Boredom in American Culture

(with Eric C. Erbacher, University of Muenster)


This project, which is in its beginning phase, sets out to explore what kind of cultural functions and significance are attached to boredom in American culture. More specifically, it seeks to trace spaces and times of boredom as well as rituals and practices connected to it in literary and filmic representations from the 19th century until today. Hence, the project focuses on boredom less as a feeling, a psychological state, or mental attitude that can be experienced by human beings than as a state of being that functions as a culturally, socially, and historically significant sign that can serve as both an expression of and comment on the contexts it is experienced in.


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