Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

AIAS Workshop: Time Work: New Research on Temporal Agency

2017.06.12 | AIAS

Date Thu 24 Aug Fri 25 Aug
Time 09:00    16:00
Location AIAS, Building 1632, Conference room 203, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C


In its original formulation, "time work" is defined as personal or interpersonal enterprise directed toward provoking or preventing various kinds of temporal experience (Flaherty 2003, 2011).  The study of time work reveals human effort to intervene in the trajectory of events.  With this intervention, we attempt to control, manipulate, or customize our own temporal experience or that of others. 

In effect, one asks oneself, "What type of temporal experience would I prefer?"  Then, having answered this question, one employs folk theories and practices (i.e., time work) to bring into being circumstances that elicit the desired form of temporal experience.  As such, time work is temporal agency, and it is derived from the general theory of action espoused by Anthony Giddens (1979:56): "It is a necessary feature of action that, at any point in time, the agent 'could have acted otherwise'."  From this perspective, choice is an essential attribute of social interaction as well as temporal experience.

For elaboration, please consult the following readings: 

Michael G. Flaherty. 2003. “Time Work: Customizing Temporal Experience.” Social Psychology Quarterly 66:17-33.

Michael G. Flaherty. 2011. The Textures of Time: Agency and Temporal   Experience. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 


Anne Line Dalsgård, Martin Demant Frederiksen, Susanne Højlund, and Lotte Meinert (eds.). 2014.  Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality: Time Objectified. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 


Previous research has examined time work within the context of social interaction--that is, the micromanagement of one's involvement with self and situation.  We are interested in papers that continue that line of inquiry, but we also welcome papers that extend the study of temporal agency to cross-cultural settings as well as large-scale social movements and organizational or collective efforts to manage temporal experience.    



DAY 1: Thursday, 24 August 2017

09:15-16:30: Talks
18:30- : Dinner for invited speakers only

DAY 2: Friday, 25 August 2017

09:00-15:30: Talks 

Invited speakers


The workshop is open for attendance of 8 academic participants who are interested in the topic (without giving a talk). To attend please contact Michael G. Flaherty at mflaherty@aias.au.dk or phone +4587153753.


Michael G. Flaherty, AIAS Fellow and Professor at Eckerd College, USA in collaboration with Prof. Lotte Meinert and Associate Prof. Anne Line Dalsgård from the Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University. 


Michael G. Flaherty, AIAS Fellow and Professor at Eckerd College, USA
Phone: +4587153753 

Event Type