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Michael Cowan
16 December 2011
Modernity, as has often been observed, was fundamentally concerned with questions of temporality. The period around 1900, in particular, witnessed numerous efforts to define, discipline or 'liberate' temporal experience. Within this broader framework of thinking about temporality, 'rhythm' came to form the object of an intense and widespread preoccupation. Rhythmical research played a central role not only in the reconceptualisation of human physiology and labour in the late nineteenth century, but also in the emergence of a new leisure culture in the early twentieth. The book traces the ways in which notions of 'rhythm' were mobilised both to conceptualise modernity (narrate its origins and prescribe its directions) and, in particular, to...