Michelle Bastian works in the areas of critical time studies and environmental humanities, with a particular focus on the relationship between time and belonging.
She completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, and was a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester, before taking up her current role in Edinburgh.
Since 2013 she has been involved in eight AHRC funded research projects, five as principal investigator. These projects looked at time and community, local food projects, sustainable economies, temporal design and transition towns.
Her work has been published in a range of journals including GeoHumanities, Parallax, Theory, Culture and Society, New Formations, Time and Society, Feminist Theory and the Journal of Environmental Philosophy.
Michelle is an editor of four collections including Field Philosophy and Other Experiments (Parallax, 2019), Unexpected Encounters with Deep Time (Environmental Humanities, 2018) and Participatory Research in More-than-Human Worlds (Routledge, 2016), and is an Editor-in-Chief for the journal Time & Society (SAGE).
Michelle is the course organiser for the core course Architectural Theory, as well as PG seminars on Topics in Environmental Humanities and Time, Place, Belonging: understanding time in society.
My research focuses on two main areas:
1. Philosophy of social time and social aspects of time-keeping
My work seeks to open up new interdisciplinary conversations between philosophy, the social sciences and design. Building on my areas of expertise within feminist, environmental and continental philosophy, my research has argued that a deeper engagement with social time is necessary to respond to key philosophical questions around the politics of time and the construction of communities. I have demonstrated that such an engagement results in profound challenges to the way that time, and time-reckoning tools, have been treated by philosophers. Moreover my work opens new avenues for exploring philosophical methods, including engagements with designers and field-based research approaches.
2. Concepts and methods for supporting more-than-human communities
Extending my work on the relationship between time and communities to the issue of more-than-human communities I seek to bring critical time studies into conversation with environmental humanities to explore how social concepts of time are involved in the construction of nature as outside of culture and everyday human concerns. In particular I have argued for expanding the scope of relationships we look to when ‘telling time’. A further key aspect of this work has been again to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogues, most clearly exemplified in my work on more-than-human participatory research, which brings human-focused participatory research methods into conversation with multi-species research methods.