From The Guardian:
It may not be the most heart-pounding news of the moment, but boredom is coming back into fashion. Not boredom in the sense of lying around blank-faced in a brown study, a practice which in my experience has never really gone out of style, but boredom as a subject (rather than a product) of academic study. In recent years several scholarly books have reanimated a topic that had fallen into analytical torpor, the latest being Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey, an Australian professor of classics who now lives and works in Canada – a country, alas, that bears an unfortunate reputation for being boring.
What is boredom? Is it a mood, an emotion, an affliction, a form of social protection, a gateway to the essence of the self, the human condition, or a modern affectation? These are questions that have concerned philosophers and thinkers dating back to the Enlightenment, not least because boredom occupies territory that overlaps with capital letter concepts like Being and Time. I can't pretend that my own interest in the matter has always been quite so elevated. Mostly when I think about boredom it is out of base self-interest, as a state that I'm very keen to avoid. Ever since I was a child, I have held an extreme aversion to situations that have the potential to be boring.