CFP: Evolutionary Temporalities (2/15/06; NAVSA, 8/31/06-9/3/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Cannon Schmitt
contact email: 

Evolutionary Temporalities

This NAVSA special session invites consideration of the
interplay between nineteenth-century evolutionary theory and
conceptualizations of time. Historians of science have amply
documented the role of the vast temporal spans posited by
geological "deep time" in making thinkable a natural selection
that gives rise to dramatic changes in organisms merely by
slowly accumulating minute variations. Did other accounts of
time (its extent, directionality, accessibility to observation
or measurement, etc.) prove similarly epistemologically
enabling--or, on the contrary, pose dificulties for theorizing
the transmutation of species? More interesting still, perhaps,
is the question of the temporalities that evolution opened up
or made newly pertinent. Rudiments, recapitulation,
perfection, regression, saltation, accumulation, extinction:
many of the key terms of the debate within Victorian
biological circles centered on issues of time and timing, and
the specifically temporal implications of evolutionary theory
were arguably those taken up with the most passion, anxiety,
and intellectual excitement by thinkers who sought to bring
that theory to bear on matters literary, political, or
anthropological. Submit to this special session by e-mailing
Cannon Schmitt at and cc'ing the conference
committee at Please indicate clearly in
the body of your e-mail and in your proposal the special
session to which you are submitting your paper. Proposals
should be two pages (500 words) with a one-page curriculum
vitae and should be submitted electronically in the body of an
email or as an attachment in .doc or .pdf format by February
15, 2006.

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Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 11:14:17 EST