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Wednesday 24 March 2021, 15:00–17:00 GMT

Co-facilitated by: Brittany Cooper (Rutgers University), Robert J. C. Young (NYU), Jacob Lau (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Automation is often championed as a mechanism, if not the mechanism, for saving time. Western history, similarly, is premised on a linear chronology. Each project concedes a vision of temporality in which 'progress' can be measured and tracked against a seemingly reliable medium: time. Automation saves labour. History celebrates fidelity to past events. Superficial accounts treat the two projects as mutually reinforcing, holding the history of automation up as a (or the?) measure of humanity's march toward 'progress'. While there is much to challenge in such accounts, this session intervenes at the root by questioning, from various critical perspectives, the values and politics active in conceptions of time and futurity.