Time: Origins and Futures, Costa Rica, 7/2010

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International Society for the Study of Time
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See http://www.studyoftime.org/Conference/Announcement/default.aspx

The International Society for the Study of Time
Fourteenth Triennial Conference
Origins and Futures

Monte Verde, Costa Rica

July 25 – 31, 2010
Call for Papers

The International Society for the Study of Time (ISST) seeks proposals for presentations at its 2010 conference in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, on the theme of Origins and Futures. The ISST, renowned for its interdisciplinary scope, welcomes contributions from all scholarly, creative, or professional perspectives. Synthetic, foundational work is especially welcome.

The conference will take place in Costa Rica, a place uniquely fitted to the chosen topic. At the crossroads of two continents and the world's two largest oceans, it is famous for its astonishing biodiversity—that is, for its role in the origins of many species of life and in the creation of new ecological niches. Its forests—in one of which Hotel El Esbablo, our beautiful conference hotel, is located—have been carefully preserved or restored by its wise and innovative democratic government, and can tell us much about the conditions in which human societies were first created in the Americas.

Costa Rica, moreover, is thought by many scholars to be a model for the future of much of the globe. Its high-tech low-tech ethos, its openness to post-industrial solutions to issues of energy, the environment, social policy, and economics, its political freedom and market savvy, its recognition of the value of its cultural heritage, and its friendliness to science all suggest the possibility of a more hopeful future.


The human species projects its path forward by understanding its past. The scope of humanity's temporal awareness continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We find ourselves poised between ever-deepening knowledge of our cosmic, evolutionary, and cultural histories, and ever-more varied future scenarios, of both humans and the cosmos. Searching to grasp our origin, we discern what fundamentally defines ourselves, and implicitly chart ways into different futures.

Origins mark moments of mystery, elusive or even unknowable ruptures in time. Origin points anchor lines of subsequent development; origins contain futures, and forecast the emergence of unprecedented processes, properties and entities in the universe. The universe somehow generates true novelties, from heavy elements in stars and species in niches to mating dances in bird species and arches in architectural traditions. There was a moment before which these new things could not be said to exist, and a moment shortly afterwards when they were definitely there. And from these moments, radically new and perhaps different futures arise.

Topics for Consideration:

* Origins/Futures of: cosmos; life; consciousness; language; ethical values; religious belief
* What new things might be originated by global society, with what future consequences?
* Origins: discrete and continuous concepts of time
* Climate change: original causes, future forecasts
* Extinction and emergence
* Innovation and sustainability
* Origins and future effects of risk quantification
* Chronometrics: calculating origins, forecasting destinies
* If origins occur, does time itself evolve?
* Are emergent entities determined or undetermined, contingent or necessary?

Guidelines and Timeline for Proposals

Presentation/paper proposals (20 – 30 minutes presentation time) are called for from all fields of scholarly investigation and all forms of creative expression. Diverse formats welcome: scholarly paper, debate, performance, overview of creative work, installations etc., workshop, poster. Proposals for interdisciplinary panels especially welcome; each paper for a panel must be approved by the selection committee. All work will be presented in English, and should strike a balance between area of specialization and accessibility to a general intellectual audience.

Proposals, approximately 300 words in length, are submitted electronically at Submit Proposal, The author's name(s) should not appear in the proposal, as the ISST does blind reviewing in selecting papers for its conferences. Please be prepared to include a brief (100 words or less) description of your scholarly/artistic orientation, field/s of interest/research, and (if applicable) institutional affiliation.

The deadline for submission is July 31th, 2009. Proposals are evaluated blindly (without name and affiliation of author) by the ISST's Council. Decisions will be communicated by November 1, 2009. The Society also seeks session chairs, whose names will be included on the printed program.

Conference participants must be ISST members. For membership information and application procedures, go to (http://forms.studyoftime.org/membership.aspx). Membership includes subscriptions to the ISST circular Time's News and KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time.