Suzanne Karpelès (1890-1969): Thinking With the Width and Thickness of Time: Suzanne Karpelès (1890-1969) Denken mit der Breite und Tiefe der Zeit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article explores questions of temporality using letters written between 1930 and 1935 by Suzanne Karpelès, director of the Royal Library at Phomn Penh (1925-41) and of the Institute of Buddhist Studies (1930-41) and chief publications officer for the École Supérieure de Pāli (1925-41). The article is prompted by the “temporal turn” in scholarship that privileges time as an object of analysis (McLeod 20127). I draw on Wilcox’s (1989, 13) view of abstract, linear time as a historical contrivance with a history of its own, and on scholarship that (re-)casts temporal relations between past, present and future as “messy” and “moving”(Harootunian 2007; McLeod 2017). I deploy Nóvoa and Yariv-Mashal’s (2003) argument about the need to consider the “width and thickness” of time when discussing colonial regimes. I also explore the sources through temporal entanglements that have been variously cast through metaphors of geological strata (Nóvoa and Yariv-Mashal 2003, 423), temporal co-existence and collision (Harootunian 2007), zigzagging (Zerubavel 2000) and as practices of synchronisation (Jordheim 2013).The article begins by introducing Karpelès and by discussing scholarship on temporalities as it relates to the French Protectorate of Indochina. The middle section uses vignettes from Karpelès’ letters to explore multiple temporalities and their entanglements and how these might play into the politics of power and of desire as they thread together in configurations of gender, education, imperialism and religion. The conclusion touches on some of the challenges facing scholars interested in multiple temporalities and temporal entanglements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalBildungsgeschichte - International journal for the historiography of education : IJHE
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Temporality
  • Temporal entanglements
  • Colonialism
  • Suzanne Karpeles

Cite this

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title = "Suzanne Karpel{\`e}s (1890-1969): Thinking With the Width and Thickness of Time: Suzanne Karpel{\`e}s (1890-1969) Denken mit der Breite und Tiefe der Zeit",
abstract = "This article explores questions of temporality using letters written between 1930 and 1935 by Suzanne Karpel{\`e}s, director of the Royal Library at Phomn Penh (1925-41) and of the Institute of Buddhist Studies (1930-41) and chief publications officer for the {\'E}cole Sup{\'e}rieure de Pāli (1925-41). The article is prompted by the “temporal turn” in scholarship that privileges time as an object of analysis (McLeod 20127). I draw on Wilcox’s (1989, 13) view of abstract, linear time as a historical contrivance with a history of its own, and on scholarship that (re-)casts temporal relations between past, present and future as “messy” and “moving”(Harootunian 2007; McLeod 2017). I deploy N{\'o}voa and Yariv-Mashal’s (2003) argument about the need to consider the “width and thickness” of time when discussing colonial regimes. I also explore the sources through temporal entanglements that have been variously cast through metaphors of geological strata (N{\'o}voa and Yariv-Mashal 2003, 423), temporal co-existence and collision (Harootunian 2007), zigzagging (Zerubavel 2000) and as practices of synchronisation (Jordheim 2013).The article begins by introducing Karpel{\`e}s and by discussing scholarship on temporalities as it relates to the French Protectorate of Indochina. The middle section uses vignettes from Karpel{\`e}s’ letters to explore multiple temporalities and their entanglements and how these might play into the politics of power and of desire as they thread together in configurations of gender, education, imperialism and religion. The conclusion touches on some of the challenges facing scholars interested in multiple temporalities and temporal entanglements.",
keywords = "Temporality, Temporal entanglements, Colonialism, Suzanne Karpeles",
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Suzanne Karpelès (1890-1969): Thinking With the Width and Thickness of Time : Suzanne Karpelès (1890-1969) Denken mit der Breite und Tiefe der Zeit. / Goodman, Joyce.

Vol. 8, No. 2, 18.10.2018, p. 231-244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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