Colloquium: An Emotional Economy of the World from Above: Geographical Knowledge and Visions of the Global in the Early 20th Century
- Datum: 15.12.2020
- Uhrzeit: 17:00
- Vortragender: Staffan Bergwik
- Ort: online
- Gastgeber: Center for the History of Emotions
- Kontakt: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, led by Prof. Ute Frevert, cordially presents its winter semester 2020/2021 colloquium:
STAFFAN BERGWIK, STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITYAn Emotional Economy of the World from Above: Geographical Knowledge and Visions of the Global in the Early 20th Century
The role of verticality in 19th and 20th-century fields of knowledge-making has received increased attention among historians of science. Correspondingly, cultural historians have explored the growing importance of a bird’s eye view in popular culture throughout the 1800s. Elevated positions created in science and public discourse both contributed to a modern ability to see the bigger picture. Moreover, science historians have taken an increasing interest in emotions in science.
This presentation combines these strands of research to explore how the Swedish geographer Sven Hedin produced an elevated view through an expedition to the mountain chain Karakoram in Tibet between 1906 and 1908. Staffan Bergwik argues that Hedin’s elevated view contributed to an “emotional economy of elevation”. The alleged rational gaze of the overview was combined with emotions and experiences of cold climate, thin mountain air, vertigo, and awe. Affective states were included in the collection of data, even when they threatened to blur the sensorium of the observer.
Staffan Bergwik is professor of history of science and ideas at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University. His research focuses on the cultural history of 19th and 20th century science, including topics like science and emotions, history of geography, science and the media, and science and gender. Recent publications include Domesticity in the making of modern science (ed., 2015), “Elevation and Emotion: Sven Hedin’s mountain expedition to Transhimalaya 1906-1908”, Centaurus (November 2020), and ”Panoramic visions: Sven Hedin in ’Transhimalaya’ 1906-1909”, in The power of the In-between: Intermediality as a tool for Aesthetics Analysis and Critical Reflection (2018).