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Spring 2024


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New in Aeon Journal
Reasons to be Cheerful

In a recent essay in Aeon Journal, Timothy Hampton discusses the concept of cheerfulness as relates to history and our current times. Hampton’s recent book Cheerfulness: A Literary and Cultural History was released by Zone this spring. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full article. An excerpt appears below:

“Debased and overlooked, cheerfulness provides an instant of solace, a flash of support. Its vital usefulness emerges at moments of crisis. Beyond the commercialisation of our cheery culture and the fake gaiety of our politics, cheerfulness is a tool that frees us from our bonds by asserting affective freedom, often in the very face of oblivion. Even in its modern iteration, cheerfulness is a form of emotional power that should not be overlooked. It is not the ‘hope’ of the messianic, or the ‘optimism’ of the cheap politician. It makes more modest promises – to get you through the next few hours, to connect you to a neighbour. You can’t build a politics on it. But you probably can’t rebuild a world without it.”