Project 1 | Passionate Work and the Good Life

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Finding passion for one’s work is often described as a positive ideal. It is commonly held in relation to the good life, something which hinges on the uncomplicated desire that work might provide human life with purpose, financial well-being, and success. But how is this relationship a subject of historical inheritance? And how has it been used to legitimate transformations in both work culture and economic life?

This project examines how passionate work has reconfigured the ideas of the good life, reframing what workers can hope for to stretch their capacities of tolerance. Towards that end, I examine the inverse of what is typically registered as passion, looking into how states of apathy, boredom, and loneliness are presented as contemporary problems which require the internalization of a passionate subjectivity.