Chronotope

From Blommaert, 'Chronotopes, scales and complexity' (2015):

Bakhtin designed chronotope to express the inseparability of time and space in human social action, and he selected the “literary artistic chronotope” where “spatial and temporal indicators are fused into one carefully thought-out, concrete whole”, in such a way that the chronotope could be seen as “a formally constitutive category of literature” (1981: 84). Identifying chronotopes enabled Bakhtin to address the co-occurrence of events from different times and places in novels. He saw chronotopes as an important aspect of the novel’s heteroglossia, part of the different “verbal-ideological belief systems” that were in dialogue in a novel.

Crucial in understanding Bakhtin's concept is its connection to historical and momentary agency. In Bakhtin’s analyses, chronotopes invoke and enable a plot structure, characters or identities, and social and political worlds in which actions become dialogically meaningful, evaluated and understandable in specific ways. Specific chronotopes produce specific kinds of person, actions, meaning and value. Decoding them is in itself a chronotopic phenomenon, in addition, in which other historicities convene in the here-and-now historicity of understanding.

See also Blommaert & De Fina, 'Chronotopic identities'. (2016)