Boredom Studies is an increasingly rich and vital area of contemporary research that examines the experience of boredom as an importan – even quintessential – condition of modern life. This anthology of newly commissioned essays focuses on the historical and theoretical potential of this modern condition, connecting boredom studies with parallel discourses such as affect theory and highlighting possible avenues of future research. Spanning sociology, history, art, philosophy and cultural studies, the book considers boredom as a mass response to the atrophy of experience characteristic of a highly mechanised and urbanised social life.
Table of Contents
0.0. ‘Monotonous Splendour: An Introduction to Boredom Studies’, Julian Jason Haladyn and Michael E. Gardiner – p. 1
Part 1: Boredom and Subjectivity
1.1. ‘‘Between Affect and History: The Rhetoric of Modern Boredom’, (Elizabeth S. Goodstein)
1.2. ‘The Dialectic of Lassitude: A Reflexive Investigation’, (Barry Sandywell)
1.3. ‘The Life That is Not Purely One’s Own: Michel Henry and Boredom as an Affect’, (Antonio Calcagno)
Part 2: Boredom and Visual Culture
2.1. ‘Entertainment: Contemporary Art’s Cure for Boredom’, (Frances Colpitt)
2.2. ‘Boring Cool People: Some Cases of British Boredom’, (Elizabeth Legge)
2.3. ‘The Universal Foreground: Ordinary Landscapes and Boring Photographs’, (Eugenie Shinkle)
3.1. ‘#Boredom: Technology, Acceleration, and Connected Presence in the Social Media Age’, (Martin Hand)
3.2. ‘Kierkegaard on Boredom and Self-Loss in the Age of Online Dating’, (Kevin Aho)
3.3. ‘Overload, Boredom and the Aesthetics of Texting’, (Sharday Mosurinjohn)
Part 4: Boredom and its Discontents
4.1 ‘Boredom and the Banality of Power’, (Saikat Majumdar)
4.3 ‘Everyday Life between Boredom and Fatigue’, (Eran Dorfman)
4.4 ‘Attention and the Cause of Modern Boredom’, (Erik Ringmar)
Part 5: Boredom’s Futures
5.1. ‘Boredom and the Meaning of Life’, (Lars Svendsen)
5.2. ‘Boredom and the Origin of
Michael E. Gardiner is Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, where he is also a core faculty member of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism. He teaches on social theory, everyday life and the sociology of utopia.
Julian Jason Haladyn is an art historian and professor at OCAD University. He is the author of Boredom and Art: Passions of the Will to Boredom (Zero Books, 2014) and Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés (Afterall, 2010), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters on art and critical theory.