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Jaap Timmer


Associate Professor, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark and Macquarie University, Sydney

During his AIAS-COFUND fellowship Jaap Timmer worked on the project 'Converting Time: A study of how histories emerge as people’s futures change and make demands on the past'

Project at AIAS

Our current world is increasingly characterised by uncertain futures, but how do we evaluate and revise our assumptions about the past as markers of identity? While the humanities’ interest in time is gaining pace, the realisation that the exploration of modes of temporalisation opens a privileged perspective on who we are and on the nature of the world has only scarcely lead to proper theorisation of how pasts emerge. In this fellowship, I will contribute to our understanding of how people make demands on the past as their future expectations change. A study of a religious movement in Solomon Islands will ensure that this theoretical advancement is grounded in ethnographic detail that has analytical clarity. I will complete a book manuscript, write an account of the theory that will be submitted to a journal, and organise a conference. 

Short bio

Jaap Timmer is an associate professor of Anthropology at Macquarie University, Sydney. He has a broad regional interest in Melanesia and Indonesia. His current focus is on the anthropology of religion, the state, and history in Solomon Islands and West Papua. Jaap’s recent publications include a co-edited volume on social formations of wonder and articles on theocracy, temporal conversion, and materiality.

Project title: 

Converting Time: A study of how histories emerge as people’s futures change and make demands on the past

Area of research: 

Cultural change, time, and sovereignty

Fellowship period:

1 November 2021 - 29 Feb 2023

Fellowship type

AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754513 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.