Monographs and Editions 2011 - 2012

This book is meant, above all, to serve as an introduction to the history of emotions. It is organized around the binary of social constructionism vs. universalism that has shaped all emotions research since the 19th century. After sketching approaches to emotions from philosophy and the historical discipline itself, the book looks at the enormous variety of cross-cultural emotional expression and experience anthropologists have found. It then turns to the universalist pole embodied by the life sciences, from 19th century experimental physiology and psychology to the latest affective neuroscience. In a final chapter it offers perspectives on a future history of emotions beyond the constructionism/universalism binary. Accessibly written and intermixed with examples from all periods of history, the book warns against simplistic humanities appropriations of affective neuroscience, but at the same time is cautiously optimistic and delineates some areas in which cooperation with history might become possible. more

Gian Marco Vidor, Biografia di un cimitero italiano. La Certosa di Bologna. Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino, 2012.

Benno Gammerl (guest ed.), Emotional Styles - Concepts and Challenges. Special Issue of Rethinking History, 16:2 (2012).

This themed issue opens up new vistas on the history of emotions. It does so by examining multiplicities of community-based or spatially defined emotional styles that were simultaneously performed within larger socio-cultural contexts.
Frederick II of Prussia knew that it wouldn’t be sufficient for a good king to exert control over his subjects’ bodies, but that he should also conquer their hearts. In (early) modern times, monarchs had to rule in a manner that led people to obey through love, not through fear and pressure. This was dictated by the theory of state. In practice though, what about a king who had never been known to possess a mild temper or a gentle attitude? The book analyses Frederick’s concept of power as well as the implementation of his emotional practices within this concept. It shows the enlightened absolutist’s methods in looking for consent and the affection of his subjects who in their turn took advantage of his endeavors. They imposed conditions, formulated expectations and in cases when the king ignored them they reacted disappointedly. Even before today’s media society – as the book shows – the communication of power worked in both directions. In the eighteenth century and in completely different political circumstances, we discover the beginnings of an emotion policy that has left its permanent mark on the modern era. more

Bettina Hitzer/ Joachim Schlör (Hg.), God in the City. Religious Topographies in the Age of Urbanization. Special Issue, Journal of Urban History 37, 6 (2011).

Empty human faces, without any sign of emotion, as the avant-la-lettre constructivist Kazimir Malevich painted them, invite us to think about emotions in a similarly constructivist mode. Emotions, this book argues, are historically variable and contingent. Even if men and women have always felt and shown emotions, they have differed in style, object, and valence. While certain emotions got lost in history, others rose to prominence, depending on political incentives, social challenges, and cultural choices. In European societies, honour and shame practices have fundamentally changed over the course of modernity, gradually losing their grip on people’s self-concept and behavior. At the same time, compassion and empathy have become crucial components of the modern “emotional self”. As much as they triggered a plethora of humanitarian activities and institutions, they also witnessed severe setbacks and obstacles. more
Nationale Grenzen prägen heute nicht mehr die Erfahrungswelt der Europäer. Durch diese Tendenz zur Transnationalität verliert auch die Ausrichtung der Geschichtswissenschaft an der Nation und ihren Grenzen viel von ihrer Selbstverständlichkeit.

Anstelle der in sich abgeschlossenen Veranstaltungen zur deutschen, französischen oder britischen, seltener zur europäischen Geschichte, sehen sich Studierende mit Angeboten konfrontiert, die entweder Regionen in den Blick nehmen oder über den nationalen Rahmen hinausweisen. Transnationale Geschichte ist ein anspruchsvoller Zugang, der hohe Anforderungen an die Selbstreflexion des Historikers stellt.
Schlüsseltexte über Macht und Staat, Individuum und Ordnung auf dem Prüfstand.

Über 30 klassische Texte zu Bedeutung und Formen der Gewalt im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert werden in diesem Band neu interpretiert: Die Autorinnen und Autoren zeigen, wie die historischen Betrachtungen als Deutungsangebote für eine Geschichte der Moderne genutzt werden können. Der Band rückt das moderne Individuum zwischen seiner Bedrohung durch Gewalt und seinen Chancen durch Freiheit ins Zentrum der Aufmerksamkeit. more
efühle sind so alt wie die Menschheit. Das Wissen über Gefühle und deren Bewertung wandelt sich mit den Menschen. Die Autorinnen und Autoren des Bandes untersuchen die Veränderungen im europäischen Gefühlswissen seit dem 18. Jahrhundert. Dabei ging (und geht) es um grundlegende Fragen der conditio humana: Sind Gefühle geistiger oder körperlicher Natur? Lassen sich Gefühle "lesen"? Haben Tiere Gefühle? Sind Männer gefühlsärmer als Frauen? Gibt es kindische und erwachsene Emotionen? Kann man Gefühle "zivilisieren"? Machen sie krank? Können Kollektive fühlen? Trennen oder verbinden Gefühle? Die historisch wechselnden Antworten auf diese Fragen zeigen: Das Wissen über Emotionen war und ist eng verknüpft mit den sozialen, kulturellen und politischen Strukturen moderner Gesellschaften. more

Ute Frevert/ Anne Schmidt (Hrsg.), Geschichte, Emotionen und visuelle Medien, Geschichte und Gesellschaft 37.1 (Januar-März 2011)

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