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Emotions in History

Lost and Found

Ute Frevert, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany

Coming to terms with emotions and how they influence human behaviour, seems to be of the utmost importance to societies that are obsessed with everything “neuro.” On the other hand, emotions have become an object of constant individual and social manipulation since “emotional intelligence” emerged as a buzzword of our times. Reflecting on this burgeoning interest in human emotions makes one think of how this interest developed and what fuelled it. From a historian’s point of view, it can be traced back to classical antiquity. But it has undergone shifts and changes which can in turn shed light on social concepts of the self and its relation to other human beings (and nature). The volume focuses on the historicity of emotions and explores the processes that brought them to the fore of public interest and debate.


List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments The Historical economy of emotions: Introduction Brussels , 2010: Emotional politics and the politics of emotion – The Economy of emotions: How it works and why it matters – The modern and the pre-modern Chapter 1. Losing emotions Losing emotions in trauma – Losing emotions in psychology and historiography – Losing emotions in the civilising process – Losing emotions in words: acedia and melancholia – Losing the mot-force: honour – Honour as an emotional disposition: internal/external – Honour practices: The duel – The emotional power of duelling – Shaming the coward – Equality and group cohesion – Crimes of honour, now and then – Chastity and family honour – Rape, sex, and national honour – The decline of honour, or its return? Chapter 2. Gendering emotions Rage and insult – Power and self-control – Women’s strength, women’s weakness – Modernity and the natural order – Emotional topographies of gender – Sensibility – Romantic families, passionate politics – Intense emotions versus creative minds – Schools of emotions: the media – Self-help literature – More schooling: armies, peer groups, politics – Collective emotions and charismatic leadership – New emotional profiles and social change – Angry young men, angry young women – Winds of change Chapter 3. Finding emotions Empathy and compassion – Social emotions in 18th-century moral philosophy – Self-love and sympathy – Suffering and pity – Fraternité and the French Revolution – Human rights – Abolitionism and the change in sensibility – Sympathy, lexical – Schopenhauer’s Nächstenliebe versus Nietzsche’s Fernsten-Liebe – Compassion and its shortcomings – Counter-forces and blockades – Suffering, pity and the education of feelings – Modern dilemmas – Humanitarianism and its crises Emotions lost and found: Conclusions and Perspectives Index

“Пожалуй, самой интерес-ной частью «эмоциональной теодицеи» Фреверт является исследование генеалогии сочувствия и сострадания. Фреверт показывает, как и при каких обстоятельствах эти эмоции овладели образованными людьми XVIII в., объясняет, почему католический Париж и лютеранский Франкфурт оказываются равно охваченными этими переживаниями, указывает на роль этих «открытых» и «изобретенных» эмоций в формировании позднейших гуманитарных направлений и движений в западной истории (от аболиционизма до современных кампаний против жестокости) и задает интригующий вопрос о направлении и границах сострадания в современном обществе.”--New Literary Observer

264 pages, 11 black-and-white illustrations
ISSN 1996-1197 The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series Vol.4
ISBN 978-615-5053-34-4 paperback
$24.95 / €21.95 / £18.99

Other volumes in the Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series:

Vol.1. Measuring Time, Making History
Vol.2. Emotion and Devotion - The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures
Vol.3. Friendship and Love, Ethics and Politics - Studies in Mediaeval and Early Modern History
Vol.5. Divine Presence in Spain and Western Europe 1500-1960 - Visions, Religious Images and Photographs