Dolce far Niente by Auguste Toulmouche, 1876.

Dolce far Niente by Auguste Toulmouche, 1876.

Boredom is the modern mood.

Our world seems to flit back and forth between excessive stimulation and extreme boredom. We have at our fingertips perpetual entertainment, and yet we find ourselves existentially adrift, listless, vacant. Is this boredom unique to our times? Or is it only another epoch in the long lineage of restless humanity?

In today’s episode, with boredom expert Dr. Rebekah Lamb, we explore the social, literary, and spiritual dimensions of boredom, and what it looks like to turn our boredom into something fruitful and wholesome, rather than destructive and inert.

If you enjoy listening to this podcast half as much as I enjoyed recording it, I know you’ll be delighted. :)

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Dr Rebekah Lamb is Lecturer in Theology, Imagination and the Arts. Her research interests span from Victorian period to the present; the Pre-Raphaelites and their affiliate circles; medieval revivalism; affect theory (particularly boredom studies); interfaces between theology and film studies, journalism, and social media; Christian personalism, education, and liturgy.

While preparing this podcast, I amused myself by googling pictures to do with boredom. The result was very pleasing. Please enjoy this melange of apathetic women…


No, no… everything you’re saying is extremely interesting… Do go on…


So bored she can’t even be bothered to sit up…


Not even this novel can save me from ennui…


Perhaps boredom could lead you to solve crimes! See: it’s not all bad!!

Further Reading…

Vile Bodies
By Evelyn Waugh

Rebekah mentioned this book about the “Bright Young Things” wiling away their boredom destructively…

One of my favourite Dickens novels. Includes the exquisitely bored Lady Dedlock.

Joy Clarkson1 Comment