Geographies of Temporality and Governance I

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 42
Organizers: Kevin Grove, Lauren Rickards, Nathaniel O'grady
Chairs: Kevin Grove


Since the early 2000s, geographers’ renewed engagements with materialist thought has complimented the discipline’s longstanding interest in spatiality with novel understandings of the complex temporalities that both constitute disruptive events that the world experiences and characterize our modes of responsiveness to them. This work increasingly focuses on the intersection between heterogenous material-discursive assemblages suffused with affectivity that structures the possibilities for more-than-human worlds. Renditions of mechanical causality and linear, progressive time have in many ways been cut adrift and replaced by an emphasis on emergence, immanence and duration that stress the continual production of novel circumstances and its consequent repatterning of social, economic and political order. Events become problematised by what Anna Tsing (2015) calls their polyphony here. Whilst an acknowledgment of the constant potential for new forms of disturbance means that indeterminacy reigns supreme as a kind of meta- condition, then, enfolded into this radical uncertainty are a diverse range of evental rhythms underpinned by discrete and nuanced socio-technical dynamics. A case in point would be how conceptualisations of real time or rapid onset crises sensed through ever-unravelling Big Data feeds or the lived, embodied experience of communities amidst disaster co-exist with feelings of a slowness to emergencies often articulated in relation to dangerous, violent perturbations to the climate (Anderson et al, 2019) and imaginaries that render our long-term future as catastrophic through risk calculi and modelling (Amoore, 2013, O’Grady, 2018).

This decentering of linear time undermines modernist governance strategies organized around centralization, command and predictability. But novel practices that operate through and on complex spatio-temporalities have begun to emerge.This is evident, for instance, in the cultivation of resilience as a governmental motif or the mobilisation of the ethos of experimentation within techno-political projects. Such broad manoeuvres are manifest at a finer layer of granularity still with the invoking of the term ‘emergency’ to address unsettling phenomena varying from climate change to police brutality, carbon and toxic waste storage solutions planned to last for a millennia and an embrace of indigenous knowledges. New ways to read the geo-politics of governance have also risen to prominence with such changes. With the iterative reassembly of governmental regimes amidst an insurgence of experimentation from diffuse sites, the notion of the public and its relation to the state shifts, whilst the transduction of new governmental temporalities challenge previously dominant narratives of progress that anchored neo-liberalism for so long.

This session seeks to further geographic engagements with the linkages between temporality and our responsiveness to conditions of crises and complexity. Presentations draw on multiple thematic fields (such as environmental management, emergency management, cyber security, disaster resilience, climate governance, or urban resilience) and focus on but are in no way limited to questions surrounding:

· Provisional and experimental forms of governance
· Creative and aesthetic practices of governance and resistance
· Reconfigurations of expertise, the state, and affected publics
· Racialized histories of violence, harm, and insecurity
· Cybernetics, adaptive management and resilience
· Critique and governance transformations
· Design thinking and governance


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Lauren Rickards RMIT University 15 3:05 PM
Presenter Ruth Trumble*, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Who will respond?: The temporalities that legitimized actors during the May 2014 floods in Serbia 15 3:20 PM
Presenter Sebastien Nobert*, Universite De Montreal, A Recipe for Disasters: Early Warning Systems and the Topological Fabric of Extreme Weather Management 15 3:35 PM
Presenter Nathaniel O'Grady*, University of Manchester , Disaster Reparations? Rethinking Recovery through the Vestiges of Violence 15 3:50 PM
Discussant Kevin Grove Florida International University 15 4:05 PM

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