Section of a rock formation where graywacke and sandstone meet. The sea can be seen in the background.
Interdisciplinary workshop with a literary reading
13 Jun 2024 – 14 Jun 2024

Deep Time: (Durch) geologische Zeit erzählen und erklären

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Fabeckstraße 23–25 (Holzlaube), 14195 Berlin, Room 2.2051
Organized by Liola Mattheis, Georg Toepfer (both ZfL), Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff, Liza Wyludda (both FU)

Over the last centuries, the concept of “deep time” has reached far beyond the subject of geology—despite referring to its time scales—and gained a strong foothold in the humanities and social sciences. Accordingly, current research focusses on the content as well as the epistemological prerequisites and political consequences of “deep time.” Furthermore, it also increasingly explores how the concept, depending on its disciplinary context, is being varied and represented.

This two-day interdisciplinary workshop examines how the concept of deep time is implemented in different academic disciplines, social discourses, public forums, and artistic practices. It focusses on the relationship between narration and explication: Does deep time have a special explanatory capacity? To what extent does it potentially differ from other (biological, historical, cultural) times? Does it build a specific type of connection between past and present? What rhetorical, narrative, and visual strategies are being used to mediate the extensive periods of deep time in scientific argumentations, popular communication, and artistic works?

An event organized by the DFG Research Unit Aetiologies: Founding Narratives in Literary, Scholarly, and Scientific Discourses.


Fig. above: Hutton’s Unconformity: detail of a rock formation where graywacke meets sandstone, © Magnus Hagdorn.


Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

1.00 pm
Moderation: Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff (FU)

  • Georg Toepfer (ZfL): Tiefenzeit und Aitiologie: Begründende Erzählungen aus der Tiefe der Zeit
  • Gottfried Hofbauer (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg): “Deep Time”—die Verschmelzung von Erd- und Menschheitsgeschichte [online]

3.30 pm
Moderation: Susanne Gödde (FU)

  • Christoph Rosol (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science): Tiefenzeit-Experimente. Paläoklimatologie als Maßgebung
  • Simon Probst (University of Vechta): Tiefenzeit im kulturellen Gedächtnis. Über Mythos, Erdgeschichte und bewohnte Vergangenheit

6.30 pm
Literary reading and talk

  • Linn Penelope Rieger, geb. Micklitz (Abraum, schilfern) und Jan Röhnert (Vom Gehen im Karst)
    Moderation: Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff and Liza Wyludda (FU)


Friday, 14 Jun 2024

9.30 am
Moderation: tba

  • Anna-Maria Gasser (FU): Die “Tiefenzeit” in den Fragmenten der Vorsokratiker
  • Liola Mattheis (ZfL): Die Revolution der Tiefenzeit: Historische Naturwissenschaften und Historischer Materialismus
  • Eva Axer (ZfL): Tempowechsel. Narrative Geschwindigkeit als Markierung tiefenzeitlicher Skalierung

1.00 pm
Moderation: Georg Toepfer (ZfL)

  • Patrick Stoffel (Leuphana University Lüneburg): Tiefenzeit als Schaubühne und auf der Schaubühne. Die “Geschichte der Urwelt” (1889) in der Urania Berlin
  • Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff und Liza Wyludda (FU): Kosmogonien, begründendes Erzählen und (Tiefen-)Zeitlichkeit in Literatur und Comic (Raoul Schrott, Jens Harder)