International conference «Time, Forward!»: The Time of Philosophy and Philosophy of Time
















«Time, Forward!»: The Time of Philosophy and Philosophy of Time


VENUE: Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (building 5), the Moika river embankment (naberezhnaya reki Moiki) 48-50 (the entrance is on Kazanskaya street)


DATE: May 6-8, 2020


More than any other period, the end of the XIXth and the first third of the XXth centuries can be characterized by cultural explosion. Moreover, the period between 1914 and 1932-33 is often distinguished and even marked as “The Copper Age of the Avant-garde” (N.V. Krilova), and the «Golden Ten» («золотое десятилетие» 1920s) of Soviet Philosophy, «Goldene Zwanziger» in Germany (1924-1929) and the «Roaring Twenties» in the USA, The UK, and France. Both these dates serve as demarcations, between which time functioned as a machine, grinding away at countries, cultures, and their fates. This complicated social-political situation, replete with crises, revolutions, and the failure of social systems, was reflected in an unprecedented flourishing of culture and art.

There are many different methods available for the analysis of this period, most which focus on just one field or aspect, such as literature, painting, architecture, philosophy, or science. It is often mentioned that all of these areas of culture were involved in the process of transforming into a form of philosophy as they attempted to reflect upon reality and express it with the tools available to them. The discipline of philosophy served as a mediator between different forms of culture. Not only could professional philosophers philosophize, but scientists, artists, writers, and actors did so as well. Moreover, philosophy functioned as a central nervous system, which formed the general attitude towards the world and united existing different worldviews into a unified whole of that cultural epoch.

If we consider this statement as a hypothesis, we can then offer a general methodology for the cultural analysis of the period between 1914-1930s, with particular emphasis on its philosophical explication. The main category of such an analysis is the category of time, since time served as a leitmotif of art.

In the XXth century, the idea of and attitude toward time changed radically, due to discoveries in physics (theory of relativity by Einstein), sociology (time as factor of technological change), psychoanalysis (time as Structural Model of Personality), and the general atmosphere of social withdrawal. Time gained a new, personalized measurement and became the main form of identity and lens for interpreting the world. Thus, time was transformed from an objective physical factor into an existential problem for humankind. This turn can be characterized as a “temporal turn,” the main idea of which is that time “is inseparable from its content. Strictly speaking, it is not time that exists, but temporal being” (S.A. Askoldov, “Time and its religious meaning”).

Our conference is dedicated to this question. We aim is to observe (based on Russian samples) how ideas of time changed within different historical and cultural epochs, how concepts and symbols of time were developed, how permanent forms of time were established, and what meanings were given to the category of time in different spheres of being. 

Contributors are invited to propose papers that address: anthropological aspects of the engagement with time and space (chronotope), including human relationships to time (escapism, eschatology, avant-garde, futurism, etc.); the connection between time and  timelessness (eternity/temporariness, continuum/discreetness, historicity); the interaction of individual time with societal time (unification and disequilibrium languages of time); the idea of time as a semantic temporality and the transcendental base of the meaning of life; and interpretations of time as a form of identity (“our/their” time). Overall, the goal is to understand the human-being as he finds himself inside his time, as well as the broader cultural concept of time for humankind.   


Schematically, we propose the following paradigms for considering the historical epoch under consideration:

1.  To appeal to history in order to reflect on experience from new methodological perspectives and worldviews in language history (Marr, Yakubinskiy, etc), literature (Freidenberg, Tynyanov, Eichenbaum, Bakhtin, etc), culture  (Freidenberg, Vipper, etc), philosophy (Shpet, Radlov, etc), science (Hessen, etc), and art (Ioffe, Voitinskaya, etc).

2.  Nihilism as the opposition to historicism, invoked by proletarian ideologues as a way to reject the culture of the past.

3.  Sociologism considered human creativity to be the “timemaking factor” of nature. This view is described in the words by V.N. Muraviov, who strove to “study the case of time not just theoretically, but in collaboration with practice, and not just scientific-laboratorial practice, but the social-organizing practice that had just appeared in Russia.”

4.  Subjectivist theories of time, which focus on philosophies of the individual, such as phenomenology (Shpet, Druskin) or existentialism (Shestov, Berdyaev, Lipavskiy).

 We invite contributors to discuss these themes through analyses of philosophical and fiction texts, as well as through cinema, painting, and music, within the historical context of this conference.  





Alexander Brodsky (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia / Research Center for Cultural Exclusion and Frontier Zones, Russia), Doctor of Philosophy, Prof., Email:

Marina F.  Bykova (North Carolina State University, NC, USA) PhD, Dr. Habil., Prof., Editor-in-chief of Studies in East European Thought & Editor of Russian Studies in Philosophy,  Email:

Alyssa DeBlasio (Dickinson College, USA), PhD, Associate Professor & Chair of Russian, Email:

Evert van der Zweerde (Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherland), Prof. Ph. D., Email:

Kornelija Ičin (Belgrad University, Serbia), д.филолог.н., проф., Email: 

Alexey Malinov (Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia / Research Center for Cultural Exclusion and Frontier Zones, Russia), Doctor of Philosophy, Prof., Email: 

Vesa Oittinen (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland), Ph. D., Prof, Email:

Maja Soboleva (Ural Federal University, Russia, Alpen-Adria-University of Klagenfurt, Austria/ Philipps-University of Marburg), Doctor of Philosophy, Prof., Chairman of the Programme Committee, Email:

Daniela Steila (University of Turin, Italy), Ass. Prof., Ph. D., Email:

Galin Tihanov (Queen Mary University of London, Great Britain), Ph. D., Dphil, George Steiner Professor of Comparative Literature, Email:

Sergey Troitskiy (Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Russia / Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia / Research Center for Cultural Exclusion and Frontier Zones, Russia), PhD in Philosophy, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Email:

Ekaterina Cherepanova (Ural Federal University, Russia), Doctor of Philosophy, Prof., Email:


Languages: Russian, English


If you would like to present at the conference, please send 

-        an application: full name, affiliation, contact information (e-mail, phone number, postal address) and the title of your article to Maja Soboleva or Sergey Troitskiy by 1 December 2019


-        an abstract (up to 400 words) to Maja Soboleva or Sergey Troitskiy by 1 March 2020


The Organizing Committee reserves the right to select papers for participation in the Conference.