Conferences & lectures

Beyond Performativity: Material Futures of Finance

CISSC Financializing Infrastructures Speakers Series, Ute Tellmann

Friday, October 30, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Registration is closed


Ute Tellmann


This event is free


Chris Hurl



Join us for a lecture and Q&A with Professor Ute Tellmann, who will be presenting a recent paper that sets out to theorize the temporalities of finance.

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, temporality and futurity have become key terms in efforts to rethink finance. Thus far, the debate has revolved around the question of how knowledge practices or their functional equivalents – such as trust, hope, imagination and affect – mitigate uncertainty and enact futurity.

Tellmann sets out to develop a more material understanding of how time operates in finance that focuses not on knowledge and uncertainty, but instead on infrastructure and duration. Over and against a one-sided image of volatile financial futures governed by calculative devices, this perspective allows us to address the obligations, guarantees, fixations and centralizations that are equally at work in rendering financial futures actionable. Drawing on the work of Henri Bergson and Norbert Elias, Tellmann develops the notion of duration in order to enable this conceptual shift.

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About the speaker

Ute Tellmann is currently professor of sociology at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She received her PhD at Cornell University in Government/Political Theory in 2007. She has published on infrastructural energy space in Europe, financialized temporality, ecological materiality and critical visuality. In her work she explicates how the modern understanding of economic reality is fashioned through the politics of time, notions of collectivity and moral economies of obligation. She currently works on a sociology of public debt.


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