Time remains the central yet forgotten force that motivates and informs the
universe, from its most cosmological principles to its most intimate living
details. Cultural life in all its complications, no less than natural existence, is
structured by and responds to a force that it does not control and yet marks
and dates all its activities and processes. TimeTravels brings togethera series
of disparate essays which focus on the implications and effects of conceiving
a temporality in which the future remains virtual and beyond the control
of the present. These essays are various conceptual ‘‘travels’’ in, explorations
of, how reconsidering our concepts of time might result in new concepts of
nature, culture, subjectivity, and politics: they are explorations of how far
we can push the present to generate an unknown—what is new, what might
not have been.1
Various, usually implicit, concepts of time are relevant to and underlie
many of the central projects of feminist theory, theories of the law and jus-
tice, and the natural sciences and their relations to the social sciences and
humanities. Questions about culture and representation, concepts of sub-
jectivity, sexuality, and identity, as well as concepts of political struggle and
transformation all make assumptions about the relevance of history, the
place of the present, and the forward-moving impetus directing us to the
future. But temporality is very rarely the direct object of analysis in these
various discourses and projects. TimeTravels develops a concept of a tempo-
rality not under the domination or privilege of the present, that is, a tempo-
ralitydirected to a future that is unattainable and unknowable in the present,
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