Vertigo and urgency: affective resonances of crisis

Daniel M. Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Crisis provokes a sense of urgency often experienced as vertigo – the intense disorientation as to where and when one belongs on the temporal timeline of pasts and futures. The nauseating affects of urgency can be located in both crisis as sudden rupture and as chronic condition – the former a cliff-edge moment where a schism in historical continuity induces dizziness and a sense of falling, the latter defined by inescapability and suffocating captivity. This article presents the relationship between crisis, urgency and the concept of vertigo, offering insights from philosophy and social theory. Further, based on ethnography from crisis-ridden Greece, it explores how vertigo orients collective timespaces and affectively fosters imaginative relationships with the imminent future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37–53
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Anthropology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Crisis
  • Future
  • Greece
  • Urgency
  • Vertigo


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