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New research group will examine the effects of time acceleration in culture

by Richard Meckien - published Apr 29, 2014 05:50 PM - - last modified Apr 29, 2014 05:49 PM

"Time Acceleration and Post-Democracy: Violence and Communication" is the theme to be explored by IEA-USP’s new research group on Humanities and the Contemporary World, approved by the Board in a meeting held on April 4.

Coordinated by Olgária Matos, Senior Professor at the Department of Philosophy of USP’s Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH), the new group will be focused on the influence of accelerated temporality in contemporary culture. According to the research project, the goal is to analyze "the relationship between time acceleration, culture of innovation and war against the urban phenomena of communication, information and knowledge society."

The project has been written around four themes: the culture of excess, the distance to the forms of sociability of the Enlightenment tradition, contemporary capitalism and the impact of contemporary socio-cultural changes in the psychic apparatus of the human being.

These topics will be investigated from a broad perspective, covering ethics, politics, science and aesthetics, and focusing on theme cores such as the crisis of values ​​and identity, the rupture with tradition, the decline of notions of democracy and republic, the increase of violence, contemporary capitalism, the advent of technoscience and the obsolescence of taste.

Among the key issues to be addressed by the group are the increasing disintegration of the political community, the struggles for hegemony, the weakening of the universal rights ideals, public space and common life, the emergence of individualism, the cooling of guilt and concern for others, the intensification of different forms of incivility, and the disappearance of symbolism and transcendence as structures of social and cultural life.


Multidisciplinary, the new group is composed of researchers from diverse fields, including philosophy, history, literature, anthropology and psychoanalysis. The idea is that each member focuses on a sub-theme of the project linked to their research and knowledge domain. Every two months the group will meet so that members can submit partial results, reporting on what stage of the research they are and talking to other members.

Besides having professors from the faculties of USP, UNIFESP (Federal University de São Paulo), UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), the group will feature invited speakers from the Accademia Di Belle Arti Di Frosinone, Italy, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France, and the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP).