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Down the Rabbit Hole: An Exploration of Time



Inspired by the special exhibition Mygration, this virtual lecture explores time and timekeeping throughout history.

Registration will close on January 14, at 8:00am PT. Please register before then to receive the Zoom Webinar link. If you have not received a link, please check your spam folder.

Join author David Rooney as he discusses how, for thousands of years, people of all cultures have used time and timekeepers to help make sense of their world. From the city sundials of ancient Rome to the medieval water clocks of Islam, hourglasses promoting virtue in the Middle Ages, the clocks of capitalism in the seventeenth century, Enlightenment observatories in India, imperial clocktowers and coastal time signals, and the high-precision timekeepers circling the Earth on satellites—clocks have helped people understand the universe, navigate the world, wield power, build empires, make money, govern citizens, and control lives. Sometimes, also with clocks, people have fought back against this control. Throughout, Rooney will consider what clocks mean, looking beyond technical accounts to shine a light on our wider cultural relationships with time: how time has been imagined, politicized, and weaponized over the centuries—and how clocks might bring peace.


  • David-Rooney-13-August-2020-

    David Rooney

    David Rooney is a writer, historian, and former curator at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, part of the UK’s National Maritime Museum.