Chronoi Talks: "Negotiating Difference: Temporal Perceptions of Social Change"

March 3, 2020

10.30 am - 12 pm

Tyler Hoerr, M.A.

German historian Reinhart Koselleck’s name has become synonymous with ‘conceptual history’ and the theory of Sattelzeit, a term he coined describing the period of seismic change during the revolutionary period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries which harkened a supposed ‘modern age.’ Koselleck attributed such developments to the “horizon of expectation” and the “space of experience” diverging; while societies had previously experienced change over multiple generations—thus allowing individuals to effectively observe their future in previous generations—suddenly, this generational exchange was broken. No longer could one look to the past in order to interpret the future, and as a result, concepts began to change with unprecedented speed and scale. While the emphasis of this theoretical work was on understanding how modern concepts change over time, one might—with a slightly different emphasis—view Koselleck’s theory as a proposition for mapping the rate of change against time. Using Koselleck as an embarkation point, I will propose a more general temporal framework of social change called the “negotiation of difference.” Rather than to suggest a universal theory, my aim is to offer an alternative vantage from which to analyze and discuss historical actors and their social interaction.


Einstein Center Chronoi 

Otto-von-Simson-Straße 7 

14195 Berlin