Summer School "Concepts, Language and Beyond. Emotions Between Values and Bodies", 21 to 27 September 2014, MPIB

Summer School September 2014 | IMPRS Moral Economies
© MPI fuer Bildungsforschung

The summer school Concepts, Language and Beyond. Emotions Between Values and Bodies took place from 21 to 27 September 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany.

It explored new approaches in the field of conceptual history. PhD students in History and related disciplines were invited to discuss with renowned scholars in the field and presented their own research related to the topic. The five-day program included lectures, discussions of texts and case studies, presentations by the participants, as well as an excursion. All texts and discussions were in English.


International Max Planck Research School for Moral Economies of Modern Societies in cooperation with CONCEPTA (International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought)

Core Faculty

Prof. Dr. Jan Ifversen - Aarhus University, Vice Dean for Knowledge Exchange at the Faculty of Health Sciences
Prof. Dr. Helge Jordheim – University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
Prof. Dr. Rochona Majumdar – University of Chicago, Departments of Cinema and Media Studies, South Asian Languages and Civilizations
Prof. Dr. Margrit Pernau – Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin, Center for the History of Emotions

Concepts, language and beyond

The History of Concepts traditionally aims at investigating the relation between material reality and its interpretation through language. We believe that the use of non-verbal and multi-sensorial sources can be an important way to further the scope of conceptual history. The history of emotions and morals, with their emphasis on the body, on practices, but also on knowledge, are ideal inroads to explore new questions. The intensive reading and discussion sessions approach the topic from three interrelated perspectives: 

  • How can we expand the domain of conceptual history beyond language, taking into account the multisensoriality of experience and the multimediality of its expression? Can there be a conceptual history which integrates the visual and the sonic?
  • How have emotions, values and the senses been conceptualized in different languages and cultures? How can we investigate this field as a transnational and translational one?
  • How can we bring back this original interest in materiality, which has been sidelined under the influence of the linguistic turn?