New Formations Volume 2023 Issue 109

ISSN 0950-2378

| All issues | Next issue >>

Print edition of this issue available for £18 Add to cart

Digital edition of this issue available for £12 Add to cart

Loneliness and Other Symptoms

This issue of New Formations brings together a collection of essays on the topic of loneliness, curated by Jess Cotton, along with three articles on other themes. Loneliness has become a catchall term that is often a stand-in for feelings of depression, isolation and a sense of being politically or socially unconnected. However, the difficulty with history of emotions research is that it risks conflating vastly different experiences. As participants in a roundtable in this issue discuss, language and diagnosis are part of the problem: if not everyone’s loneliness is equal, then focusing on the structural forces in which loneliness arises offers a useful way into a historical and political analysis. In an article on the women’s movement and Spare Rib magazine, Eleanor Careless and Jess Cotton chart how women in the feminist movement in the 1970s transformed their experiences of isolation through grassroots organising and feminist print publications. Anna Maguire charts the loneliness of the refugee as a psychosocial state of exclusion that is systematically produced by Britain’s hostile environment. The complex relationship between televisual and cinematic screens and experiences of loneliness is given extensive consideration in articles by Carlo Cenciarelli and Zlatina Nikolova. All of these articles show the importance of thinking loneliness through the infrastructures and technologies that produce states of inclusion and exclusion.

Elsewhere in the issue, Jana Cattien expertly unpicks the threads that make up ‘antigender’discourse in modern Germany, interwoven as they are with the fabric of contemporary racism. Jan Overwijk and Daniël de Zeeuw offer a singularly ambitious, highly persuasive, account of the epistemological politics of contemporary conspiracy theories. In a fascinating complement to their contribution, Stephen Harper and Tom Sykes examine liberal conspiracy theories – such as the moral panic around anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party – as typical of the current political landscape, yet rarely examined alongside conspiracy theories of the right or left. The collected articles in this issue provide an incredibly rich and wide-ranging set of diagnoses of some key symptoms of our contemporary cultural and political condition, which New Formations is proud to make widely available.


Editorial, pages 4‑5
Jeremy Gilbert lock_openFree to download

Introduction: Loneliness and Technology, pages 5‑9
Jess Cotton lock_openFree to download

No Woman is an Island: The Politics of Loneliness, Spare Rib and the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1969-1993, pages 10‑28
Eleanor Careless, Jess Cotton

‘Hello Darkness, My Old Friend’: The Company of Music in a Cinema of (Shared) Loneliness, pages 29‑46
Carlo Cenciarelli

Hostile Environments: Refugees, Asylum Seekers and The Politics of Loneliness, pages 47‑61
Anna Maguire

Touching Disney: Loneliness and Sources of Comfort in the Digital Age, pages 62‑77
Zlatina Nikolova

The Scales of Loneliness - A Roundtable Discussion, pages 78‑90
Husna Ara, Fred Cooper, Jess Cotton, David Vincent lock_openFree to download

Perfect Enemies: Anti-Genderism, Racism and the Threat of Abstractness, pages 91‑109
Jana Cattien

Conspiracy Theories Left, Right and ... Centre: Political Disinformation and Liberal Media Discourse, pages 110‑128
Stephen Harper, Tom Sykes lock_openFree to download

The New Clarity: Awakening in the Post-Truth Era, pages 129‑146
Jan Overwijk, Daniël de Zeeuw lock_openFree to download


Loneliness through a Left Lens, pages 147‑150
Jess Cotton lock_openFree to download

Displaying Diversity, pages 151‑155
Matthew Johnston lock_openFree to download

Monsters of the Interregnum, pages 156‑160
Jason Read lock_openFree to download

Share this