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In times of crisis, emotions seem more urgent than ever. The corona pandemic of 2020, the second true global crisis of the twenty-first century after the financial crash of 2008, has brought feelings to the fore: fear of contagion and for one’s own life, but also fear for others, even those we do not know personally. Other emotions that often emerge when social, political, or natural upheavals strike include solidarity and empathy, exhaustion and grief, hope and optimism. In contemporary discourse, feelings are both maligned for imbuing debates with ‘unnecessary’ emotion and appreciated for offering a more individual perspectives. Emotions validate events and experience.
Feeling News has been created to engage with emotions as a day-to-day occurrence and their role in current events and incidents. Complementing our academic research portal “Insights into Research”, it provides brief, prompt, and essayistic analyses and viewpoints about the verbal and visual negotiations of emotions as they appear in everyday media coverage and beyond. Building on our Center’s core supposition that emotions have a history and that they make history, contributions may be historical or contemporary, but all flesh out the topicality of emotions for our present times and their historical aetiology.
The blog is run by the Center for the History of Emotions, but publication is open to all members of the public and contributions that adhere to the netiquette and formulate a concrete argument will be considered for publication. If you are interested in replying to any entry or in proposing a piece of writing, please get in touch with the editors   and .


Ying Li and Shabnam Mousavi
May 29, 2020

Within only a few months, the coronavirus has claimed 340,000 lives, with over five million infections reported around the globe. Lockdown, shutdown, and isolation have been the dominant responses by governments and people. In a recent 2020 study by Ying Li, Shenghua Luan and Ralph Hertwig, people in China and the US were asked to write down five words to describe their feelings from the previous week. Overall, both Chinese and Americans experienced negative emotions more than usual at the time the pandemic peaked in their respective countries. Surprisingly, the usual suspects, fear and anxiety, were closely matched and even exceeded by the feeling of boredom. [more]
Lukas Herde
May 25, 2020

When physical distancing to stop the spread of Covid-19 is the dictum of the hour, how can one have sex? Anticipating such insecurities, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) published Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a ‘safe sex’ guide in times of Corona. A media sensation upon release, the two-paged digital leaflet is a hybrid of classic sexual health advice and Covid-19 prevention measures. It comprises information on Covid-19’s transmission paths; partnered, solitary and digital sex; STIs and sex toy hygiene. Via knowledge transfer, it attempts to navigate two affective states through the pandemic: anxiety and (sexual) pleasure. [more]
Ute Frevert
May 13, 2020

There’s a new game in town and it already has a name. Social distancing shaming. Newspapers have reported on it, bloggers have commented on it, Twitterers have tweeted about it. It’s old wine in new bottles, really. People publicly castigate others who, in their estimation, are not following the rules and, in doing so, they aim to compel them to conform. The criticized person is supposed to feel ashamed of themselves and change their behavior. [more]
Erica Baffelli and Frederik Schröer
May 12, 2020
  These days our access to space (be it workplaces, parks, shops, let alone travel) is strictly regulated and restricted. Our experience of time, also, seems to have changed in a radical way, a way that most of us have never felt before. Many of us feel acutely disconnected from our communities, while at the same time new forms of solidarity and belonging are emerging. Although the impact and consequences of the pandemic are not the same for all of us, there is no denying that we are all affec [more]
Emma Zohar
May 11, 2020

Love is probably the first emotion that comes to mind when one thinks of weddings. The color white is the modern visual coding that will probably accompany this thought. But there are also Black Weddings: a Jewish religious ritual in which a wedding is held between two orphans (or other unfortunate individuals) in a cemetery, under a black canopy instead of the white one normally used. Both the black canopy and the fact the weddings are held in a cemetery symbolize the threat of death posed by the plague. Black Weddings are also called Plague Weddings and one even took place in Israel this year.
[more]
Kerstin Pahl
April 28, 2020

The pedestrian felt uncomfortable: "it was a most surprising thing, to see those Streets, which were usually so thronged, now grown desolate". However, since the disease had not yet spread to all parts of the city, people were "allarm’d, and unallarm’d again, till it began to be familiar to them" and, eventually, they "began to take Courage and to be, as I may say, a little hardened." [more]
Julia Wambach
April 28, 2020

Das bislang einzige Geisterspiel in der Geschichte der 1. Fußballbundesliga, bei dem am 11. März 2020 Borussia Mönchengladbach den 1. FC Köln empfing, erregte ungewohnte Gefühle: Borussia Mönchengladbachs Patrick Herrmann sprach von einem "sehr seltsame[n] Feeling" und für den Schiedsrichter Deniz Aytekin war das Spiel "beängstigend", ohne Leidenschaft, etwas würde massiv fehlen (Berliner Morgenpost 19.04.2020, SZ 12.03.2020) Was fehlte waren die Fans, die Emotionen, vor allem die Begeisterung. [more]

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