Mark Kingwell’s Book on Boredom Wins MEA Award

Published: June 22, 2020

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Congratulations to Mark Kingwell, whose Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2019) won the Media Ecology Association’s (MEA) 2020 Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Social Interaction. The prize recognizes outstanding work published in book form that focuses on social situations, symbolic interaction, interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, social space, temporal rhythms, rules of engagement, the performance of roles, and the presentation of self in everyday life.

The MEA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the study, research, criticism, and application of media ecology in educational, industry, political, civic, social, cultural, and artistic contexts, as well as the open exchange of ideas, information, and research among the association’s members and the larger community.

More about Wish I Were Here

Offering a timely meditation on the profound effects of constant immersion in technology, Wish I Were Here draws on philosophical analyses of boredom and happiness to examine the pressing issues of screen addiction and the lure of online outrage. Steering clear of moralizing, the tome in accessible language takes seriously the possibility that current conditions and behaviours are creating selves hollowed of meaning and genuine connection to others.

Hear Mark Kingwell speak about his book on CBC Radio or read a related opinion piece on boredom as opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic in the Globe and Mail.

Want to learn a bit more about Erving Goffman, the MEA award’s namesake, in the current context? Kingwell also has a short essay on that.