© 2012

Objects of Time

How Things Shape Temporality

  • Authors

Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Kevin K. Birth
    Pages 1-33
  3. Kevin K. Birth
    Pages 35-69
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 173-211

About this book


This is a book about time, but it is also about much more than time—it is about how the objects we use to think about time shape our thoughts. Because time ties together so many aspects of our lives, this book is able to explore the nexus of objects, cognition, culture, and even biology, and to do so in relationship to globalization.


cognition culture globalization

About the authors

Kevin Birth is a professor of Anthropology at Queen's College, CUNY.

Bibliographic information


"This book will be invaluable for cognitive anthropologists, scholars of material culture, and theorists interested in time historically and in our global age . . . All of us feel bound to our alarm clocks, wristwatches, and daily planners, but few of us have given thought to where these devices come from and how they have altered us as social and biological beings. In this engaging and intellectually far-reaching work, Birth has done much of the work for us." - American Anthropologist

"An important contribution to the anthropology of time and material culture studies, this volume takes as its primary point of departure that the mechanisms for 'telling' time (the author focuses on clocks and calendars) are engaged in shaping our experience and subsequent enactment of temporal realities as much as they are nominally thought of as representing them." - American Ethnologist

"An admirable attempt to ground the study of time within the empirical specificity of objects and culture." - Time and Society