Patel to discuss cultural significance of time at Bates

Geeta Patel, assistant professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College, will discuss “Time Tallies Up: Millennium Stories” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, Bates College. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Patel will discuss how our assumptions about the significance and measurement of time reveal cultural bias. Patel notes, for instance, that the common notion of the school year in the United States is rooted in the North American agrarian calendar and that January 1 is not cross-culturally recognized as the beginning of the new year. Despite the fact that notions of time reveal cultural bias, Patel believes the passing of time is common to all cultures, nationalities, religions and races of people, and is a way for people to recognize and celebrate common experiences.

Patel, who teaches a broad range of courses, including Indian feminist social movements, literature of the Asian diaspora, history of science and post-colonial fiction, is the author of the forthcoming book, Poetry in Movement: Reading Gender, Colonialism and the Other in Miraji (Stanford University Press). She received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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