On Critical Times: Return, Repetition, and the Uncanny Present

Journal article

Bryant, Rebecca (2016) On Critical Times: Return, Repetition, and the Uncanny Present, History and Anthropology 27 (1): 19–31.

Read the article here

This article posits that the vernacular understanding of crisis as existing in a different sort of time needs to be mined for what it tells us about social perceptions of temporality. Using three ethnographic examples from Cyprus, I ask here what temporal features we may identify that lead our interlocutors to see certain periods as “times of crisis”. In particular, I propose a notion that I call the uncanny present to refer to a particular sense of present-ness produced by futures that cannot be anticipated. Crisis, I claim, becomes such precisely because it brings the present into consciousness, creating an awareness or perception of present-ness that we do not normally have.

An error has occurred. This application may no longer respond until reloaded. An unhandled exception has occurred. See browser dev tools for details. Reload 🗙