The revolution of time – A global event of the 19th century

12 October 2017, 19:00
Lecture by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Conrad, Freie Universität Berlin
Forming part of the series "Excursion – Insight into the world of science"

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Conrad | © Christoph Kalter

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Conrad | © Christoph Kalter

Logo of the series "exkurs" | © German Research Foundation

Logo of the series "exkurs" | © German Research Foundation

About the event

Our current understanding of time is only around two centuries old. In the course of the 19th century mankind's experience of time changed so fundamentally that this development can be likened to a revolution.

The sea changes concerned all areas of life and had a very practical influence on daily life: Calendars were introduced, people started wearing watches and speed records were broken. And the turn of the year could suddenly be in spring. The time revolution spread over the entire globe, also changing fundamental concepts of the past and the future. The idea of global simultaneousness was born and led to attempts at synchronising the world.

How did this come about? Was the time revolution a side effect of technical progress? An effect of the industrial revolution? Or did it accompany the European colonisation of the world? Historians have different explanations, most of which presume that the development was a European one that was adopted by the rest of the world.

In contrast to this, the historian Sebastian Conrad has developed a global historical perspective that reconstructs the change of ideas of time as a global event. He also shows how this approach overcomes the Europe-centered perception of history and changes our idea of the past.

Moderator: Diana Bungard, German Research Foundation

Subsequent discussion

Organiser: German Research Foundation

German Research Foundation
Press and public relations
Jutta Höhn
Phone:  +49 228 885-2443

Information overview

Date12 October 2017, 19:00
VenueBayerische Staatsbibliothek, Fürstensaal, 1st floor
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Public transportUnderground lines U3/ U6, bus lines 150/ 153/ 154, station/ bus stop Universität
Bus lines 100/ 153, bus stop Von-der-Tann-Strasse
RegistrationPlease register by e-mail to or by calling +49 89 28638-2115
Reserved seats need to be occupied 15 minutes before the start of the lecture at the latest.
AdmissionAdmission is free.
FlyerDownload of the event flyer  (PDF, 483 KB)
Media centerA recording of the "exkurs" event will be available at the DFG media center: