Skip to main content

The Fabric of Historical Time, by Professor Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)

When: Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre 335 Mile End Road London E1 4FQ United Kingdom, Mile End

Historical time is a notoriously elusive notion. Yet, as societies attempt to make sense of rapidly changing worlds, it gains a new significance in the twenty-first century. This lecture sketches a theory of historical time as based on a distinction between temporality and historicity. It approaches the fabric of historical time as varying relational arrangements and interactions of multiple temporalities and historicities. In the fabric, kinds of temporalities and historicities emerge, come to being, fade out, transform, cease to exist, merge, co-exist, overlap, arrange and re-arrange in constellations, clash and conflict in a dynamic without a predetermined plot. The lecture will pay special attention to the more-than-human temporalities of the Anthropocene, the technology-fueled historicities of runaway changes, and the conflicts in the fabric of historical time at the intersections of technological, ecological, and social change.

This lecture is based on a new book, The Fabric of Historical Time, written together by Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Marek Tamm and to be published this September by Cambridge University Press in the series of Elements in Historical Theory and Practice.

Marek Tamm is professor of cultural history in Tallinn University and member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences; he is editor-in-chief of Acta Historica Tallinnensia and editor of Journal of the Philosophy of History and Revue d’histoire nordique. His primary research fields are cultural history of medieval Europe, theory and methodology of history, digital history, and cultural memory studies. He has recently published as editor The Companion to Juri Lotman: A Semiotic Theory of Culture (with Peeter Torop, Bloomsbury, 2022), A Cultural History of Memory in the Early Modern Age (with Alessandro Arcangeli, Bloomsbury, 2020), Juri Lotman – Culture, Memory and History: Essays in Cultural Semiotics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), Making Livonia: Actors and Networks in the Medieval Baltic Sea Region (with Anu Mänd, Routledge, 2019), Rethinking Historical Time: New Approaches to Presentism (with Laurent Olivier, Bloomsbury, 2019) and Debating New Approaches to History (with Peter Burke, Bloomsbury, 2018). He is currently leading the research project “Digital Livonia: For a Digitally Enhanced Study of Medieval Livonia (c. 1200–1550)”, funded by Estonian Research Council (see

Back to top