Attention Disorders Between Impairment and Ferality: Towards a Political Aesth-Ethics of Dismantlement


  • Yves Citton



Attention Studies, ADHD, Disability Studies, Ferality, Collapsology


Attention in the 21st century is commonly perceived as being in insufficient supply. Increasing numbers of children and adults are
diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) worldwide. This article suggests that our understanding of attentional deficits could gain from a double reframing. First, the notion of “impairment” (as recently discussed by Jonathan Sterne) seems more appropriate than the category of “disorder” to unfold the stakes of attentional problems. Second, approaching attentional issues as collective and organizational questions seems more empowering than as individual shortcomings—and the notion of “ferality” (as developed by Anna Tsing and the contributors to the Feral Atlas) provides an enlightening tool to account for the role played by
infrastructures in the production of attentional deficits. As a result, the article sketches two compasses designed to help us develop a “collapsonaut attention” more in tune with the challenges of the Anthropocene.

Author Biography

Yves Citton

Yves Citton is professor in Literature and Media at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis and co-editor of the journal Multitudes. He recently published Altermodernités des Lumières(Seuil, 2022), Faire avec. Conflits, coalitions, contagions (Les Liens qui Liberent, 2021), Générations collapsonautes (Seuil, 2020, in collaboration with Jacopo Rasmi), Mediarchy (Polity Press, 2019), Contre-courants politiques (Fayard, 2018), and The Ecology of Attention (Polity Press, 2016). Most of his articles are in open access online at


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How to Cite

Citton, Y. (2023). Attention Disorders Between Impairment and Ferality: Towards a Political Aesth-Ethics of Dismantlement. The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, 32(65).