The Gesture of Smoking: Analyzing culture through Depictions of Tobacco class logo with smoke on a black background and the image of a pipe with a newspaper.

Have you ever asked someone why they smoke? Maybe they’ll say it relaxes them, or that they enjoy it, or that they really just like being able to talk with other smokers. It all comes down to some sort of enjoyment. The late media theorist, Vilém Flusser argued that this enjoyment isn’t found in the experience of the smoke or in any isolated part of the gesture of smoking, but rather to act out one’s own being.

This week, my students in my honors class are exploring depictions of smoking through Flusser’s theory of gestures, and I would like to share the readings and lecture with you.

Readings

Poems

Essay

“Smoking as a Fine Art” by A. A. Milne (Yeah, THAT Milne)

Podcast

To relate contemporary pipe smoking communities to the historic ones they read about, students listen to Country Squire Radio’s episode on A. A. Milne.

Lecture

Further Reading and Resources

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