“I’m Not in The Mood”
Call for Papers
Contemporaries at Post45
The Boredom Cluster
“I’m Not in The Mood”
What is boredom? Definitions abound, and so do ambiguities. For James Danckert and John D. Eastwood, boredom reveals our need to be engaged with the world around us; Tolstoy's dictum states that boredom is the desire for desires; Søren Kierkegaard warns us that idleness is good as long as we are not bored; for Walter Benjamin boredom is the “atrophy of experience and empty chatter of weather”; for Theodor Adorno, a summer tan-line is the summit of boredom; Martin Heidegger is convinced that boredom is the fundamental mood of modernity and looking at the clock is a futile attempt to banish boredom; Raymond Chandler advocated absolute boredom as the only cure for writerly procrastination.
What did the pandemic do to boredom? Has this past Year of Living Cautiously made boredom (more) boring? Have we found new value in time spent doing nothing, or anxiously rushed to fill it with diversions? For some of us—parents, for example—that question has not been ours alone to answer.
How can thinking about boredom, paradoxically, make it interesting?
Guest editor Busra Copuroglu (Western University) seeks to bring together essays about all things that are boring and all that is about boredom for Contemporaries at Post45. The boredom cluster invites contributors to reflect on (or complain about) about boredom in all its fluidly expansive dimensions, from a diversity of perspectives and in a multiplicity of moods. In keeping with the tone of Contemporaries, proposals for conversational exchanges between authors and other alternative formats are welcome alongside conventional essays.
Suggested departure points include but are not limited to:
- What’s interesting about boredom?
- How is boredom written, depicted, embodied, asserted, expressed, experienced?
- Is boredom universal, or does it appear to us in different forms in different places, cultures, historical moments?
- Why does boredom matter? Does it matter?
- Why is boredom frustrating?
- Can we feel bored even if we have something to do?
- What do we talk about when we talk about a boring film, book, film, exhibition, etc.?
- What do we have to say about bored animals?
- What do we know about bored children?
- All of the ruminations: thinking, murmuring, contemplating, and the solitude of the multitudes.
Please send your 300-word abstracts to Busra Copuroglu at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 28, 2021.
About Contemporaries at Post45
Contemporaries provides a forum for writers to converse with one another more directly and informally than in traditional academic publications, and it seeks to reinvigorate the erstwhile convention of academic critics not only describing past traditions but also actively intervening in current tastes.
These curated conversations, or “clusters,” of pieces between 2000-3000 words range from sets of relatively autonomous short essays on a common theme such as a contemporary cultural artifact, text, or idea that inspires widespread fascination, curiosity, perplexity and feeling, to extended epistolary exchanges.
Timeline for submissions:
Abstracts (300 words) due: June 28, 2021
Response to abstracts: July 13, 2021
Full pieces (2000-3000 words) due: December 10, 2021
Publication: April 2022