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Conceptions of Time from the Big Bang to Daylight Saving

June 26, 2021 @ 9:15 am - 3:30 pm

**Now offering limited seating to attend this program in person!  See details below.**

An Adventures in Ideas “hybrid” seminar

The meanings and limits of human lives are entangled in the passage of time. We mark the days and years of our lives with familiar numbers on clocks and calendars, but human conceptions of time have always gone far beyond the dates on a calendar. This seminar thus examines how time has been defined and experienced through the cultural frames of science, religion, and social history. How does an astronomer’s account of cosmic time resemble or differ from a religious thinker’s view of eternity and a historian’s view of how people or societies change across time? How does time encompass everything we know and everyone we care about? Our discussion of these questions will include perspectives from an astronomer, a historian of religion, and a historian of modern cultural ideologies. Although people may never finally agree about the meaning of time (except that it passes), our seminar offers a timely discussion for a year in which the strangely passing days have carried everyone out of the familiar cycles of life.


Back to the Before Times: Restoration and Return in American Religions

Brandon Bayne, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

How Did Conceptions of Time Change in Modern Cultures and Industrial Societies?

Lloyd Kramer, Professor of History and Director, Carolina Public Humanities

What is the Meaning of Time in the Galaxies of the Universe?

Adrienne Erickcek, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Why Do Conceptions of Time Shape the Meaning of Human Life?

A panel discussion with our speakers


This Adventures in Ideas “hybrid” seminar has options for both in-person and virtual viewing.

VIRTUAL: Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the seminar over Zoom in real time (with live Q&A) as well as access to the recorded talks to watch at your leisure for up to 2 weeks after posting. Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online by 4pm on June 25.

IN-PERSON (for new registrations): Tuition is $100 to attend this program in person at Silverspot Cinema (University Place shopping center at 201 S Estes Dr., Chapel Hill).  Due to UNC regulations, face masks are required throughout the seminar.  Tuition does not include lunch, but there are many dining options at University Place, or you can choose to order lunch through the theater and have it delivered directly to your seat.  In-person viewers will also have access to the recorded talks.  Advance registration is required; we cannot process on-site registrations.

IN-PERSON “ADD-ON” (participants currently registered for virtual viewing): CPH Summer Pass holders and participants currently registered for the virtual viewing of this program may purchase an In-Person “Add-On” option for $60 per person for everyone in your household.  Please call us at 919.962.1544 or email us at to request an In-Person “Add-On.”  This option in not available in the online registration system, nor can we process on-site “Add-Ons” the morning of the seminar.  Seating is limited for social distancing, so claim your seat early!


For new registrations, sign up for either the VIRTUAL or IN-PERSON option here or call us at 919.962.1544.

Online registration closes at noon the day before the event. For same-day registration, please call our office at 919.962.1544.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Tuition for virtual viewing is complimentary for any currently teaching, full time K-12 teachers. If you are eligible, click here to register. Complimentary teacher registration closes at 3:30 pm the Friday before the event. If you are a currently teaching, full time K-12 teacher and would like to attend the seminar in person, please call our office to learn about a special discounted rate! 


June 26, 2021
9:15 am - 3:30 pm
Event Category: