in musical context, renewed energy for theoretical and practical questions regarding the nature of time and temporality in ontology, aesthetics, and hermeneutics.  In adopting the concept of Bergsonian durée wherein the past, present, and future all virtually co-exist, Deleuze questioned the traditional understanding of time as sequential, posing new challenges to the metaphysics of being.  If syncopation designates the displacement of rhythmic emphasis in musical form, how can this concept, as a metaphor and beyond, help us understand the relationship between a text and its interpretation?  In contemporary culture, to what extent do current historical reflections anticipate what historians like Mike Davis imagine as urban involution on an apocalyptic scale?  More broadly, can these concepts inject new blood into how we assess works both within and beyond the well-known distinctions of narration and point of view, story and plot?

The panels welcome interdisciplinary submissions in a wide range of theoretical and historical methodologies.

Topics may include:

  • Rhythm and Rhythmic Patterns
  • Image, Music, Text
  • The Synchronic and the Diachronic
  • Time, Performance, and the Body
  • Temporality and Hermeneutics
  • History and/or Prophecy
  • Narrative Theory
  • Cinematic Time
  • Film Music and Editing
  • Sacred and Secular Eschatology

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Theory, Music, Poetry, Film, Philosophy, Novel, Temporality, History, Criticism, Aesthetics,
Hermeneutics, Musicology, Typology, Phenomenology, Exegesis