Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (GSAH)

Schlüsselkonzepte der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften

Beyond Line and Circle

Mittwoch, 28.02.2024, 14:15 Uhr

Die Lektürekurse zu ausgewählten Schlüsselkonzepten in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften finden im Rahmen des Pflichtbereichs des Doktoratsprogramms Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies statt. Er versteht sich als ein Peer-to-Peer Workshop, in dem die Teilnehmenden ihre Lektürevorschläge einbringen und diskutieren können.

Veranstaltende: Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies | Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities | Walter Benjamin Kolleg
Redner, Rednerin: Dr. Toni Hildebrandt, Universität Bern, Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Datum: 28.02.2024
Uhrzeit: 14:15 Uhr
Ort: Seminarraum 228
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern
Merkmale: Öffentlich


28.02. and 18.03.2024, 2.15-6.00 pm


2 (Pflicht- oder Wahlpflicht- bereich ICS / Wahlpflicht- bereich GS, SLS, SINTA)


Depending on participants english or german


via KSL und E-Mail to


The philosophy of time can be told as a story of two models: line and circle. On the one hand, the notion of the succession of past, present, and future, the linearity of eschatological narratives of the end, and the utopian idea of progress; on the other, the circular movement of the days and seasons, the eternal-return-of-the-same, and circulation in the economy. Since early capitalism, the clock has united these two models: the circle in its appearance and functionality, but also the idea of determining time as an exact time, acting according to it, and thus “linearly pursuing” a goal in its directionality and use.

The first seminar will introduce these two hegemonical models of time – circle and line – and subject them to a consciousness-raising critique. In contrast, we will discuss time models that consciously break with the idea of linear or circular time; focusing on Walter Benjamin’s “now time” (“Jetztzeit”, kairos), Jacques Derrida’s theory of a “hauntological” experience of time in aporias and paradoxes and Paul B. Preciado’s intersectional trans-perspective on a present in and of transition.

In the second seminar we will explore these different time models in the arts. Examples include Marguerite Duras’ construction of aporetic time experiences in film and literature, the difference between world-historical “absolute” and an everyday “imaginative time” proposed by architect Arata Isozaki, or the proper time stored in artifacts, the “shape of time” (Kubler) of material culture.

Possible Readings

Benjamin, Walter: The Arcades Project, Harvard: Belknap Press, 2002.

Derrida, Jacques: Given Time: I. Counterfeit Money, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1991.

Isozaki, Arata, “On Ruins”, in: Lotus International 93 (1997), pp. 34–42.

Kubler, George: The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962.

Preciado, Paul B.: Dysphoria mundi, Paris: Grasset, 2022.

Stravrinaki, Maria: Transfixed by Prehistory: An Inquiry into Modern Art and Time, New York: Zone Books, 2022.