Faculty Research Seminar 2013-2014 Individual Call for Proposals

Call for Individual Topic Proposals: Time-reckoning

Deadline: Tuesday, February 5, by 5 p.m.

The UC Davis Humanities Institute invites faculty to submit individual applications for the 2013-2014 Faculty Research Seminar on the theme of Time-reckoning, convened by Sudipta Sen of the history department.

This interdisciplinary faculty research seminar questions how the very perception of time as measurable or experiential quanta—evident in cycles, revolutions, chronology, temporality, memory, nostalgia, linearity, progress, speed, futurity, chance, and generally all relationships between time and space—has developed in the various branches of the humanities. The commonplace idea of time as a continually and evenly flowing entity no longer seems adequate in framing our studies of the past, present and the future. And yet, many related humanistic disciplines habitually embrace certain dimensions of time as if they are stable units of analysis. Our lack of a fuller understanding of the divide between scientific, objective and universal time and the phenomenology of human temporality has never been more exigent, as has been the need for sustained conversation and debate across key disciplines.

How do shared, collective notions of the meaning and purpose of time endure? How does history and memory in their complex mutuality frame passages of time, relating individual lives and experiences to eras, epochs, decades and centuries? Why are certain forms of temporality seen as essential to the historical experience of modernity and industrial capitalism, and other ostensibly antecedent forms, eschatological, millenarian, and apocalyptic, to the medieval past or antiquity? How does the idea of progress rest on the idea of evolutionary time accentuating the divide between developed and less-developed societies? Are our own temporal relationships with work, leisure and sleep changing forever in the current age of sound bites, pixilated information, and the quickening pulse of social media? How has the rapid pace of globalization fragmented or homogenized aspects of social time? Are the revolutions in computation, cyberspace and social media further compressing or transmuting time-space?

The seminar invites proposals that address all manner of time as experience: its textures, polarities and directions, its association with the private and the public, its relationship to the market and to money, its underlying connection to work and all forms of labor, its relation to fiction and the literary imagination, and to old and new forms of social media such as cinema, television and the internet.

The Faculty Research Seminar will meet weekly in winter or spring quarter 2014 and is open to applications from UC Davis faculty (ladder rank and continuing lecturers) in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. PLEASE NOTE: Faculty may participate in a research seminar every three years; if you participated in a group in 2009-2010 (or earlier), you are eligible to participate in 2013-2014.

Individual proposals may not exceed two single-spaced pages (excluding c.v.) and must include:

  • A narrative summary of your project that describes the anticipated work to be produced and how the seminar will contribute to that product (i.e. article, book chapter, conference talk).
  • A paragraph describing your project’s relevance for the topic/group as a whole.
  • Preferred quarter of participation (winter or spring).
  • A brief c.v. (max. 2 pages)

Applications will be reviewed and selected by the DHI Advisory Board. Proposals will be evaluated based on the strength of the individual project and its potential for engaging an interdisciplinary group of humanities scholars. Seminar participants will be selected with attention to fostering a productive and collaborative intellectual experience as well as junior/senior rank balance.

The Humanities Institute will award participants a $6,000 stipend to use for research or towards a course release. The dean of the division of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies will cover the additional costs associated with a course release for HArCS faculty participating in the seminar; faculty in the Division of Social Sciences are restricted to using the funds for research.

To submit your proposal online, please go to and complete the online application form. You may also find the link on the FRS page on our web site. Please contact Program Manager Laine Keneller at with any questions. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, February 5, at 5:00 p.m.


This page was last updated: November 5, 2012



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