Time and Measure

International Society for the Study of Time (ISST)

Eighteenth Triennial Conference

July 2-7, 2023 / Yamaguchi, Japan

***The Call for Papers is now closed***

The ISST, renowned for its interdisciplinary scope, invites scientists, scholars, artists and practitioners to explore questions concerning Time and Measure at its 18th Triennial Conference to be held in collaboration with the Japanese Society for Time Studies (JSTS) and the Research Institute of Time Studies (RITS) at Yamaguchi University in South-Western Japan. Our format of plenary presentations delivered over four days creates a sustained discussion among participants. We thus expect participants to register for the entirety of the conference. We shall take a day off mid-conference and provide participants with a choice of time-related excursions in the Yamaguchi area, the site of crucial events at various turning points in Japanese history.

Because of worldwide uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, we shall be considering whether and how we may allow for online conference participation. Further information will follow.

For its 2023 Triennial, the ISST wishes to instigate discussion of all the kinds of temporal measures—both quantitative and qualitative—which are the work of our different professional disciplines and some of which may also prove to be cross-disciplinary. When asked about time and its measure, most people would think of clocks: an even progression of numbers. This view goes back to Aristotle’s definition of time (in Physics IV) as “the count [arithmos] of changing in respect of before and after.” As recent events have made us aware, however, times of crisis may require other measures. Political crises or a crisis like the pandemic seem to impose their own measure of time. Crisis thus throws into relief the fact that not all times are equal—something that musicians, strategists and physicians have always known; these professionals and others have had to develop their own systems of taking time’s measure–some dependent on clocks, some not.

Suggested Topics

In what (different/new) ways do physicists, biologists, chemists, geologists, archaeologists, engineers and other scientists take the measure of things in time? How truth-bearing and/or enduring are various measurements? What about ‘probabilistic’ measurements of quantum states? Can time and space be measured in the same sense? When do quantitative differences become qualitative? Are lightyears comparable to nanoseconds?

Is time (exclusively) defined by its measure?

How do social scientists generate a metric of temporality? Are statistical measures more or less basic than positive ones?

How does temporal measure relate to ethical decisions? Are there reliable measures for ethical choices in the instant moment and/or over a human lifetime?

In what ways do we measure the function of ‘tempi’ in music, poetry, theatre performance, dance and film? How are measures of time involved in the visual arts?

How does temporal mensuration enter or shape narrative discourses in literature? 

We measure chronologies pretty well. But by what means do we measure the kind of time that is a kairos?

How do crises (e.g., political crisis, catastrophic climate change, the pandemic) impact the measurement of time?

Other Suggested Topics:

–time, measure, money and generosity

–history as the measure or mismeasure of time

— the measurement of public vs individual time

–tense/aspect, mood, person and voice in languages

–measurement as determining our understanding of the measured

–the limits of measuring time

–cosmic clocks