Cultural history of emotions

I’ve been quite busy the first seven weeks of this semester. I tried out a wiki project on my unsuspecting second-year students in a course on early modern literature and cultural history. I think they liked it. The course is almost over now, and I’ll probably be posting an evaluation of my use of a wiki project soon.

First, though, I am off to Sweden this Wednesday, to a conference on the Cultural History of Emotions in Premodernity in Umeå. I’ll be talking about gender and emotions, more specifically on anger, gender and the self in early modern English revenge tragedies. I was invited to give a keynote paper, and since this is my very first keynote, I am a little nervous about it all. Also, my paper is right after a keynote by Barbara Rosenwein, whose work I really admire. It will be a hard act to follow. Still, I really look forward to presenting the gist of my PhD research all in one paper, with enough time for a couple of case studies to show what I did. Anyone out there have tips for a first-time keynote?

Here are some things I noted on the web this morning, while I should have been tinkering with my paper:

  • A new book just out on lovesickness and gender in early modern English literature, by Lesel Dawson. She looked at “literary representations of lovesickness in relation to medical ideas about desire and wider questions about gender and identity, exploring the different ways that desire is believed to take root in the body, how gender roles are encoded and contested in courtship, and the psychic pains and pleasures of frustrated passion.” (OUP) By the way, The Telegraph‘s writer of headlines needs a history lesson. [Update – ah, they’ve changed it. The page URL still gives the original mistake away, though].
  • At Diapsalmata, Whitney ponders the issue of interactivity in the digital archive and posts a wonderful image of a fold-out anatomical illustration in a sixteenth-century English translation of Vesalius.
  • While I’m in Umeå, the next early modern Carnivalesque will be up at Mercurius Politicus on 25 October. I’m looking forward to catching up with everything I missed in the past busy weeks.
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3 thoughts on “Cultural history of emotions

  1. Hey Scott,

    Sorry for leaving your comment unanswered for so long. I’ve been a lousy blogger for the past month, I’ll have a lot of catching up to do as soon as the first semester ends.

    The conference was wonderful! It was a group of about 60 people who were all fascinated by the emotions, and there were so many good papers. I was very inspired by the conference, not only because of the ideas, but also because of the dynamics within the group – I had so many fascinating discussions! My paper was well received, and there were a lot of great questions afterwards. The other keynotes were wonderful, and I promise to do a post on the conference soon.

    By the way, the first keynote speaker, Piroska Nagy, posted her paper on the EMMA weblog (Emotions in the Middle Ages). She gave a wonderful overview of theories on the emotions in historical research, and pointed out new avenues for exploration.

    Thanks for asking! Best, Kristine

  2. thank you kindly, and no worries about the delay, i am shockingly tardy in most areas of my life… glad to hear it was good, and I’m grateful for your subsequent posts on it. Please keep them coming!

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