Negotiating national and diasporic temporalities in the city

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Abstract

If national landscapes have been crucial to the reproduction of nation, so have national timescapes. The yearly calendar with celebrations of particular days as national holidays or school vacations – with their clear if temporary imprints on cities - are the most conspicuous examples. But smaller-scale rhythms of radio and TV programs or opening hours of public or commercial institutions likewise arrange everyday life into “synchronic, mundane choreographies which in turn feed a sense of collective ‘we’” (Edensor 2007: 32). While globalization has tempered the hold of the national rhythm on national subjects’ lives, in some countries, especially in those with less culturally diversified populations and a strong historical self- understanding as culturally homogenous, the hold persists. This paper focuses on one such case, that of Denmark and its capital city, paying attention to how national, seemingly secular temporal rhythms orchestrate Copenhagen. More specifically, I examine how the city – made through nation’s dominant temporal order – is experienced and engaged with from a perspective of the city’s tiny diasporic minority, that of observant Jews, whose everyday life is governed by a tight temporal order regularly out of sync with Denmark’s dominant temporal order. Drawing on interviews with recent converts, this paper draws conceptually on Sarah Sharma’s (2014) conception of temporalities as differential lived times that is imbricated in the production of inequitable power relations, and Esther Pereen’s notion of diaspora as dischronotopicality (2006). The aim is to both analyze the lived city as a place of at times discordant temporalities and to use the perspective of minority and diasporic temporalities in the city to open up the problematic of integration to the critical analysis of its temporal aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateMay 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Event52nd Annual Conference of Irish Geographers - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 18 May 202121 May 2021
https://www.conferenceofirishgeographers.ie

Conference

Conference52nd Annual Conference of Irish Geographers
LocationTrinity College
CountryIreland
CityDublin
Period18/05/202121/05/2021
Internet address

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