PhD students 1st cohort

Dr. Jacob Schmidt

Dr. Jacob Schmidt
Brandenburg State Parliament
Bündnis 90 Die Grünen

Curriculum Vitae

Jacob Schmidt (born 1988) completed his Bachelor degree from 2009 to 2012 with a major in psychology and sociology. From 2012 to 2015 he completed his Master of Social Theory, again at FSU Jena. During his studies he worked as an assistant on a range of projects at the Institute for Psychology. He was a PhD student at the ‘Romanticism as a Model’ research training group from October 2015 through September 2018 and submitted his PhD thesis in February 2019.

PhD project (finished)

Acceleration, Boredom, and Mindfulness: A Romantic Praxis as an Alternative to a Frantic Standstill?

The starting point for the thesis is the observation that in the last 20 years the term ‘mindfulness’ has been used in many contexts, including neurosciences, psychotherapy, economy, self-help books and the media. Mindfulness refers to a specific meditative practice that originated in Buddhism which centres on continuous and non-judgemental observation of the body, the senses, feelings and thoughts. The purpose of the Mindfulness practice is not only to reduce stresso but to tap into creative potential or to generate a holistic, lively and interconnected experience between self and world. ‘Mindfulness’ is positioned here as an alternative to our present accelerated, rationalised and fragmented society.
The thesis investigates the Romantic sources of this self-practice and its function as a moment of resistance against an accelerated society. To be able to answer these questions, the acceleration theory of Hartmut Rosa will be expanded by the terms ‘waiting’ and ‘boredom’. The central thesis is that acceleration not only leads to a latent, existential boredom, in which all waiting becomes an ordeal, but also that the flight from the aversive experience of situational boredom is a motor of the acceleration itself. This supposition is historicised by tracing it back to the modern concept of time. The question is thus ultimately whether the practice of mindfulness constitutes a subject in a vivid time rather than a homogeneously linear and indifferent time.




  • Not enough. Der Beschleunigungszwang und die Freiheit der Langeweile, in: agora42 (2018), H. 3, S. 68-73.
  • ‚Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen!‘ Zum drohenden Sinnverlust einer arbeitsfixierten Gesellschaft. In: agora42 (3), (2019), S. 9–14.


  • (Zs. mit Peter Braun/Caroline Rosenthal): Am Walden Pond: Auf den Spuren von Henry David Thoreau. Eine Broschüre, Jena 2017.
  • (Zs. mit Annika Bartsch): Romantik 2.0 als progressive Bewältigungsstrategie in der virtuellen Moderne. Augmented Reality als Reaktion auf die gegenwärtige romantische Sehnsucht, in: Blog Modell Romantik, 17.05.2017, URL: