Writing the History of Emotions: Concepts and Practices, Economies and Politics

March 25, 2024

Frevert, U. (2024). Writing the history of emotions: Concepts and practices, economies and politics. Bloomsbury.

Writing the History of Emotions shows how emotions like love, trust, honour, pride, shame, empathy and greed have prompted historical change since the eighteenth century and were themselves dependent on social, political and economic developments. Importantly, this book provides a timely exploration of gendered, class-based notions of feeling. This exciting addition to Bloomsbury’s successful Writing History series analyses how emotions matter in and to history, and how they are themselves objects of history.

From international relations to commerce, from the practices of courtship to scenes at the gallows, leading scholar Ute Frevert eschews a traditional chronological history of emotions in favor of an innovative collection which transgresses time periods to consider which emotions were lost over the centuries, which were found and which were picked up again. This book sheds light on how emotions have been used, instrumentalized and manipulated both to propel and suspend democratic politics and regulate social life. In doing so, it opens a rich new avenue of research for the history of emotions.

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