CFP: Seminar ACLA 2013 - Timekeeping in Print

full name / name of organization: 
Mayra Bottaro (UC Berkeley)
contact email:

This is a call for papers for the annual American Comparative Literature Conference which will be held in Toronto, Canada, April 4 - 7, 2013. The abstracts need to be submitted on the ACLA website: <> by November 15, 2012.
Timekeeping in Print: the Literary Register of New Temporalities

Seminar Organizer: Mayra Bottaro (University of California, Berkeley)
The attempt to delineate the passage from early modern to modern led Reinhardt Koselleck to coin the term Sattelzeit, denoting a period of transition that encompasses 1750-1850 and that can be defined by the novel ways in which history and time were experienced (“Über die Theoriebedürftigkeit”). In the Western world, concepts and experiences of time changed quickly as new social developments including industrialization, urbanization, and the spread of new means of transportation and communication technologies, such as the railroad and the telegraph, made new time-keeping conventions unavoidable. Closely calibrated clocks and calendrically successive texts, widely accesible to bourgeois consumers, gradually came to govern time consciousness and social practice. The correct time was no longer established by local convention, as time zones connected far away places and governed a global, interconnected system. This seminar seeks to bring together scholars from different disciplines and languages focusing on the transition from Early Modern to Modern to explore the ways in which new forms of prose and genres absorbed and registered some of the new temporalities. We will discuss how new technologies in time measuring have impacted the ways in which narratives are articulated and constructed, and the myriad of forms that were deployed as a means of enabling authors to write the time the new clocks told.
Possible topics:
-Literary periodization
-New time measuring and narrative forms
-The experience of time and/or history through literary forms and genres
-The role of technology in configuring time and/or the experience of time
-Time and narrative

cfp categories: