For all too long, waiting has lingered below the threshold of our historical perception. Despite the fact that “waiting is … a key dimension of modernity,” as Craig Jeffrey claims, it “is a temporal region hardly mapped and badly documented” (Harold Schweizer). The moment has come to delve into how those who waited increased their awareness of time as well as of themselves and their place in the world. By focusing on the antechamber as a space and its history, this talk seeks to lead the debate on time away from the existential themes that have dominated its exploration. This foray is therefore less interested in the final truths about time’s essence than in the temporal poetics of the everyday.
Helmut Puff is professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. His teaching and research focus on German literature, history, and culture in the late medieval and early modern period. He specializes in gender studies, the history of sexuality, media history, the history of reading, and the literature of the Reformation and the Renaissance. Recently, Helmut Puff has moved on to research modes of seeing and visual culture in early modern Europe with a focus on German Renaissance art, especially Albrecht Dürer. His interest in the intersections between textuality, visuality, and spatiality, has led him to research the changing representations of ruins as well as the history of three-dimensional city models from the sixteenth century to the present.