2018-2023, ERC Starting Grant

The project offers a new intellectual history of the political imagination in interwar Europe by reconstructing the topology of its emerging anti-teleological visions of time and their intersections with changing understandings of the human world and methods for its study. It argues that only a distinctively cross-disciplinary and pan-European narrative can capture the full ramifications and legacies of this fundamental rupture in thought. Another aim is to explore junctions between different scholarly fields (e.g. theology, jurisprudence, classical studies, literary theory, linguistics, sociology, philosophy), and their interchanges with other creative fields in remaking frameworks of temporality. Furthermore, this will be done by exploring the dynamics of political thought through intellectual groupings who stood at the forefront of the scholarly and political debates of the period. Instead of accepting the standard focus in interwar intellectual history on one or two, at most three (usually “Western” European) national contexts, the project team will follow out the interactions of these groupings in France, Britain, Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Romania – groupings whose members frequently moved across and between these national contexts.

What were the political languages encoded in the reinventions of time, and vice versa – how were political aims translated into and advanced through theoretical innovation? How did these differ in different national contexts, and why? What are the fragmented legacies of this rupture, disbursed in and through the philosophical, methodological and political dicta and dogmas that rooted themselves in post-1945 thought? “Between the Times” project seeks to offer a newly comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the intellectual identity of contemporary Europe and the origins of its historicities.