English 90bd. Boredom

Instructor: Elizabeth Phillips
Day & Time: Tuesday & Thursday  10:30-11:45am 
Course Website

Enrollment: Limited to 15 students.

What is boredom? In many ways, it has likely never been more deeply felt, culturally contentious, and all-consuming than it is right now. But this feeling has a long and rich history in literature, drama, philosophy, and science. This interdisciplinary seminar will explore plays and novels by authors like Baudelaire, Beckett, Chekhov, Flaubert, Huysmans, Wallace, Warhol, and Wilson, as well as theoretical readings, psychological studies, performance art, and reality television. We will ask: how is the emotion of boredom destructive and/or generative? How might its effects and moral resonance change across lines of gender, race, and class? How does boredom transform or become magnified in spaces like schools, theaters, trench warfare, arctic winter, or solitary confinement? Assignments and projects may include papers, creative writing, music and dance, and/or social experiments.