Call for Papers: Special Issue – Infrastructured Timescapes of the Anthropocene and Climate Change

Guest Editors:

  • Asher Boersma (University of Konstanz, Germany)
  • Olivier Chanton (IRSN, France)
  • Claudio Coletta (University of Bologna, Italy)

Deadline for abstract submissions: July 15th, 2022 | Deadline for full paper submissions: November 30 2022

Time and temporality are inherently part of the concepts of “crisis”, “risk”, and “transition”. Amid the “great acceleration” (Steffen et al. 2015) and the scenarios outlined by IPCC reports, the precarious agreement of the COP meetings, the pressing demands for climate justice and the phasing-out of fossil fuels, the intrusion of Gaia (Stengers 2013; Latour 2017) grants temporal issues with a new relevance for STS. As Bensaude-Vincent (2021) pointed out, the actual debate on the Anthropocene still emphasizes the ‘Anthropos’ and the human exceptionalism over the ‘Kainos’ (epoch) and its time multiplicity. The Special Issue seeks to address this asymmetry by exploring the heterogeneous, co-existing, clashing, uneven, and materially organized temporalities of the Anthropocene and Climate Change. The aim being to unfold their timescapes (Adam 1998), their polychronic and more-than-human existence, where modern linear time is but one account among many others.

First, the timescape of the Anthropocene and the one of Climate Change seem to bring specific ‘time-frames of reference’ conducive to different forms of political engagement (Nordblad 2021). Plus, such timescapes are infrastructured, with infrastructures becoming key sites for time production and extraction (Mitchell 2020), allowing or hindering navigation across the past, present and future at varying paces and tempo. Finally, since the Anthropocene and Climate Change are temporally infrastructured, the adaptation and mitigation actions undergo time leaks, glitches, delays and accelerations as well as interferences that require new forms of temporal care to be monitored, managed, maintained, governed, understood.

The Call invites papers addressing the infrastructured timescapes of the Anthropocene and Climate Change as shaped by different and materially organized modes of time production and temporal work, including technoscientific knowledge, climate governance, political actions and social movements, (digital) infrastructures, as well as maintenance & repair and care practices. We welcome theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions on topics including (but not limited to) the following:

–      The “vast machine” of technoscientific work, computer modeling and scenarios to define the Earth’s time horizons (Edwards 2013; Hirsbrunner 2021); the making of the “ends of the world” (Danowski and Viveiros de Castro 2017); the emerging approaches to deal with risk in critical infrastructure settings, such as the regulatory regimes based on hybrid temporalities adopted in the nuclear energy sector; the “deep-time reckoning” practices (Ialenti 2020) the geoengineering endeavours vis à vis the temporality of non-human entities and species (e.g. nuclear waste management, GHG, etc.).

–      The rhythms, timelines and deadlines set by climate governance at transnational, national and urban scales, translated across situated variations and interests; the frictions between near-time actions and long-term planning; the momentum and the urgency enacted by climate movements to update the agenda with radical temporalities and hopes.

–      The temporalities of more-than-human ecological reparation (Ghelfi and Papadopoulos 2021), including futures best served by human inaction, drawing on “the mastery of non-mastery” (Taussig 2020) – where at times not intervention (e.g. planting trees), but restraint and patience may be the best route to regeneration. Or the decolonized forms of care, such as indigenous landscape and ecosystem cultivation through burning.

–      The increasingly experimental and digitally infrastructured nature of ecological transitions, especially in urban settings. The repurposing of the smart urbanism big data assemblage towards mission-driven climate-neutral futures, and the new “timescape of smart cities” (Kitchin 2019).  The interferences and interactions between the dashboardization of everyday life (Tkacz 2021), urban management (Mattern 2015) and the climate governance.

–      The non-terrestrial or amphibious timescapes where infrastructural reparation, redesign, and retreat are modelled, planned, and practiced. Whereas these follow reactive and anticipatory patterns there are also spatiotemporal shifts ruthlessly enforced, both new like the opening of the Arctic (Howe 2022) and the rise of deep sea mining (Childs 2020), and older ones like the extraction of fossil fuels (Kaposy 2017).

Deadline for abstract submissions: July 15th, 2022

Abstracts (in English) with a maximum length of 500 words should be sent as email attachments to and carbon copied to the guest editors. Notification of acceptance will be communicated by the end of July 2022 Full papers (in English with a maximum length of 8,000 words including notes and references) will be due by November 30th 2022 and will be subject to a double-blind peer review process. We expect to publish the special issue in 2023.

For information and questions, please contact:

Claudio Coletta,



Adam, Barbara (1998) Timescapes of Modernity: The Environment and Invisible Hazards, London, Routledge.

Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette (2021) Rethinking Time in Response to the Anthropocene: From Timescales to Timescapes, in “The Anthropocene Review”, April 2021, pp. 1-14.

Childs, John (2020) Extraction in Four Dimensions: Time, Space and the Emerging Geo(-)politics of Deep-Sea Mining, in “Geopolitics”, 25 (2), pp. 189–213.

Danowski, Déborah and Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo B. (2017) The Ends of the World, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Edwards, Paul N. (2013) A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Ghelfi, Andrea and Papadopoulos, Dimitris (2021) Ecological Transition: What It Is and How to Do It. Community Technoscience and Green Democracy, in “Tecnoscienza”, 12 (2), pp.13-38.

Hirsbrunner, Simon D. (2021) A New Science for Future: Climate Impact Modeling and the Quest for Digital Openness, Bielefeld, transcript Verlag.

Howe, Cymene (2022) To Melt Away: Abstractive Sensations in Ice, in A. Mason (ed.), Arctic Abstractive Industry: Assembling the Valuable and Vulnerable North, New York, Berghahn.

Ialenti, Vincent (2020) Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Kaposy, Tim (2017) Petroleum’s Longue Durée: Writing Oil’s Temporalities into History, in S. Wilson, A. Carlson, and I. Szeman (eds.), Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 389–405.

Kitchin, Rob (2019) The Timescape of Smart Cities, in “Annals of the American Association of Geographers” 109 (3), pp. 775–790.

Latour, Bruno (2017) Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climate Regime, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Mattern, Shannon (2015) Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard, in “Places Journal”, online.

Mitchell, Timothy (2020) Infrastructures Work on Time, in “E-Flux”, online.

Nordblad, Julia (2021) On the Difference between Anthropocene and Climate Change Temporalities, in “Critical Inquiry”, 47 (2), pp. 328–348.

Stengers, Isabelle (2013) Matters of Cosmopolitics: On the Provocations of Gaia, in Etienne Turpin (ed.), Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, pp. 171–182.

Taussig, Michael (2020) Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Tkacz, Nathaniel (2021) Being with Data: the dashboarding of everyday life., Cambridge, Polity Press.