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A Day at a Time

Mass Observation diaries

A Day at a Time is a collaboration between scholars at the Universities of Kent, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Stirling and the Mass Observation Archive. This strand of our work gathers accounts of how people are experiencing the time of the pandemic. Our Directive‘ ask the Mass Observation panel of diary-writers to document first-hand how they are sustaining and making new everyday rhythms and routines, especially in relation to the household; the role of media, technology and material devices in the structuring of time; and the experience of speed, suspension and other forms of waiting – with a focus on the present and the future. We invite a variety of forms across the textual, audio and visual that can render the expressive, affective and embodied dimensions of authors’ relationships to time. 

The directive is supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (Coleman, Mediating Presents: Producing ‘the now’ in Contemporary Digital Culture, RF-2017-632\8) and the Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh. Analysis of the diaries is supported by a British Academy Small grant (Coleman and Lyon, Feeling, making and imagining time: Everyday temporal experiences in the Covid-19 pandemic, SRG2021\211073) and a Philip Leverhulme Prize (Grabham, 2020).