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Bored in the House: Work, Leisure, and the Domestic Mundane
CHUM 396
Spring 2025
Section: 01  

At the beginning of the COVID epidemic, Detroit rapper Curtis Roach released an instant classic on TikTok, a fifteen second ditty capturing the zeitgeist of the coming wave of domestic isolation: "Okay I'm bored in the house, and I'm in the house bored." The recent waves of mass quarantine, both forced and quasi-voluntary, have crystallized our focus on the domestic, and its attendant crises. More than ever, we must confront the vanishing material and psychic separations between work and leisure, the badly needed reimagining of public and private not anchored in a spectral domestic privacy, and the foundational dynamics of class, race, sexuality, gender, capacity, and institutionalized violence that structure where we can live, work, and play. This course has a special focus on the exhausting digital, which sucks up ever more energy (both in terms electric power--see the astounding energy use to train and deploy generative AI--and human attention and engagement) while leaving us with sleeping problems, carpal tunnel, and phantom vibrations.

This course seeks to be not just an academic study of the themes of this course, but an ongoing experiment in boredom praxis. We will think about what we do when we are bored, and why, and we will try to sit with and direct our boredom in gently investigational ways. This also extends to critically thinking about how we do work in this class, and our techniques and tactics of maintaining leisure time in academia.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-22-2024
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