Liz Kinnamon

Doctoral Candidate, Gender and Women's Studies

Award Information

DPDF Student Fellowship Competition 2016

Gender StudiesUniversity of Arizona

New Ascetics: Mindfulness, Labor, and Attention in Post-Fordism

Since the mid-twentieth century, discourse on the problem of "paying attention" has proliferated in step with the increasing number of pharmaceutical and quotidian attempts to repair it. Alongside the rise in ADHD treatments, the latter half of the twentieth century also proposed a non-pharmaceutical solution: the Buddhist-inspired practice of mindfulness, with TIME heralding a "Mindful Revolution" in 2014. While popular analyses fault technology for Americans' inability to pay attention, the central suspicion in my research is that attention span is shaped by styles of economic production, and especially so under conditions of "immaterial" labor. As part of a project on attention from historical materialist, psychoanalytic, and feminist perspectives, one facet of the research takes the mindful revolution as an object to ask after what ways capitalism and mindfulness might be in tension.