This talk analyses the phenomenon of ‘doomscrolling’ – the compulsive reading of anxiety-inducing online content – during the COVID-19 pandemic against the common idea that it is simply an addictive social practice that impedes mental flourishing. Instead, in order to open up its inclination towards care, I read doomscrolling through the anachronistic neologism that has come to define this textual practice. My talk reads the anxious textuality of Don DeLillo’s The Silence and Saidiya Hartman’s reworking of W. E. B. Du Bois’s ‘The Comet’ to demonstrate how doomscrolling emerges from a moment in which trust is anxiously fractured, but how it works, nevertheless, to witness what gets to count within a time felt to be coming to an end.
11th January 2022
Zoom Link: https://iitgn-ac-in.zoom.us/j/93379454169
Meeting ID: 933 7945 4169