Explorations in Time and Temporality

A Public Humanities Project by the Geoffrion Family Fellows at Miami University’s Humanities Center 2019-2020

Jonathan Crary

For our first interview, we talked with Dr. Jonathan Crary, Meyer Schapiro professor of modern art and theory at Columbia University and author of 24/7. In the book, Dr. Crary makes the argument that capitalist systems work to eliminate unproductive time had by workers, meaning any time in which one could be either producing or consuming goods. Consequently, he states, sleep – a time during which a person is not working on or purchasing anything – is antithetical to the demands of capitalism, and because of this capitalism has worked to steadily diminish the time the average person spends sleeping.