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Andreas Bandak

Syrian Futures: Percolation, Temporality, and Historical Experience in the Plural

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 5:00–6:30pm

Foster 107

I Haven't Slept for Centuries, Khaled Barakeh, 2018, digital print on paper, 200 x 139.5 cm

Please note that the location of this talk has changed to Foster 107.

A key ambition of this talk is to bring the question of temporality to the center of anthropological engagements with Syria and the diverse legacies of the past fourteen years of upheaval. Engaging with temporality, tempo, and tempus are central to this endeavor. How can we, as scholars, speak across the moving and malleable terrain of discrepant Syrian experiences that are themselves moving in time – that are speaking back to what happened and holding on to hopes and futures envisioned in the past, while simultaneously moving towards new and different understandings and futures?

This talk offers some theoretical reflections on this question in conversation with Syrians’ varied and changing engagements with the past, which are crucial to comprehending how Syrians are moving towards the future, or more accurately different futures. Centrally, it advances an understanding of the time not merely as flowing but rather percolating, hereby exploring questions of sedimentation and historical experience in the plural.


Andreas Bandak is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Comparative Culture Studies in the Department for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He specializes in the themes of temporality and exemplarity and in anthropological studies of Syrian pasts and futures. He is the author of Exemplary Life: Modelling Sainthood in Christian Syria (Toronto, 2022) and has edited several volumes, including Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope and Uncertainty (Bloomsbury, 2018), and most recently Porous Becomings: Anthropological Engagements with Michel Serres (Duke, 2024). He has conducted research in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

This event is free and open to the public, and registration is recommended. Please email us at  if you require any accommodations to enable your full participation.