502 - Boredom - Boredom is one of the commonest affective states, yet also one of the most undertheorized. This will be an interdisciplinary course designed to investigate the phenomenon of boredom in broad sociological, philosophical and cultural terms. Topics to be covered include: theories of affect in general and the phenomenology of boredom in particular; the distinction between different types of boredom ("situational" versus "existential," for example); whether boredom is a specifically modern condition; the relation between boredom and similar or overlapping states of affect and practice (ennui, depression, idleness, etc.); and whether boredom is unremittingly negative or a potentially positive emotion. Theorists to be covered might include: Walter Benjamin, E. M. Cioran, Guy Debord and other Situationists, Martin Heidegger, Henri Lefebvre, Siegfried Kracauer and others.
Texts might include:
- Lars Svendsen, A Philosophy of Boredom (Reaktion, 2005)
- Elizabeth S. Goodstein, Experience Without Qualities: Boredom and Modernity (Stanford University Press, 2005)
- Martin Heidegger, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude (Indiana University Press, 2001)
- Seigfried Kracauer, The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays (Harvard University Press, 1995)
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