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Conferences - Archive

Workshop: Evidence of Feeling: Law, Science and Emotions in Modern Europe

Workshop: Evidence of Feeling: Law, Science and Emotions in Modern Europe

April 10-11, 2017
Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organiser: Daphne Rozenblatt

The workshop aimed to bring together research on the history of emotions in law and science in order to examine emotions together with the relationship between systems of knowledge and social practices in the scientific-legal setting. It built on recent research on law and emotions that has examined both the way that emotions are addressed, arbitrated, defended, and prohibited by legal code as well as the emotional practices of various persons within the court, included judges, jurors, lawyers, and spectators. Furthermore, it built on research into the history of science and the emotions, which has explored emotions as scientific objects and as part of scientific practice. By focusing on evidence as a crux between theory and practice, it not only aimed to contribute to the legal and scientific history of emotions, but emotional epistemology through historical examine.

Failing at Feelings. Historical Perspectives (1800-2000)

Failing at Feelings. Historical Perspectives (1800-2000)

Conference Poster Failing at Feelings
© MPI for Human Development

December 15-16, 2016
Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organisers:
Dr. Pascal Eitler (Center for the History of Emotions, MPIB)
Dr. Uffa Jensen (Center for the History of Emotions, MPIB)

The conference dealt with four distinct fields where this failing at feelings can be observed, and focussed on European and North American history during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Family and Gender, Sexuality and Seduction, Politics and Protest as well as Animal and Things.

Conference Witchcraft and Emotions: Social Conflict and the Judicial Process

Conference Witchcraft and Emotions: Social Conflict and the Judicial Process

Witchcraft and Emotions Conference | Poster
© MPIB

June 23-24, 2016
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organisers:
Laura Kounine (MPIB Berlin, Center for the History of Emotions)
Charles Zika (CHE, The University of Melbourne)
Jacqueline van Gent (CHE, The University of Western Australia)
Michael Ostling (Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University)

This conference was part of our collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Melbourne and the second of two conferences which focus on 'Witchcraft and Emotions'. The theme of this conference was 'Social Conflict and the Judicial Process'. The conference encompassed the emotions that occur within the dynamics of witchcraft accusations and witch-trials, through the social network of neighbours, friends and kin, or the spatial network of the torture chamber or courtroom.

Common Room - Architecture, Democracy and Emotions since 1945

Common Room - Architecture, Democracy and Emotions since 1945

Common Room | Conference Poster
© MPIB

May 25-27, 2016
Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organisers:
Till Großmann, MA (Center for the History of Emotions, MPIB)
Dr. Philipp Nielsen (Center for the History of Emotions, MPIB)

Built environments enabled, (un)intentionally provoked, or methodically educated a variety of feelings towards different forms of democratic governance—here understood as a political claim as well as a practice. They did so through their conception, materiality and use. Architecture rendered ideas about emotions and their value for democratic governance concrete. Ideas about morality and conduct were inscribed into it. This, to some extent, is true for all government and official architecture. Yet particularly after the Second World War and during decolonization, almost all countries, regardless of actual practices of governance, claimed to be democracies or at the very least republics.

Monsoon Feelings

Monsoon Feelings

Konferezposter 2015
© MPI für Bildungsforschung

June 25-27, 2015
Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Organisers: Margrit Pernau (MPIB), Imke Rajamani (MPIB), Katherine Butler Schofield (King's College London)
 

The aim of this conference was to bring different media into a dialogue around the empirical investigation of feelings associated with a particularly rich phenomenon in South Asia – the monsoon – a dialogue which will be as intermedial as it is interdisciplinary, and which will move beyond the written and spoken word not only in its objects of analysis, but also in its presentations.

Questions that were discussed included: What are the tropes, images, sounds and practices that define the monsoon as an emotional concept? How does the concept change from the early modern to the contemporary? How do the feelings change ahead of, or following, or simultaneously with the concept and its artistic expression? How are monsoon feelings wandering from one genre/one medium to the other? Are there dominant media for specific eras?

Criminal Law and Emotions in European Legal Cultures: From the 16th Century to the Present

Criminal Law and Emotions in European Legal Cultures: From the 16th Century to the Present

Criminal Law and Emotions in European Legal Cultures | Poster
© MPIB
21 - 22 May 2015, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Organisers: Laura Kounine (MPIB) and Gian Marco Vidor (MPIB)

Legal institutions and jurists have often perceived themselves and promoted an image of their role and activity as essentially "rational". Yet, emotions have always been integral to the law, particularly in the case of criminal law. Emotions were and are taken explicitly or implicitly into consideration in legal debates, in law-making, in the codified norms and in their application, especially in relation to paramount categories such as free will, individual responsibility and culpability. Moreover, emotions are integral to the dynamics of the courtroom: in judging who is guilty, and who is not.

This two-day conference seeks to historicize the relationship between law and emotions, focusing on the period from the sixteenth century to the present. It aims to ask how legal definitions, categorizations and judgments were influenced by, and themselves influenced, moral and social codes; religious and ideological norms; scientific and medical expertise; and perceptions of the body, gender, age, social status. By examining the period between the sixteenth century and the present day, this conference also seeks to challenge and problematize the demarcation between the early modern and the modern period, looking at patterns and continuities, as well as points of fissure and change, in the relationship between law and
emotions.

Sexotic. Workshop on Moral Economies, Body Techniques, Media, and the Interplay between Sexuality and Exotization

Sexotic. Workshop on Moral Economies, Body Techniques, Media, and the Interplay between Sexuality and Exotization

Sexotic – Workshop on Moral Economies, Body Techniques, Media, and the Interpla
© MPIB

19–20 February 2015

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organized by: Magdalena Beljan, Pascal Eitler, Benno Gammerl (all Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin) and Ulrike Schaper (Freie Universität Berlin)

Unknown cultures and practices are often described as somehow “exotic”. Historically, this kind of Othering often went along with a sexualization of the unfamiliar. The neologism “sexotic” emphasizes the intertwinement of both processes.

Scholars from the fields of history, gender and cultural studies, theater studies and literature presented their work in five panels focusing on tourism, migration, sex reform, visual cultures and techniques of the body. The discussions engaged with a range of crucial and comprehensive questions: How and why did imaginations of exotic sex and sexual exoticism change across time? Were there different, regionally, gender- or class-specific exoticizing stereotypes? Were discriminatory strategies of sexualisation contested by de-sexualizing or other counter-strategies? How were strange places, bodies and practices translated, conveyed and rehearsed and thus appropriated in new surroundings? Which political, economic and cultural conditions enabled and shaped the construction, perception, production and consumption of exotic sex and sexual exoticism since the 19th century in Western Europe?

Comparing Civil Gun Cultures: Do Emotions Make the Difference?

Comparing Civil Gun Cultures: Do Emotions Make the Difference?

Comparing Civil Gun Culture (Konferenzposter) |
© MPIB

26 – 28 August 2014, MPIB

Organizer: Dagmar Ellerbrock

The conference aimed to initiate an international dialogue which would identify the emotional roots of distinct gun cultures and the historical and cultural preconditions which determine them, in order to deploy this knowledge in violence prevention. This conference seeked to understand what would be the structural, cultural and institutional conditions necessary to transform existing gun cultures.

Workshop "Feeling for the Community"

Workshop "Feeling for the Community"

Konferenz-Poster | Center for the History of Emotions
© MPIB

27-28 June 2014
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Organisers: Margrit Pernau (MPIB), Amélie Blom (CEIAS, Paris)

The workshop was a joint venture between the MPIB and the program EMOPOLIS (Emotions and Political Mobilization in South Asia) at the EHESS in Paris.

It addressed the question of the relation between emotions and the creation of communities. Do existing social groups develop a common way of feeling which constitutes them as an "emotional community" (Barbara Rosenwein)? Or is a common emotional style, "the experience, fostering, and display of emotions" (Benno Gammerl) not just an indicator, but even more a factor in the creation of a community? The emotions thus encompass both those which are seen as "typical" for a community, by the people within, but also outside the community (we/they are those who feel these specific emotions, for instance a sense for the miraculous); and also those which are geared at the community itself (compassion, love, devotion, the need to protect it from harm or dishonor).

Workshop "Memory and Temporalities"

Workshop "Memory and Temporalities"

Konferenz-Poster | Center for the History of Emotions
© MPIB

18 June 2014, 9 am - 6 pm
Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin
Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin

Organiser: Margrit Pernau (MPIB)

Emotions happen in time, but they can also have time as their object, creating specific ways of looking at the past and the future, and linking them to the present. In nostalgic remembrance, memory implies a longing for a lost and now inaccessible past and the mourning over this very inaccessibility. However, this is not the only way to imagine the past – if history is magistra vitae, if the past offers lessons for the present and can be recovered, the same remembrances can lead to very active emotions, transforming longing into a feeling from which to start reshaping the present. Other emotions are specifically linked to the future, like hope or the longing for a utopia, or on the contrary, dread and Zukunftsangst.

This workshop aimed at bringing together a number of scholars – most of them working on South Asia, and most of them currently based in Berlin - to share the ways they have been incorporating these questions into their research.

Feeling Differently: Emotional Non-Conformism in the 20th Century

Feeling Differently: Emotional Non-Conformism in the 20th Century

Konferenzposter "Feeling Differently" | Center for the History of Emotions
© MPIB

Conference at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
13-14 December 2013

Funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Convenors

  • Beate Binder (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
  • Benno Gammerl (MPI, Berlin)
  • Joachim Häberlen (Warwick University)
  • Jan Hutta (University of Bayreuth) and
  • Monique Scheer (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen)

The focus of the recent interest in emotions in sociology, history, literary and cultural studies as well as anthropology has been, to a large extent, on ‘feeling rules’ and norms of conduct, on the bodily knowledge that structures feeling, on dominant patterns of emotion and  corresponding emotional practices.

Workshop Concepts of Emotions in South Asia from 19th to 21st Century

Workshop Concepts of Emotions in South Asia from 19th to 21st Century

Concepts of Emotions in South Asia | Konferenzposter
© MPIB

Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
6-7 December 2013

The workshop is taking place within the framework of the project Emopolis (Emotions and Political Mobilizations in the Indian Subcontinent). It is organized by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for the History of Emotions (Berlin) with the Centre d’Etudes de L’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (Paris) and the International Max Planck Research School for Moral Economies of Modern Societies (Berlin).

I, the People. Negotiating Individual and Collective Emotions in Democratic Societies

I, the People. Negotiating Individual and Collective Emotions in Democratic Societies

I, the people

Interdisciplinary Conference, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

organized by Dr. Philipp Nielsen (MPIB)

14-15 November 2013

The central question of this conference was, whether there are democratic feelings and democratic emotional styles that develop over time to accommodate difference. In recognition of the fact that emotions just as democracy are social practices, and of the breadth of both domains, the conference focussed on, and brought together scholars from six fields: political theory, law, sociology, history, architecture and media studies.

CONFERENCE EMOTIONS AND VIOLENCE IN 20th CENTURY EUROPE

CONFERENCE EMOTIONS AND VIOLENCE IN 20th CENTURY EUROPE

Emotions and Violence | Konferenzposter
© MPIB

Interdisciplinary Conference at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Minerva Research Focus: Emotions and Violence, in collaboration with the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, the University of Bielefeld, and supported by the German Foundation for Peace Research.

Conference Organization by:
PD Dr Dagmar Ellerbrock (Minerva Research Focus: Emotions & Violence, Center of the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
Dr Silke Fehlemann (Department of History, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main)
Prof. (apl.) Dr. Klaus Weinhauer (Department of History, Bielefeld University)

WORKSHOP REWORKING AFFECT

WORKSHOP REWORKING AFFECT

27 June 2013 at the ICI Berlin

Queer-feminist engagements aim at transforming sexualized, gendered, classed and racialized regimes. Given the current turn in the humanities and social sciences towards affect and emotions, how crucial is (reworking) affect for this endeavor and how does affect then work? Are affects and emotions spontaneous and unruly or are they rather molded by historically and socially specific dynamics and codes of intelligibility? In what ways are the social, the economic, and the political created, enforced or transformed by e.g. anger, despair, shame, or pleasure? This event interrogates queering affect as work, as something that works, and as something that we can work with.

 

Workshop at the ICI organized by: Brigitte Bargetz (Humboldt University Berlin), Magdalena Freudenschuss (Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg), Benno Gammerl (Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin), Jochen Kleres (Humboldt University Berlin), Volker Woltersdorff (ICI Berlin)

With: Marie-Luise Angerer (Academy of Media Arts, Cologne), Deborah Gould (University of California, Santa Cruz), Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodriguez (University Gießen)

Workshop Gefühlsräume

Workshop Gefühlsräume

„Gefühlsräume – Raumgefühle. Zur Verschränkung von emotionalen Praktiken und Topografien der Moderne“
10-11 January 2013

Organiser: Dr. Benno Gammerl with the DFG-Forschergruppe „Kulturen des Wahnsinns“

Shame and Shaming in Twentieth Century History

Shame and Shaming in Twentieth Century History

Conference at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, December 6-7, 2012
Conveners: Ute Frevert (Center for the History of Emotions, MPI for Human Development) and Mary Fulbrook (University College London)

Since 1945, there has been an ongoing debate on how Germans 'came to terms' with the Nazi past. A lot has been written about feelings of guilt and/or shame, be they individual or collective. Generally, guilt has been considered the more appropriate category while shame was looked upon as a less appropriate response to the immediate past.

The juxtaposition of shame and guilt goes back to anthropological studies, mainly to Ruth Benedict’s influential work on Japan written during World War Two. Since then, many authors have questioned that juxtaposition and confirmed that guilt and shame work together in many ways. Shame cannot, as Bernard Williams put it, be absolutely divided from guilt, nor can guilt do without shame. Yet the very terminology has to some extent hampered discussions around shame / guilt / humiliation / shaming. Shame and feeling ashamed operate at different levels; humiliation has more to do with social shaming practices than with the individual emotion of shame. Shame is often not simply a response to humiliating practices, but may also be felt independently of public exposure, and may be a fundamental cause of an inability to admit guilt.

Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History

Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History

This three-day international conference brought together scholars interested in the intersection of childhood, youth, education and the emotions in historical perspectives. The conferencewas held from November 29 to December 1, 2012 at the Institute for Human Development, Centre for the History of Emotions, in Berlin and was organized by Stephanie Olsen and Juliane Brauer. Peter N. Stearns, Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University, gave the keynote address.

The emotional upbringing and education of children is a topic of acute historical as well as contemporary concern for policy makers and politicians. The main goal of this conference was to draw together new research in the history of childhood and youth, in the history of education and the important interventions from the emerging discipline of the history of the emotions.  The conference sought to build a comparative history of the education of the emotions through an exploration of formal and informal educational contexts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The intent of the conference was to focus broadly on both formal and informal educational strategies, both inside and outside of the family, and at the level of the State. How far did the State exercise control over the education of the emotions? To what extent did governmental strategies inform, and to what extent were they informed by, political, ideological, cultural, familial and religious understandings of children and their emotional states? What was the role, from the late nineteenth century, of voluntary societies in informing official state policy on childhood? Also at this time, did the increasingly professionalized scientific, psychological, educational fields fundamentally alter ideas and policies related to children and emotions?

4th Midterm Conference of the ESA RN Sociology of Emotions

4th Midterm Conference of the ESA RN Sociology of Emotions

Jointly organized with the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” at Freie Universität, Berlin
and Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
11-13 Oct 2012,
MPI for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, Berlin

At the conference sociologists and historians discusses theoretical as well as methodological issues and present their current research on emotions in a variety of fields like the law, migration, finance, social movements and others.

Conference "Emotions and Capitalism", 28-30 June 2012

Conference "Emotions and Capitalism", 28-30 June 2012

Is there a nexus between emotions and capitalism? Following recent debates on the financial crisis or consumer capitalism, “yes” becomes the likely answer. However, the question how emotions were and are shaped in capitalist cultures and vice versa: how capitalist cultures are shaped through emotional discourses and practices is still widely under-researched. The conference on emotions and capitalism intended to help fill this gap: the aim is to offer a platform for new perspectives on the intimate connections that exist between emotional and capitalist practices.

The conference was organized by Christoph Conrad (University of Geneva), Sabine Donauer (Graduate School Languages of Emotion Free University, Berlin) and Anne Schmidt (Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin) and took place at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin from 28 to 30 June 2012.

Conference "Emotions and the History of Modern Anti-Semitism"

Conference "Emotions and the History of Modern Anti-Semitism"

The Conference was organised by Uffa Jensen (MPIB) together with Raphael Gross and Daniel Wildmann (Leo Baeck Institute London), and Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Berlin) and took place at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin from 16 to 18 April 2012.

Only very few historians have systematically investigated the connections between the history of emotions and the history of anti-Semitism. Historians of emotions, on the one hand, have studied the history of specific adverse feelings, such as hatred, resentment or disgust, but have isolated them from other emotions as well as from specific social contexts. Much work remains to be done with regard to social phenomena of hostility that, in real life, are often combinations of different emotions. In this regard, the history of emotions would benefit greatly from the analysis of a highly complex and historically enduring case like anti-Semitism. On the other hand, historians of anti-Semitism often rely on the implicit assumption that their task is to examine the ideological and cognitive elements in anti-Semitism, that is, the prejudices against Jews. The emotional and, as is often assumed as well, irrational aspects of anti-Semitism can either be neglected all together as a mere epiphenomena or relegated to the field of psychology. Apart from producing somewhat flat histories of anti-Semitism, such a treatment reproduces the view that emotions have no history and, as essentialized bodily components, only accompany the “real” history of cognitive notions against Jews. However, since the inseparability of emotion and cognition is, by now, a widely accepted finding in the interdisciplinary study of emotions, the cognitive bias in this historiography no longer makes sense.

The conference therefore focussed on the emotions involved in the history of anti-Semitism in modern Europe. It raised various questions on heuristically different levels:

  • Emotions and anti-Semitic communication: This set of questions concerns the characteristic emotions of modern anti-Semitism in different forms of communication. What different emotions are used in anti-Semitic communication? Are these emotions always hostile or does emotional ambivalence structure anti-Semitic communication? How are the emotions presented by the “author” related to the intended emotions of the audience? Moreover, is it possible to discern specific emotional styles of anti-Semitism, that is, a specific mode of communicating emotionally? Additionally, the effects of emotions in anti-Semitic communication need to be explored. What role do emotions play for the reception of anti-Semitism? Is it possible to describe a specific mobilization and orchestration of anti-Semitism with the help of emotions? How do the opponents of anti-Semitism react emotionally to anti-Semitic communication? How do Jews react and use emotions in their counter-communication?
  • Emotions and anti-Semitic practices: This series of questions is devoted to the role of emotions in the emergence of anti-Semitic actions, i.e. in verbal attacks, demonstrations, violent confrontations, organization of petitions, formation of associations etc. What anti-Semitic practices are generated by emotions? How are practices against anti-Semitism organized emotionally? What processes of group formation are visible through emotional mobilization? Is it, finally, possible to describe an emotional profile, a habitus of anti-Semites and their opponents?
  • Concepts of moral self and anti-Semitism: Anti-Semitism is crucially concerned with issues of morality. Thus, relevant questions need to be explored in this regard: What notions of moral selfhood against an immoral Jewish selfhood are discussed in the emotional communication of anti-Semitism? In what way does anti-Semitism change emotional selfhood? Does i.e. hatred, resentment, or disgust of Jews alter other aspects of the moral self? What notions of moral economy are present in anti-Semitism?
  • Changes in emotional history of anti-Semitism: The enduring and transnational history of anti-Semitism makes it possible to raise specific questions about its emotional development. Did the emotional composition of modern anti-Semitism change over time? How does it differ in different societies? Does the transnational dissemination and organization of modern anti-Semitism and its counter-movements create a shared emotional repertoire across borders?

Emotions and Medicine in the 20th century

Emotions and Medicine in the 20th century

Konferenzposter Emotions and Medicine

22-24 September, 2011

organised by
Bettina Hitzer and Anja Laukötter at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin

Our aim was to explore the role of emotions in the field of medicine, both from a historical and a contemporary perspective. Thus, we would like to scrutinize how emotions were conceptualized and used in medical and public health discourses and practices.  Moreover, the conference considered how emotions shaped the understanding, the perception and the experience of being sick or healthy.

In particular, the conference seeked to show how:

  •  the origin of emotions and their mode of operation is theorized in medicine;
  • emotions are articulated and evaluated by scientists, physicians, patients and become relevant within their relationship;
  • emotions are used to educate the public and inform/alter their behaviour regarding health with to the use of various media (exhibitions, films, brochures, poster campaigns);
  • medical scientists, staff and patients assess the role of emotions in falling ill or curing illness.

 

Our time focus was the “long” 20th century, starting in the 1880s to the present.

One important aim of this conference was to combine theoretical and practical approaches as well as historical perspectives and contemporary surveys. Therefore theoretical reflections followed by analyses of different areas in medical practice. Moreover psychologists, neuroscientists, sociologists and representatives of public health institutions convened in each panel.

Emotionen und historisches Lernen revisited, July 2011 (in German)

Emotionen und historisches Lernen revisited, July 2011 (in German)

Emotionen und historisches Lernen revisited (Poster)

Tagung „Emotionen und historisches Lernen revisited: geschichtsdidaktische und geschichtskulturelle Perspektiven“,
6. - 8. Juli 2011 in Berlin

Organisation
Dr. Juliane Brauer
, Forschungsbereich Geschichte der Gefühle
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Lücke
, Arbeitsbereich Didaktik der Geschichte der Freien Universität Berlin
 

In den 1980er Jahren gab es in der Geschichtsdidaktik erstmals die Bereitschaft, über Erkenntnisse der Lernpsychologie in Bezug auf historische Bildung nachzudenken. Zu einem vorläufigen Abschluss erster zaghafter Überlegungen kam es mit der im Jahr 1992 stattgefundenen Tagung zum Thema „Emotionen und historisches Lernen“. Dem 1994 erschienenen Tagungsband sind zwei bemerkenswerte Sachverhalte zu entnehmen: Zum einen wird Emotionalität als eine spezifisch geschichtsdidaktische Kategorie erkannt – gerade hinsichtlich der sich in den 1990er Jahren etablierenden Alltags- und Mentalitätsgeschichte. Zum anderen scheint in fast allen Beiträgen eine bedenkenswerte Angst vor Emotionen durch.

Fast zwanzig Jahre später und nach einem „emotional turn“ in der Geschichtswissenschaft müssen die damaligen Befürchtungen überdacht werden. In der Alten Geschichte und der Geschichte des Mittelalters beispielsweise wird zunehmend nach der Bedeutung von Emotionen in der Strukturierung des sozialen Raumes gefragt. Interessanterweise erfolgt ausgerechnet für diese vergleichsweise quellenarmen historischen Zeiten der methodische Zugriff auf Alltagsbereiche über die Fokussierung auf Emotionen. Aber auch in der Neueren Geschichte und Zeitgeschichte wird nach der Wirkmächtigkeit von Emotionen in historischen Prozessen gefragt und es geraten insbesondere ihre soziale Repräsentationsformen in den Blick. Das historiografische Interesse an Gefühlen – so belegen diese neueren Überlegungen bereits – ermöglicht durch ein Neu-Lesen der vorhandenen Quellen einen analytischen Nahblick auf bisherige historische ‚Dunkelkammern’ und liefert Deutungsmuster für soziale Prozesse. Angesichts einer beachtlichen Zahl von Publikationen, die vielversprechende Konzepte zur Integration von Emotionen als Analysekategorie für die Geschichtsschreibung anbieten, ist es an der Zeit, neue Vorschläge zu unterbreiten und zu diskutieren, wie  Emotionen auch für einen theoretisch innovativen Zugriff auf die Konzeption historischen Lernens genutzt werden kann.

Ziel der Tagung war es, erste Standards zu formulieren, an denen sich zukünftig historisches Lernen mit und über Emotionen orientieren kann. Die Beiträge werden als Grundlage und Anregung zur weiteren Diskussion in Lehre und Forschung verstanden.

Auf der Tagung benannte und diskutierten Geschichtsdidaktikern/innen und Vertreter/innen der fachhistorischen Forschung Potenziale von Emotionen für das historische Lernen. Dabei wurden zwei Richtungen verfolgt: Zum einen, welchen systematischen Ort Emotionen in historischen Lernprozessen einnehmen können, welchen Beitrag sie also bei der Ausbildung eines reflektierten Geschichtsbewusstseins leisten, welche Funktion ihnen bei der Genese historischer Identitäten zukommt und ob sie etwa auch produktiv genutzt werden können, wenn Vergangenes historisch imaginiert wird. Zum zweiten – hier gerät historisches Lernen über Emotionen ins Blickfeld – wurde auf der Tagung untersucht, wie die Geschichte der Emotionen zum Thema historischen Lernens werden kann, also was vergangene Emotionen für die historische Sinnbildung bedeuten und ob sie historisches Fremdverstehen fördern können.

Empathy and the Blocking of Empathy

Empathy and the Blocking of Empathy

Empathy and the Blocking of Empathy Poster

International conference at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin, July 1-2, 2011
Hosted by Aleida Assmann (Konstanz), Steven Aschheim (Jerusalem) and Ute Frevert (Berlin
)

“Currently, the main problem discussed in sociobiology is to explain why we have pro-social emotions” (H. Gintis, 2001).These pro-social emotions have been identified as the central motor for cognitive and social evolution. It was because human actors were able to understand their mutual aims and goals so perfectly, that they were able to coordinate complex activities which led to leaps in evolution that were withheld from other species. Recent research in biological evolution has stressed empathy as the central factor in the process of evolution from primates to humans. Empathy was discovered to be the key emotion that fostered the cognitive evolution of the human brain. It consists in the capability to think in the mind of another, to anticipate the reactions of another human being and to interact with his or her projects.  Without empathy, scientists tell us, humans would not be able to enlarge their brain volume, to enter into common projects and to use their cultural heritage. These new insights have given rise to a new body of research, including new applications in practical and cultural domains for creating a better future.

The conference invited psychological, aesthetic, cognitive, social and historical perspectives to do justice to empathy as a paradigmatic transdisciplinary topic.

Learning to Feel: Emotions beyond Nature vs. Nurture

Learning to Feel: Emotions beyond Nature vs. Nurture

Joint conference, Jerusalem, April 10-14, 2011

Centre for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin and Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem in collaboration with The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University

 

With regard to the social context, we start from the assumption that emotions, though individually felt and experienced, have strong social bearings. They are learnt and created within social relations, most of them within institutions such as family, school, church, political parties, nations. They are, moreover, themselves the central element in building relations (experiences of bonding, for example through religion/devotion, music and love, but also experiences of conflict, for example through emotions of shame, fear, hate or envy).

As to the scientific context, we want to go beyond the nature vs. nurture debate that has, up to now, divided the social and natural sciences, building on traditional concepts of a dichotomy between mind and matter. Both natural sciences and humanities share an interest in change, be it historical transformations or the plasticity of the brain. On the basis of this fundamental agreement, research on change and learning can now fruitfully proceed within the disciplinary boundaries of the humanities/social sciences on the one hand and the natural sciences on the other and be brought together again at the next stage.

Die Bildung der Gefühle

Die Bildung der Gefühle

Poster Bildung der Gefühle

02.-04. December 2010, Conference in the Seminaris Campushotel

Geschichtsrepräsentationen, Emotionen und visuelle Medien

Geschichtsrepräsentationen, Emotionen und visuelle Medien

21.-23.04.2010, Berlin

Emotionen spielen in den Untersuchungen zur Erinnerungs- und Geschichtskultur verhältnismäßig selten eine Rolle. Nach wie vor konzentriert sich das Interesse der Forschung auf Identitäten und das Geschichtsbewusstsein. Wenn gelegentlich doch über emotionale Wirkungen von Geschichtsrepräsentationen nachgedacht wird, dann werden Emotionen selten als Forschungsgegenstand ernst genommen, vielmehr bestimmt ein vorgängiges, unhinterfragtes Emotionsverständnis die Analysen und Schlussfolgerungen. Ausgehend von der Prämisse, dass Gefühle historisch wandelbar und zugleich geschichtsmächtige Faktoren sind, hatte das Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung eine Tagung zum Thema Geschichtsrepräsentationen, Emotionen und visuelle Medien organisiert. (to the conference report on H-Soz-Kult in German)