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Clocks feel ever-present in our lives. However, many daily tasks such as cooking, baking, and crafts rely not on the second hand but on our senses to keep time. In the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, craftspeople and artisans relied on their senses to “know time.” Whether they were brewing beer or preparing an indigo dye bath, they turned to their eyes, ears, nose, hands, and tastebuds to know when things were ready. In this talk, Ali Macdonald, doctoral candidate in History, will explore how time is sensory, using account books, instruction manuals, commonplace books, and letters, and examining surviving material objects to suggest that clock time may not be as all-consuming as it might feel. 

The Emerging Scholars Series is a partnership between the Arts & Sciences Graduate Center at William & Mary and the Williamsburg Regional Library. The series features W&M graduate students in talks hosted by the WRL intended to bring cutting-edge research to the local community. 

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