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La historia moderna de las emociones: un centro de investigacion en Berlin.

The Modern History of Emotions: a Research Center in Berlin

Sumario: 1. Historizing emotions in Berlin. 2. Frame of research. 3. Objectives. 4. Research Areas 5. Output, mission and impact 6. Heading for new horizons.

"I want to do the moral history of the men of my generation; the history of their feelings to be more precise." Gustave Flaubert about his intentions in writing the novel L 'education sentimentale (1)

1. Historicizing emotions in Berlin

In January 2008 a new research center was inaugurated at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Under the guiding assumption that emotions matter to and in human development the Center for the History of Emotions, led by Ute Frevert, set out to explore a rather new, but fast burgeoning field. What started alongside the other Institute disciplines, mainly educational research and psychology, as a "hazardous endeavor" to a certain degree, turned out to become a flagship marking the affective turn among historians. The Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions in London, launched in November 2008, and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence: History of Emotions, inaugurated in 2011, are only two of several significant examples of establishments sharing a similar approach that followed suit. Nowadays colleagues all over the world examine the role of emotions throughout history and in manifold ways; major historical journals have launched debates about the potential gains and promises of this approach. Publishers are eager to include relevant books and series in their catalogues, thus inviting further research in this field. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that the organizing committee of the World Congress of Historians taking place in China 2015 chose the topic "Historicizing emotions" as one of three major themes. Furthermore, the attention to research on emotions is not limited to our own discipline, but includes a wide range of scholars and scientists, from affective neuroscience and computing to behavioral economics and literary studies.

This overarching boom needs to be explained. From an emotional history perspective it seems to stem from, and be a part of, a surge in emotional politics, both in the private and public sphere. This surge is due to a veritable shift in systems of governance. As much as these systems start to target the self and enhance the quest for self-optimization and self-management, they have become aware of emotions as main motivators and switch mechanisms of people's actions and non-actions. At the same time, emotions appear to be the last hidden continent; knowledge is in scarce supply, while demand increases exponentially, in politics, business, management, health industry, and interpersonal relations.

The Berlin Center is in a privileged position for exploring this continent supported by the generous funding of the Max Planck Society that allows pre- and postdoctoral fellows to conduct basic research in ideal working conditions. In addition to our internal colloquia, we regularly invite internationally renowned scholars from all over the world to give public lectures, to present their work and explore how it relates to, and overlaps with, the history of emotions. They widen the prevailing (research) perspective and enable the Center's researchers to engage more closely with the questions and findings of similar fields. Committed to an interdisciplinary approach, speakers include not only historians, but also sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, economists, philosophers and scholars of literature studies. The past speakers have addressed crucial questions regarding methods, sources, interpretation, as well as interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities. Another option is to invite guests for a shorter or longer period to work with the group or some of its members, introducing new fields of expertise. Moreover, we have organized a series of international conferences both for our research group and the wider academic public:

Feeling Differently: Emotional Nonconformism in the 20th Century, International conference, jointly organized with Warwick University & Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin & University of Tubingen & University of Bayreuth, 13.12.-14.12.2013

I, the People: Negotiating Individual and Collective Emotions in Democratic Societies, International conference, 14.11.-15.11.2013

Gefuhle in Gewaltpravention undFriedenserziehung, Transfer workshop, jointly organized with Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. & Bielefeld University, 07.10.-08.10.2013 (1)

Reworking Affect, Workshop, jointly organized with the ICI Berlin & Zentrum fur transdisziplinare Geschlechterforschung, 27.06.2013

Emotions and Violence in 20th Century Europe: Historical Perspectives on Violence Prevention and Peace Education, International conference, jointly organized with Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. & Bielefeld University, 26.06.-28.06.2013

Gefuhlsraume-Raumgefuhle: Zur Verschrankung von emotionalen Praktiken und Topografien der Moderne, Conference, jointly organized with the DFG research group "Kulturen des Wahnsinns" (Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin), (2)

Shame and Shaming in Twentieth Century Europe, Conference, jointly organized with University College London, Department of German, 06.12.-07.12.2012 (3)

Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History, International conference, (4)

Emotions and Capitalism, International conference, 27.06.-30.06.2012

Emotions and the History of Modern Anti-Semitism, International conference, jointly organized with the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism (Technische Universitat Berlin) and the Leo Baeck Institute London, 16.04.-18.04.2012 (5)

Feelings in the City: Emotions and Urban Space, Workshop, 04.11.2011

Emotions and Medicine in the 20th Century, International conference,

Emotionen und historisches Lernen revisited: Geschichtsdidaktische und geschichtskulturelle Perspektiven, Conference jointly organized with the Arbeitsbereich Didaktik der Geschichte (Freie Universitat Berlin), 06.07.-08.07.2011 (6)

Empathy and the Blocking of Empathy, International conference, 01.07.-02.07.2011 Bildung der Gefuhle, Conference, 02.12.-04.12.2010

Emotional Styles: Communities or Spaces, Conference, 22.07.-24.07.2010

Eine Geschichte der Tiere, Conference, 22.05.-23.05.2010

History, Emotions, and Visual Media, Conference, 21.04.-23.04.2010

Feeling the Divine: Emotions in Religious Practice. Historical and Cross-Cultural Approaches, International conference, 22.07.-25.07.2009

Compassion, Multidisciplinary workshop, 03.07.2009

Doing Emotions: Past, Present, Future, Multidisciplinary conference,

Cultivating Emotion-History, Culture, Society, Joint kick-off workshop of the Center for the History of Emotions and the Centre for the Study of Development of Society, Delhi, 09.03.-14.03.2009

2. Frame of Research

In this stimulating environment, collective and individual projects are distinguished by their diversity in research foci whilst sharing common interests and conceptual foundations. Our starting point is rather uncontroversial: Colleagues across disciplines readily agree that emotions are a crucial component of human development. Somewhat more controversial is the question as to how this development is to be understood. By and large, the Center supports a bio-cultural model of emotions that suggests a confluence between innate and learned. As historians, we are mainly in terested in the learning side, or, to put it differently, in how emotions are culturally framed, acquired, negotiated, and experienced. We hold this to be a highly complex process defined by a multitude of factors. Human development perceived in phylogenetic terms shows an enormous degree of diversity, and historians try to first detect and then explain this diversity through synchronic and diachronic analysis.

Chronologically our investigation spans the time from the early modern period through to the twentieth century, examining the manner in which emotions have been conceptualized, practiced, and felt during these, roughly, four hundred years. For the sociologists Max Weber and Norbert Elias this was an age of ongoing rationalisation of feelings and emotional behaviour. In Weber's disenchanted modern world emotions seem to have no place or, at least, they only concern people's private lives. In his first volume on The History of Manners, Elias traced the historical development of psychic structures moulded by social attitudes regarding violence, sexual behaviour, bodily functions, table manners and forms of speech. He observed increasing thresholds of shame and repugnance, enhanced by court etiquette and eventually internalized as "self-restraint". The second volume, State Formation and Civilization, scrutinized the causes of these processes and attributed them to the centralized state and the growing differentiation and interconnectedness of society. (7)

Elias' truly powerful and ambitious account of what happened to European emotions during the last centuries has been rendered less convincing through the work of historians of emotions. To us, it seemed rather linear, and excessively focused on large-scale processes. We thus set out to construct our own hypotheses that guide our research assuming that there were major shifts in the way that emotions were perceived, felt, and conceptualized. The eighteenth century--the seventeenth century in many respects set the tone for this development--was particularly obsessed with emotions, as is evident in phrases like "Je sens, donc je suis!" (Marquis d'Argens, Laphilosophie du bon sens, 1737). In an anti-Cartesian thrust and revolting against the defining (and limiting) power of reason and rationality, people competed against each other about the depth and intensity of their feelings. He who had the strongest feelings was supposed to be the truest, most sincere and authentic person. Feelings and their deliberate cultivation by modes of self-inspection and social communication like the cult of friendship became so dominant that an age was named after them--The Age of Sensibility. Our present therapeutic age has again prompted us to think of emotions as the innermost proof and cornerstone of subjectivity and individuality. At the same time, economic and political players develop ever more sophisticated ways of manipulating and utilizing emotions. Science, mainly neuroscience, provides us with insights that play into the hands of both--the person who wants to experience emotions as authentic and personal, and those multi-level emotion industries that try to make use of emotions in order to achieve their distinctive goals (consumer spending, political consent, voting behavior, and the like).

Our opinion is that another major shift occurred between these two eras in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was framed by the rise of natural sciences, and by colonialism. Both were predicated on theories of natural and social evolution which profoundly influenced the nature of the European presence in non-European societies. European discourses on civility/barbarism and race got re-configured in a way that not only altered perceptions of colonized peoples but also of the lower strata of European societies. This had severe repercussions on the way in which emotional norms, standards and regimes were constructed. The colonial encounter transported European discourses to the far reaches of the Empire. At the same time, it deeply affected perceptions of the Self and Other in the metropolis. Shifts in the gendering of emotional regimes were closely intertwined with discourses on "the East", and emotional standards were set by a dual distancing from the female and the "oriental". In addition to practical considerations this explains why the Center focuses on Europe and its (former) colonies in North America and South Asia. Investigating those colonial encounters allows us to write transnational history as entangled history involving the mediation between, and translation of, different emotional languages and styles.

At the level of personal development, emotions constitute a crucial asset of individuality and personhood. Someone who has lost their emotions (e. g., through a traumatic experience or brain damage) lacks an important quality of the self that facilitates social interaction. Emotions enable and stabilize interpersonal communication, as much as they stimulate individual memory. As a rule emotions are not given by birth. Instead they have to be learnt and acquired through imitation and socialization. Here, the level of social development becomes relevant. The degree to which a person embodies and expresses emotions depends on a set of social factors comprising gender, class, religion, nationality, and age. Emotions are not stable but undergo changes over one's lifespan. Institutions like family, school, workplace, and the military, as well as verbal and visual representations of emotions as found in novels, poems, films, theatre, paintings, photographs, etc. play a formative role. Emotions are thus considered as entities that contribute greatly to human development, both at an individual and as well as at a collective level. At the same time, they are themselves shaped by human culture, both material and immaterial. Gustave Flaubert's 1869 masterpiece L 'education sentimentale, already mentioned in the vignette of this overview, highlighted this in a powerful way: Firstly, it stressed the importance of emotions for the process of character shaping, to then ask how emotions were "educated," that is, taught, learnt, and cultivated through the course of adolescence. All along, Flaubert explicitly voiced his view that this education took place at a specific historical moment. The passion of his generation, as he described it, existed "only today," as an "inactive passion." Other generations, according to Flaubert, might have had different passions and undergone different processes of education sentimentale.

Within this general framework research at the Center is guided by the two key assumptions. That emotions have a history and that emotions influence and thus make history. The first premise, that emotions have a history, certainly does not mean that feelings like fear, joy, hate, envy, trust-what psychologists call primary or secondary emotions-were unknown to earlier generations. But those generations differed greatly from us with regard to what they feared, whom they pitied, and of what they were proud. Emotional expression and resulting actions also followed different rules: For instance, a person who was afraid of witches behaved differently from someone who, centuries later, worried about cancer or nuclear disaster. Therefore, the widely accepted notion of emotions as an anthropological constant has to be revised. This also applies to the language of emotions including bodily gestures and facial expressions. Furthermore, we attribute historical power to emotions, since they motivate human behavior and foster the formation of social groups or movements. Even if emotions are always felt and experienced individually, they can be collectively shared as well as socially manipulated, heightened, or channeled. What would modernity be without patriotism and national pride, without the collective addiction to honor and the fear of disgrace, and without communities acting in unison, driven by shared anger or hope? Can we imagine a political world, or a world of consumption, without continuous appeals to our emotions? Emotions thus move people far beyond their private sphere; they can have a presence in all fields and domains and contribute powerfully to public life and affairs.

3. Objectives

A main goal and starting point of the Center is to trace and analyze changing norms and rules of feeling. Such norms exist in any given society, and they deeply influence what and how people feel. To unearth these feeling rules means to investigate a great number of social contexts and practices. In modern and dynamic societies, feeling rules are generally not given from above, on a large scale at a societal level, or in a dictatorial manner. Rather, they are an integral part of institutional arrangements and environments that have a strong impact on people's mental and emotional maps. We trace how these feeling rules are taught and learned in the family, at school, in peer groups and personal friendships, in the workplace, in the army, at church, and in politics, by reading poems and novels, by listening to music and attending concerts, by watching a drama on stage, or by going to the movies. Feeling rules are exposed even more bluntly in advice manuals, which saw an extraordinary proliferation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Feeling rules should not be confused with unequivocally and authoritatively stated norms, prescriptions, and demands. The former are constantly negotiated, questioned, and contested. Within a given society, they may differ according to gender, age, social class, ethnic background, religion, and sexual orientation. What is perceived as hegemonic is open to debate, criticism, and change. Faced with numerous and potentially contradictory feeling rules in different institutions, people figure out how best to navigate them and assess their importance for their own lives and individual development. As members of social groups and institutions, they are not passive recipients, but rather active participants in creating, upholding, or dismantling these rules through day-to-day social practices.

Identifying the way in which historical actors classify and label emotions provides us with insights into how they perceive emotions. Assuming that labelling shapes the manner in which emotions are experienced, we draw on psychological approaches that stress the cognitive components of emotions connecting them to physiological changes. Following these assumptions, one of our collective projects was to collect and analyze articles on emotions and related words that have appeared in European encyclopedias from the eighteenth century until the present. We traced the development of those words ("feeling," "affect," "passion," "sensitivity," "emotion," "drive," etc.) in comparison and relation to one another and located remarkable shifts and ruptures in word usage and meaning. Looking for discourses that influenced those developments and alterations, we discovered that theological and philosophical approaches were gradually superseded by medical, psychological, and neurological reasoning. The triumph of social and life sciences was accompanied by a complete change of key references--from God to nature, from the soul to the body, and, eventually, to the brain. Since it was a major challenge to link those epistemic shifts to societal developments and exigencies, we contextualized the information gained by the analysis of emotion-words and connected it to discourses and practices in other domains, such as gender relations, class and ethnic structures, or the sexual and religious politics. (8)

In our second collaborative project we addressed the question of how emotions can be and have been learned, covering a wide array of social, cultural, and political milieus in Britain, Germany, India, Russia, France, Canada, and the United States. Drawing on recent psychological research on how children's books enhance their readers' emotional awareness, we used children's literature and advice manuals from ca. 1870 until 1970 as primary sources. (9) The project was based on the assumption that the ability to feel is developed through a complex dialogue with the social and cultural environment. It starts in early childhood and adolescence when children gain practical emotional knowledge through manifold social interaction. In the period under consideration, this process underwent several changes: Emotional interaction between adults and children was succeeded by a focus on relationships among children, with gender categories becoming less distinct. Moreover, children were increasingly taught to take responsibility for their own emotional development, to find 'authenticity' for and in themselves.

In addition to collaborative projects with the participation of most of the Center's (post-doctoral) members, each scholar works on their own project covering a wide range of topics-from love to fear, from honor to trust, from "civil" to "barbarous" emotions, and from emotions in religious practices to those in social and political movements. As a common denominator of our work, we use the basic statements mentioned earlier, namely that emotions are subject to historical change as much as influence historical events and developments. Each project sets out to prove these statements in its own way by using a wide range of source material, research strategies, and methods. Many work exclusively with written sources, while others use (moving) pictures, sounds and oral interviews. Several employ discourse analysis as a tool of tracing emotion-talk and emotion-work, some apply theories of ritualistic expression and enactment of emotions, and others rely heavily on theories of linguistic and semantic change.

With all these differences in mind, we still share fundamental concepts and approaches: firstly, that emotions develop in intense relationship to culture, that they are intentionally and unintentionally cultivated, and, in turn, strongly influence the way that people view themselves as human and social beings. As this cultivation and identity formation usually takes place in institutions, an institutional focus is shared by all projects. Secondly, they pay close attention to the fact that emotions are embodied, that they are felt and expressed through bodily gestures and movements. Thus, they cannot be studied without regard to the changing concepts and uses of the body. Introducing the body into the historical analysis of emotions opens up an intense dialogue with the natural and life sciences. As historians, however, we assume that not only emotions but also the body itself has a historical dimension. Thirdly, the projects take into account that emotions relate to power, albeit to varying degrees. Displaying emotions is closely linked to power structures in a society or social group. Particular emotions are associated with those in power, distinguishing them from the powerless. As power structures shift, so do emotions.

Culture/cultivation, body, and power are thus considered the building blocks of our theoretical framework. They provide common ground for all projects on which to build hypotheses. With regard to culture/cultivation, we follow the assumption that educational efforts to shape and change individual emotions have been increasing throughout the modern period due to heightened concerns about individuality and sociability. But it would be misleading to expect a growing tendency toward homogeneity. Even if hegemonic structures cannot be overlooked, the dynamics of modern life leave room for counter discourse, deviation, and alteration of emotional self-perceptions. In relation to the body, we share the opinion that it is the prime location of experiencing and expressing emotions. Social norms regarding emotional displays are implemented via techniques of controlling the body. This, in turn, affects the experience of emotions that are mediated by knowledge about how emotions work in the body. Thus, the epistemological transformations within the life sciences that produce new ideas about the emergence and plasticity of emotions are bound to leave an imprint on day-to-day bodily practices. As for power relations, they tend to periodically install new balances between the private and the public, with severe repercussions on the quality and quantity of emotions exchanged between those with more or less power. Negotiating power relations increasingly involves emotion talk, with apparent shifts in terminology and semantics.

4. Research Areas

Although all individual projects contribute to constructing and testing those hypotheses, they achieve this with different points of emphasis and focus. This is why they are grouped into different research areas--Education/Cultivation, Body, and Power--each area containing up to ten projects.

Education and Cultivation of Emotions

The projects within this thematic area focus on historical attempts to shape the way in which individuals feel and perceive and value those feelings. Institutional settings and media include advice literature and popular movies, song lyrics, and health education films, as much as character-building practices in the classroom, collective singing in schools and youth clubs, or the various initiatives to 'civilize' emotions in colonial encounters. Such institutions and media--to varying degrees--became increasingly important and comprehensive during the modern period. While schools and schooling got ever more inclusive and dominant and thus paralleled the impact of religious institutions, the latter gradually declined as emotional learning environments, at least in Western societies. Our research examines how people were driven to have, show, or suppress certain feelings. It also examines what happened when people realized that they felt 'differently' and did not fit (or did not want to fit) in regular patterns and how this challenged dominant feeling rules and emotional styles.

Major research in this field focuses on 'Civility, Civilization, and Civil Society'. Emotions and civility are linked in a twofold way: while some emotions, such as anger, need to be civilized, others, e.g. sympathy, are the means to achieve civility. Especially in cultural encounters emotions establish and naturalize the difference between the 'civilized' and the 'barbarian' and endow it with moral value. A first project, 'Civilizing Emotions: Concepts in Asia and Europe 1870-1920', was conducted in collaboration with the University of Oslo. A team of thirteen scholars from three continents investigated concepts and practices of civility to unearth its semantic network in four European and nine Asian languages. A co-authored volume is currently under review. (10) 'Civilizing Emotions' traces the use of civility as a means of creating and ordering difference from the eighteenth century and in a global perspective. Emotions, their education and their ascription to diverse groups of people thus are no cozy, anodyne subject, but part of political history: In the age of European expansion and colonialism civility and the civilizing of emotions were among the central concepts for the creation of a new and hierarchized global order. From the perspective of most actors in the different European countries, stages of civility explained how every society moved from savage origins through barbarity to civilization, Europe being at the pinnacle. Their status gave Europeans the right to rule the barbarians; this was accompanied by the white man's burden: Educating barbarians to civility. The elites in most of the non-European countries adopted European emotions management by conforming to these standards and hence improving their position on the global hierarchy. At the same time European concepts were linked back to vernacular traditions transforming both by positing them as equivalents. When the glamour of European civility declined new models of civility were developed and gained a strong influence on a new type of nationalism. (11)

Further research on such 'Emotional Encounters' involving several members of the team will continue, capitalizing on our strong interest in transnational history bridging "the West and the Rest" (Stuart Hall) in another joint project. The research group will look at encounters of different emotional languages both within and between cultures. Encounters are perceived as learning processes, as mutual translations of emotional practices. A first hypothesis is that these translations are often cast in moral terms and tend to focus on moral emotions such as shame and compassion.

In a different line of enquiry, the research on 'Emotions and Political Mobilizations in the Indian Subcontinent' (Emopolis) is also a collaborative enterprise based at the Centre des Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud in Paris. Fostering the aim of interdisciplinary research, it brings together scholars from political science, sociology, anthropology, literature and history. Within this framework, scholars who are based in France, Germany, India, Pakistan, and the United States focus on the role of emotions in the mobilization of political actors amongst South Asian Hindus and Muslims since the eighteenth century. They explore the interconnected levels of knowledge and practices about emotions as they appear in theology, moral philosophy, medicine, and psychology texts, but also in journalism and pamphlets and through field work. (12)

Questioning the way in which emotions were socially transmitted and culturally learnt, the project on 'Emotional Manhood: Adolescence, Informal Education, and the Male Citizen in Britain, 1880-1914' analyzed emotions related to moral and domestic duty. In the context of a widespread consensus on the ways to make men out of boys, an informal curriculum of emotional control, carried out by numerous institutions and media, educated young boys and adolescents to become emotionally attached to both family and nation. Various religious and secular groups sought to mold emotional attitudes in the temperate and manly upbringing of boys, from the Religious Tract Society, to the Church of England Temperance Society, and the Band of Hope, associations that shared profound ideological similarities with for-profit, 'secular' publishers, like the Amalgamated Press. All of these publishers promoted their ideas through the youth groups they organized and, perhaps even more pervasively, through the written word. In addition, the increasing professionalization of disciplines related to childhood--education, social work, and especially psychology--is shown to have changed the nature of informal education for boys and impacted popular conceptions of boyhood and adolescence. The project as a whole demonstrates that masculinity was not only about practical or imperial outlooks but also about emotional attachment and loyalty to family and community, in peacetime and in war. (13)

The project 'Homosexuality and Emotional Life in Rural West Germany, 1960-1990' aims at generating an accurate and multifaceted account of emotional patterns and practices in the history of homosexuality. Analyzing lesbian and gay publications from 1960 to 1990 and based on 32 oral interviews, the project raises important objections against oversimplified narratives such as queer liberation. A widespread assumption that, in the 1970s, post-war homosexual shame was supplanted by gay pride, with fear (of being discovered) simultaneously being succeeded by fearlessness must rather be turned into the assessment of less explicitly positive and more ambivalent changes. While one (older) interviewee related her fear to being physically attacked, another described fear as an internal dialogue about what might happen if she were to, for example, visit a lesbian bar. The attack-defense fear script of the former corresponds with her attendance at a feminist seminar on violence against women in the 1970s where she had learned how female solidarity could help overcome fear. The self-reflexive timidity of the latter interviewee is exclusively associated with her own development and learning to openly talk about her anxieties. If we view these diverging patterns as generation-specific, then it is not the disappearance, but the qualitative shifting patterns of fear that need to be addressed. Another widespread assumption deserving critical scrutiny is the supposition that homosexuals can live happily only in large cities. A closer examination of the interviewees' preferences of rural habitats indicates that this metro normative stance ignores numerous opposing views; one interviewee, for example, claimed that the longevity of his relationship was due to their life far away from the adulterous temptations of urban gay scenes while another explained that living in a rural cooperative allowed her to find her authentic self. Based on these and further statements, one can argue that it was not so much the homosexual exodus into cities or the urbanization of the countryside, but rather the manifold and continuous interaction between rural and urban lesbian and gay lifestyles that accelerated gay and lesbian liberation or the normalization of homosexuality. (14)

Emotions and the Body

As a general rule, we do not conceptualize bodies as historically stable biological entities. Instead, our research rests on the assumption that bodies are objects of historical reconfiguration. New social practices can alter physical characteristics. New ways to perceive and experience the body influence the manner in which emotions are felt and communicated. Historicizing the body thus helps to historicize emotions in a more complex way and undermines the categorical distinction between biology and culture. By considering "biology" as culturally framed and shaped, we pay attention to diverse and changing modes of embodying emotions--as well as to different ways of creating emotions through bodily actions. Research in this area concentrates on how emotions have become embodied through practices such as anti-AIDS activism, love of animals, religious enactments, grieving, or confrontation with illness and death.

As a case in point the project 'Oncomotions' examines the encounter with cancer during the twentieth century that shaped--more than any other disease--debates and experiences in talking about, explaining, enduring and acting upon disease and dying, the vulnerable body and our Selves. These debates not only addressed the emotions of many people but emotions frequently were situated at the very center of these debates--a dimension that most cancer histories have omitted. Thus, in discussing and implementing cancer awareness campaigns, treatment options, coping strategies and rehabilitation as well as palliative and terminal care, public health officials, physicians, psychologists, theologians, jurists, patients and society at large also reasoned about the meaning and moral value of fear, hope, despair, anger, shame, grief and dignity, about the way to express, talk or keep still about them and, ultimately, about the impact these emotions as well as how they were dealt with could have on the body, its falling ill, healing or dying. Although fear is only one of many emotions related to cancer, an examination on relevant discussions may demonstrate one of the dimensions that have been explored.

First attempts at raising cancer awareness started in Germany around 1900. While at first, these campaigns were constructed upon the conviction that stimulating curiosity about one's own body and spreading knowledge about first symptoms were sufficient, fear soon became a point of heated debate in concepts behind cancer exhibitions, talks and leaflets. As notions of fear oscillated between its energizing and paralyzing effects, public health workers during the 1920s tried to discern what might frighten people and what might soothe their anxieties in order to evoke a kind of "balanced anxiety" or better, a form of rationalized concern for one's own body. This trend towards excluding fear in cancer education in favor of a feeling of concern and duty intensified during the National Socialism era. Easy-access detection procedures and the denunciation of cancer fear as cowardice and irresponsibility towards one's own children and the Volk served this purpose. But against the backdrop of the exclusion or extermination of the chronically ill, this strategy played with an underlying logic of fear. In the years directly after the war, evoking fear was completely--and desperately--avoided since fear was not only perceived as paralyzing, but also as dangerous, irrational and harmful in itself. This negative assessment of fear was to change only during the 1960s in the wake of a larger re-evaluation of emotions in general, and fear as a specifically political emotion in particular. Fear as a powerful means to deter people from an unhealthy lifestyle gained new currency in cancer awareness campaigns until cancer education in the 1980s converted slowly to the conviction that people had to be moved by positive images, feelings and hope. (15)

This interplay between medical sciences and emotions took center stage during an international conference on Emotions and Medicine in the 20th Century organized by Bettina Hitzer and Anja Laukotter in 2011. Combining historical perspectives and contemporary surveys, 15 talks were addressed to an audience of historians, psychologists, neuroscientists, sociologists, and representatives of public health institutions, focusing on the conceptualization and use of emotions in medical and public health discourses and practices. It was a starting point for further international cooperation with historians Otniel E. Dror (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Pilar Leon-Sanz (University of Navarra, Pamplona). The perspective was widened so as to encompass a more general history of science stretching back to the Middle Ages. Results have been accepted for publication in the highly ranked journal OSIRIS in 2015. (16)

In the late nineteenth and throughout the twentieth century, psychology was at the forefront of scientists in investigating the interplay of emotions and the body. Psychological emotion concepts also played a crucial role in religious contexts, another field that our researchers have intensely studied. Pious natural scientists drew heavily upon these emotion concepts to define good, sacred feelings and distinguish them from evil, wicked ones. As masterminds of their intellectual circles they shaped even current religious debates with their findings. The relationship between emotions and the triad of body-mind-soul was also the main emphasis of a jointly organized international conference on Feeling the Divine: Emotions in Religious Practice--Historical and Cross--Cultural Approaches in 2009 with sections on Feelings and Ritual Practices, Apocalyptic Feelings, Emotions in "Altered States," Body and Soul, Emotion and Belief and Textual and Visual Discourses on Emotions convened anthropologists, cultural historians, religious scholars, and historians of emotions from eight countries. The conference aimed to better understand how emotions are integrated and theorized in religious practice, to debate the status of the physiological correlates of emotion in relation to their semiotic vehicles, and to discuss methodological and theoretical issues around a historicization of emotion and religious experience. The papers spanned a broad spectrum geographically as well as historically and presented material from many religious traditions; the conference was shortly thereafter successfully followed up by a workshop on Glaube und Gefuhl (Religious Belief and Emotion). Focusing on Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the discussions within an interdisciplinary group of historians, sociologists, and ethnologists concentrated on the theoretical conceptualization of the relationship between belief and emotion and revolved around methodological questions. The findings of the two events resulted in an international publication on Feeling and Faith in 2014. (17)

The project 'Feelings Against Jews: The Emotional History of Anti-Semitism ' deals with the emotional component of anti-Semitism and its bodily manifestations. Anti-Semitism is an emotionally laden phenomenon. Ever since Richard Wagner in his infamous Judaism in Music (1850, reissued 1869) spoke of an 'unconscious feeling', 'a rooted dislike of the Jewish nature', even 'involuntary repellence' against Jews, such emotionalized language has appeared in anti-Semitic discourse. AntiJewish texts, speeches, slogans, films, images, etc. frequently relied on various emotions, such as hatred, anger, fear, disgust, resentment, envy, pride, etc. These feelings may have had social implications, mainly through group formation by emotional synchronization. Moreover, violence against Jews was often coordinated by complex forms of emotional mobilization. Finally, Jewish reactions to anti-Semitism often included moral feelings of condemnation and indignation, but also fear, anger and pride. Consequently, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre described anti-Semitism in Anti-Semite and Jew (1946), as 'something quite other than an idea', but rather a 'passion'. Yet much of the literature in the social sciences and history has focused on cognitive aspects of racism and anti-Semitism. Indeed, many European languages imply cognitive connotations with words such as prejudice, prejuge, or Vorurteil. Ultimately, such an understanding of anti-Semitism relies on the persuasiveness of rational arguments to oppose such phenomena. This project argues that important aspects such as the endurance, strength, and intensity of modem anti-Semitism can be better comprehended by using the tools that the recent literature in emotions and their history has developed. (18)

Emotions and Power

Projects in this area explore the interrelation between power and emotions in two major fields: politics and economics. They analyze crucial emotional concepts of national and international policy such as honor and shame, or loyalty and trust, but also the possible notions of 'democratic' or 'imperial' feelings as well as urban spaces that serve as experimental testing grounds for shaping respective emotions and emotional styles. Others investigate how the carefully observed and controlled importance of feelings developed in the world of human capital management and consumer society.

As a major object of political communication, emotions hold value for both those in power and those challenging that power. 'Emotional Citizens: Love, Loyalty, and Trust in Politics' is a long-term research project inspired by Max Weber's famous concept of 'charismatic leadership'. It spans an arc from the early modern period with its notions of love and loyalty being the foundations of politics through to the present, with trust as a political promise and challenge in modern politics.

One of the projects of this thematic area focused on the structure and practice of politics in the absence of modern, constitutional, and parliamentary regimes of power sharing, with research concentrating on the reign of the Prussian king Frederick II (1740-1786). As an absolutist ruler, Frederick had no reason to win his subjects' hearts and campaign for their love, trust, and loyalty. Subjects had no share in government and they obeyed orders from above rather than taking initiative from below. Still, the king was not content with enjoying his subjects' obedient compliance: he also sought their reverence, gratefulness, and kind feelings. As an 'enlightened' ruler, he was well aware that such positive emotions could turn passive 'slaves' into active and productive citizens who would work eagerly to enhance individual and national wealth. This rather modern notion of citizenship did not translate into political rights and power sharing; it did, however, bring forth a type of 'emotional politics' that tried to create a personal bond between the king and his subjects. The project examined how these policies were designed and applied, as well as the way that they were received, challenged, and demanded by different groups of subjects. In addition to texts, practices, rituals, and performances were examined from this perspective. Although words and texts were a central element of political communication, images, celebrations, and direct encounters were ultimately much more influential in translating political goals into tangible action. (19)

Gradually loyalty, the key notion of pre-modem political communication, lost its relevance, although it remained present well into the twentieth century. Concomitantly, in the eighteenth century trust gained in symbolic weight and actual importance as a conditional offer that demanded reciprocity. When citizens began to challenge the royal monopoly of power, and parallel to its increasing importance as an affective state in institutions like family and friendship, trust entered the political vocabulary and found multiple expressions as a governing principle both in political and economic relations. (20) Texts and social practices provide comprehensive knowledge about developments in social bonding experiences, e.g. teacher-student relationships, factory work councils or cooperative banks, and in the relationship between citizens and their political representatives, manifested in poems sent in honor of the Emperor's birthday or in appeals to win the voters' trust (and confidence) in political elections.

Two emotional concepts that seem at first glance closely tied to pre-modern societies and rather antiquated nowadays take center stage in the project 'Honor and Shame: An Emotional History of Power '. Observed more closely in their -micro and macro- political dimension they turn out to be enduring. Let us take the case of a widely remembered and researched event, the First World War. One hundred years ago, during the crisis of July 1914, honor was invoked in order to legitimize, justify, and give credence to each stance. All major players referred to national honor as that which had compelled them to go to war. Honor here was generally linked to notions of chivalry that prompted a large power (e.g., Russia or Great Britain) to rescue a smaller country (Serbia, Belgium) from the violating hands of the enemy. Gender images were paramount in setting the tone within the European politics landscape. The language spoken in July 1914 (and during the war) thus borrowed heavily from the language of honor as it had been inscribed in common social practices since the late eighteenth century. This is what made it easily comprehensible by wider parts of the national public. But it would be misleading to conclude that this language contributed to the inevitability of war. Honor and its practices were much less aggressive than generally assumed. On the contrary, they offered options of peaceful deliberation and conflict solution. The fact that these options were not explored and selected in 1914 can be attributed to the power of a different language that had become popular after the 1880s: the language of radical competition and enmity favored by nationalist circles. In contrast to the proponents of honor, those radicals no longer acknowledged equality as the basic principle of the European state system. Instead, they applied the logic of destruction and annihilation. Within this logic, respectful politics based on honor was a matter of the past. (21)

After the First World War, a gradual de-legitimation of honor talk and practices in Europe can be observed throughout the twentieth century reflecting the fact that honor was more broadly considered as a 'lost' emotion, i.e. as an emotional style and practice that had lost its resonance. Rekindled by the powers that had lost the war in 1918, honor experienced a propagandists revival during the 1930s and early 1940s. The way in which the next war was fought, however, completely discarded older concepts of honor since it was rather oriented toward the logic of annihilation. After 1945, the language of national honor largely disappeared alongside notions of masculine or family honor that had been prominent in earlier times, mainly as a result of changes in gender relations. It is interesting to note, however, that this development has been challenged in recent years by the so-called crimes of honor occasionally committed by male members of immigrant (Muslim) communities. (22)

The gender aspect comes into play even more prominently when we examine the opposite of honor--shame/shaming. Shame figured on the list of predominantly female virtues as one of women's most valued assets: whereas men lost their honor through dishonest and cowardly behavior, women were dishonored if they behaved in a shameless fashion. A survey of lexicon articles on shame published between the mid-eighteenth and the early twenty-first century revealed that the meaning has changed significantly. While shame had initially been considered as a complex social emotion, later on it became increasingly tied to sexual and bodily shame and, as such, heavily feminized. At the same time, shaming processes that had been commonly used in legal and educational practices were called into question as contrary to the notion of human dignity (that was increasingly invoked and referred to from the 1960s onward). While public shaming experienced a politically orchestrated upheaval in the 1930s and 1940s, it later retreated to the classroom (and is currently experiencing a new revival in legal practice in the United States). (23)

The research project 'Advertising Emotions' examines how advertisers and consumers were shaped within the twentieth century advertising culture. Additionally, the project is interested in the consequences of the make-up process of advertisers and consumers for the development of advertising and marketing practices. Finally, the project examines the repercussions of these practices for advertisers and consumers. In doing so, the attention primarily focuses on the analysis of emotions. The projects shows that specific forms of emotional conduct (dispositions, experiences, qualities, capabilities, stances, manners, behavioral patterns, gestures, facial expressions) constitutively belong to the morals and ethics, to the skills and qualities, expected and demanded of advertisers. They were generated in advertising culture, incorporated, and thereby modified and changed. Emotional dispositions and modes of experience and behavior were equally inscribed in the circulating consumer versions. These consumer versions operated in the network-like advertising culture and generated, together with other entities and developments, changing advertising practices. Changing advertising practices urged for generating particular consumer versions. Advertising practices were thus based not merely on certain consumer versions but rather both suggested and enabled them. (24)

The Minerva Research project 'Emotions, Violence, and Peace' approaches its topic by analyzing different forms of violence as exercised and experienced under different circumstances, in different ways and in relation to a variety of emotions. First results indicate that violence can be rooted in very different emotional states. It may be triggered by anger, aggression, but can also be pleasurable and exciting for the perpetrators, acted out in blind rage or in cold blood, or perhaps in display of solidarity. It may cause fear, despair, shame or anger. Even spectators of violent acts undergo diverse emotions and these are likely to differ depending on whether the bystander is alone or in a crowd. (25) Against this background, combining emotional studies and violence research appears to be beneficial for both fields. Doubtlessly emotions are not only instrumental in the outburst and escalation of violence, but can also contribute to its de-escalation, or peacekeeping and peace-building processes. (26)

The project conceptualizes emotions as an interpersonal phenomenon linking people, objects, and memories. To find out how structural, cultural, and social conditions influence the emergence of emotions that are significant to violent actions or nonviolence, a close reading of different contexts, as well as comparative analysis of different historical settings is employed. (27) Which are the significant factors in triggering emotions? What kind of structures can produce emotions that help to reduce violence? How can diverse forms of violence (e.g. exerted by individuals or by crowds) be distinguished? In which way are political power relations intertwined with violent actions, and how do they trigger, change, and prevent them? (28) In order to understand the emotional framing of violence, research follows various stands. Differences and similarities in violent settings of the First World War are compared with those of the Second World War. (29) A case study sheds light on societies experiencing the aftermath of extreme violence from a transnational perspective. Specific acts of violence, such as school shootings, are analyzed to find out why they became of interest and gained emotional qualities never previously attributed to them. (30)

5. Output, mission and impact

Concluded and ongoing projects have already resulted in numerous publications. (31) In addition to a multitude of articles arising from the run-up to second (sometimes third), books of our postdoctoral fellows, a number of dissertations have been successfully completed. The thesis 'Emotions at Work--Working on Emotions. The Production of Economic Selves in 20th-Century Germany' explored an accessible and consequential facet of the growing demand for emotional politics. Using a broad variety of sources, from psychology literature to company archives, the thesis observed that by 1900 workers' emotions had become an object of scientific inquiry and corporate concern. The reasons for this as well as the relevant measures and policies underwent changes: from initial attempts to harmonize class relations to goals of enhancing productivity and self-organization, culminating in current claims of a self-enhancing work personality that generates positive emotions in and through work. Another conclusion concerned the way in which emotion concepts changed throughout this process affecting the supply of emotion knowledge. Initially, labor psychologists largely worked with a physiological notion of emotions, which, over the course of the twentieth century, gradually grew to incorporate cognitive and social aspects. Psychological knowledge of emotions thus followed the challenges posed by concrete work environments. At the same time it was relevant to more general social and cultural concepts of the self in relation to the collective, and the division of labor between rationalization and emotionalization. Applied psychology was thus deeply embedded in, and involved with, the overall questions and organizing principles of society, which required its services.

While researching specific questions several members of our team produced results that departed from their initial aims but that have made a huge impact on the history of the emotions. Jan Plamper was working on soldiers' fear in Russia and on general multidisciplinary research on fear when he realized that conceptual problems accumulated in a way that it became necessary to deal with them separately. The result is the prize-winning Geschichte und Gefuhl, in which he presents an overview of thinking about the emotions--from antiquity to the latest trends in affective neuroscience--synthesizing the history of emotions, including relevant research in adjacent fields, such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and the life sciences, and contributing with his own position as an historian to the multidisciplinary field of emotional research. (32)

Other team members joined him in the mission to produce internationally known, theory-driven, and empirically minded basic research beyond their own projects. To mention just two of the most important and widely quoted contributions to the theory and methodology of the history of emotions: In 2012, Monique Scheer published an article on how to understand emotions as social practices bridging dichotomies such as body and mind, structure and agency, and expression and experience. In 2013, Benno Gammerl edited a special issue of the journal Rethinking History, introducing the concept of emotional styles (rather than emotional regimes) as a promising heuristic for further research. (33) In October 2013, the annual conference of the German Studies Association (GSA) included a seminar on Revisiting the Study of Emotions in German Studies. Two of the three panels dealt exclusively with the research conducted at our Center, thus recognizing its leading role in the field. They also acknowledged Bettina Hitzer's overview article on the history of emotions that was produced from her project on cancer-related fear as the fundamental reference. Since its publication in the major German internet portal for historical studies, high access figures confirm the growing interest in the history of emotions and the relevant empirical research and methodological challenges. (34)

Addressed to other scholars and the wider public, the Center launched the Internet portal History of Emotions: Insights into Research, which aims to give concrete examples of sources and methods through which the history of emotions can be explored. It provides thought-provoking impulses for other historians and promotes interdisciplinary communication. Theoretical and methodological aspects of the history of emotions approach are discussed in short contributions based on a variety of sources. National as well as international experts have been invited to contribute, rendering the platform not only a stimulus for debates but also a comprehensive archive for the expanding field. (35)

6. Heading for new horizons

With the launch of the new International Max Planck Research School on Moral Economies of Modern Societies ("IMPRSMoral Economies") in 2013, the Center sets out to examine the link between motions, virtues and morality. In their dissertations pre-doctoral students explore the values, emotions, and habits that have inspired new social formations and their moral underpinnings in Europe, North America, and South Asia since the eighteenth century. That morals and emotions were closely interconnected within economic practices was evident at the very start of modern societies, but later fell into oblivion. Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776), hailed as the seminal text of liberal economics, was based on his Theory of Moral Sentiment (1756), whose title alludes to the intimate relation that the author perceived between morality and emotions. Two hundred years later, British historian E.P. Thompson explored the "moral economy of the English crowd" during the eighteenth century and attributed food riots to emotions incited by the breach of commonly held moral standards of market behavior. Contemporary philosophers equally stress the emotional underpinnings of moral commitment and vice versa, while recent economic experiments have emphasized the extent to which economic behavior might be guided by moral concerns under certain circumstances. The IMPRS Moral Economies attempts to address and answer questions regarding the manner in which historians can approach the relationship between morality and emotions, particularly since economics have been considered as a mainly social sphere beyond moral judgment and emotional motivation.

The field of 'Law and Emotions' was recently added to the Center's research interests. While there is growing interest in the topic among legal scholars, it has widely escaped the attention of legal historians as well as historians of emotions. As law has become an increasingly powerful and important instrument for shaping and regulating social practices since the onset of the modern period, this research focus aims to close a pivotal gap in the relevant literature. At the same time, the law constitutes a particular way of perceiving societies and is, as such, deeply influenced by social, political, economic, and cultural concerns. To historians of emotions, law--in the sense of legal theory, codifications, and practice--offers a highly promising perspective on how emotions have been historically conceptualized and how these concepts have shaped interpersonal relationships. Penal law is especially important to this end with two issues spearheading the research: crimes of passion and crimes of honor (including insults and offences). Both have been perceived and treated as criminal acts spurred by emotions (affects, passions, feelings, agitation). Law continuously struggled to tackle these emotions; legal professionals were under pressure to relate emotions to paramount categories of free will, individual responsibility, and culpability. Legal debates thus offer deep insights into discourses on reason and affect, good and bad morals, 'cool' and 'hot blood', and just/unjust and acceptable/despicable emotions. These discourses remained by no means merely theoretical: rather, they had strong repercussions on how justice was administered, how defendants framed their defense, and how the public commented on cases. The Center's research will focus on diachronic and comparative perspectives of legislature and jurisprudence, with the time period in question extending from the seventeenth to the early twenty-first century. In line with the Center's commitment to transnational history, research includes intra- as well as extra-European comparisons.

The thematic area on 'New Education and Emotions' builds on the Center's long-standing interest in how emotions were taught and learned in educational institutions. (36) To introduce a history of emotions approach to the history of education means to analyze the changing role of emotions, such as fearlessness or love, in teacher-student relationships. Drawing on information regarding the employment of private tutors in noble or upper middle-class families, these interpersonal emotions were questioned and challenged in public schools and only resurfaced around 1900, especially in the context of new education. This widely influential strand of educational theory and practice will be studied further in a collaborative project with researchers from numerous institutions. Examining the education of emotions within new education requires a transnational framework that brings together Germany, Norway Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Argentine and India. As the actors of the reform movement were already working in a transnational context between 1900 and 1960, the project has a genuine potential to move beyond a purely comparative study. It will shed light on how emotional knowledge and practices traveled and were communicated across cultures. For India, this is highlighted by the Nobel Prize winner, polymath, and cultural and social reformer Rabindranath Tagore's visit to Paul Geheeb's Odenwald School in 1930. It also includes Zakir Husain, the driving force behind Delhi's Jamia Millia University and the pedagogical program of the Congress Movement. This approach offers a fresh perspective on the history of new education, which for a long time, had been written almost exclusively by its protagonists. By concentrating on teacher-student relationships, processes of community formation, and political culture, emotions are addressed on two levels: as educational tools and as learning targets. Research will focus on pedagogical debates and practices keen on creating a personality marked by a specific set of habitualized emotions (that were often associated with creating an altogether new and, often, better world).


To conclude, the Berlin Center for the History of Emotions has established itself as a leading research center that closely cooperates with other scholars in history and beyond. It focuses on the modern history of emotions, mainly in Europe and South Asia. By concentrating on the history of the body, of education/cultivation and of power (both political and economic), it scrutinizes the key elements of the processes through which emotions have been historically conceptualized, framed, negotiated, and experienced.

Postdoctoral researchers (from 2008 to the present)

Recibido: 30/06/2014

Aceptado: 02/07/2014


Max Planck Institute (Berlin)

ARNDT, Agnes: Emotions in Capitalism. Emotions and motives of German Business Elites in the 19th and 20th Centuries

BAILEY, Christian: Honors Bestowed and Felt: Germany and Britain After 1945

BELJAN, Magdalena: Ambivalent Emotions: Conflicts and Convergences in Dealing With HIV/AIDS

BODDICE, Rob: The Science of Sympathy: Morality, Evolution, and Victorian Civilization

BONGRAND, Philippe: Observing Emotions, Emotionalizing Observations: Children's Emotions and School Assessments in France During the 1950s and 1960s

BRAUER, Juliane: Youth, Music and the Cultivation of Feelings in a Divided Germany

BRUCKENHAUS, Daniel: Imperial Passions: The Role of Emotions in Modern Colonial Conflicts

EITLER, Pascal: The Love of Animals; Emotion and Religion in the "New Age"

ELLERBROCK, Dagmar: Emotions, Violence, and Peace

EROL, Merih: Pious Emotions: The Formation of the "Ethical Self' in the Greek Orthodox Populations of the Ottoman Empire and Greece (1830-1922)

FREVERT, Ute: Emotional Citizens: Love, Loyalty, and Trust in Politics; Honour and Shame: An Emotional History of Power; National Pride in Crosscultral Perspective; Cultures of Insult: Law and Practices of Humiliation in the 19th and 20th Centuries; Emotions in German penal law, 1794-1945

GAMMERL, Benno: Homosexuality and Emotional Life in Rural West Germany (1960-1990)

HABERLEN, Joachim C. : Trust and Politics in Everyday Life; Politics of Emotions: The New Left in West Germany From the 1960s to the 1980s

HITZER, Bettina: Oncomotions. New Perspectives on 20th Century Cancer History

JENSEN, Uffa: Curing Emotions. Transnational History of Psychoanalysis in Berlin, London and Calcutta (1910-1940); Feelings against jews: Emotional History of Modern Anti-Semitism

KIA, Mana: Friendship, Love, Loyalty: Persianate Ethics of Self and Community Before Nationalism

KHAN, Razak: Production of Space and Emotions: Memory, Nostalgia and Muslim Identity in Rampur (19th-20th Century)

KOUNINE, Laura: Theories of emotions in early modern witch-trials

LAUKOTTER, Anja: Emotion and Knowledge in Health Education Films, 19101990

MICHL, Susanne: Emotion and Medical Practices: Trust in the Doctor-Patient Relationship in 19th- and 20th-Century Germany

NIELSEN, Philipp: Democratic Emotions: Compromise and Parliamentary Culture in German History

OLSEN, Stephanie: Emotional Manhood: Adolescence, Informal Education and the Male Citizen in Britain, 1880-1914

PERNAU, Margrit: Civility, Civilization, and Civil Society; Civilizing Emotions; Expressing Emotions: Music, Film, and Literature in India; Space and Emotions; Intermedialities

PLAMPER, Jan: History and Feeling: Foundations of the History of Emotions; Fear: Soldiers and Emotion in Russia, 1800-2000

SCHEER, Monique: Religious Enthusiasm: Emotional Practices Among Revivalist Protestant Groups in the United States and Germany SCHMIDT, Anne: Advertising Emotions

SHARMA, Yuthika: Visual Culture of Hindustani Entertainments in Early Colonial India, 1748-1858

VASILYEV, Pavel: Emotions in the Early Soviet Courtroom

VERHEYEN, Nina: Paternal Love: An Emotional Facet of the 19th Century German Middle Class

VIDOR, Gian Marco: Grieving for Children in Italy in the Long 19th Century; Passions at Bar: Crimes and Emotions in Italian Penal Law in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

WASSMANN, Claudia: A Genealogy of the Science of Emotion, 1860-2000

Predoctoral researchers

BUCHNER, Moritz: Grief and Mourning in Middle-Class Italy (1860-1915)

DONAUER, Sabine: Emotions at Work--Working on Emotions. The Production of Economic Selves in 20th-Century Germany

FREIER, Monika: Cultivating Emotions-Hindi Advice Literature in Late Colonial India

PRESTEL, Joseph Ben: Urban Emotions? Debates on the City and Emotions in Berlin and Cairo (1860-1914)

RAJAMANI, Imke: Angry Young Man: Anger in Indian Popular Cinema ca. 1970-1990

SAJJAD, Mohammad: Loving the Master? The Debate on Appropriate Emotions in North India (ca. 1750-1830)

SCHLEYER, Maritta: Khwaja Hasan Nizami (1878-1955): Emotions for the Sufi Shrine, Emotions for the Nation, and Emotions for the Muslim Community

SCHNADELBACH, Sandra: Feeling the Law. Concepts concerning the Relation between Emotion and Judgment in German Jurisprudence 1870-1933

For further information, please check:

(1) Gustave Flaubert a Mademoiselle Leroyer de Chantepie, 6.10.1864: "Je veux faire l'histoire morale des hommes de ma generation; "sentimentale" serait plus vrai.", in: FLAUBERT, Gustave: Correspondance, ed. Jean BRUNEAU, Paris, Gallimard, 1991, vol. III, p. 409.

(1) Cf. the conference report in German: Tagungsbericht Transferworkshop Gefuhle in Gewaltpravention und Friedenserziehung. 07.10.2013-08.10.2013, Berlin, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 20.11.2013, <http://hsozkult.>.

(2) Cf. the conference report in German: Tagungsbericht Gefuhlsraume--Raumgefuhle. Zur Verschrankung von emotionalen Praktiken und Topografien der Moderne. 10.01.2013-11.01.2013, Berlin, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 21.05.2013, <>.

(3) Cf. the conference report in English: Tagungsbericht Shame and Shaming in Twentieth-Century History. 06.12.2012-07.12.2012, Berlin, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 11.03.2013, < tagungsberichte/id=4718>.

(4) Cf. the conference report in English: Tagungsbericht Childhood, Youth andEmotions in Modern History. 29.11.2012- 01.12.2012, Berlin, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 11.04.2013, < tagungsberichte/id=4751>.

(5) Cf. the conference report in English: Tagungsbericht Emotions and the History of Modern Anti-Semitism. 16.04.2012- 18.04.2012, Berlin, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 20.06.2012, < tagungsberichte/id=4275>.

(6) Cf. the conference report in German: tagungsbericht_emotionen_historisches_lernen.pdf.

(7) ELIAS, Norbert: The civilizing process: sociogenetic and psychogenetic investigations (Rev. ed.), ed. by Eric Dunnin, Malden/Mass., Blackwell, 2010.

(8) FREVERT, Ute, SCHEER, Monique, SCHMIDT, Anne, EITLER, Pascal, HITZER, Bettina, VERHEYEN, Nina, GAMMERL, Benno, BAILEY, Christian & PERNAU, Margrit: Emotional Lexicons: Continuity and Change in the Vocabulary of Feeling 1700-2000, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

(9) FREVERT, Ute, EITLER, Pascal, OLSEN, Stephanie, JENSEN, Uffa, PERNAU, Margrit, BRUCKENHAUS, Daniel, BELJAN, Magdalena, GAMMERL, Gammerl, LAUKOTTER, Anja, HITZER, Bettina, PLAMPER, Jan, BRAUER, Juliane & HABERLEN, Joachim C.: Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

(10) PERNAU, Margrit, JORDHEIM, Helge, SAADA, Emmanuelle, BAILEY, Christian, WIGEN, Einar, BASHKIN, Orit, KIA, Mana, SINGH, Mohinder, MAJUMDAR, Rochona, MESSNER, Angelika, BENESCH, Oleg, PARK, Myoungkyu, IFVERSEN, Jan: Civilizing Emotions. Concepts in Asia and Europe, 1870-1920, (under review).

(11) PERNAU, Margrit: "Civility and barbarism: Emotion as criteria of difference", in FREVERT & al.: Emotional Lexicons..., pp. 230-259; PERNAU, Margrit: "Teaching emotions: The encounter between Victorian values and Indo-Persian concepts of civility in nineteenth-century Delhi", in SENGUPTA, Indra & ALI, Daud (eds.): Knowledge production, pedagogy, and institutions in colonial India, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 227-247; PERNAU, Margrit: "An ihren Gefuhlen sollt Ihr sie erkennen: Eine Verflechtungsgeschichte des britischen Zivilitatsdiskurses (ca. 1750-1860)", Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 35 (2009), pp. 249-281.

(12) PERNAU, Margrit: "Male anger and female malice: Emotions in Indo-Muslim advice literature", History Compass, 10, (2010), pp. 119-128.

(13) OLSEN, Stephanie: Juvenile nation: Youth, emotions and the making of the modern British citizen, 1880-1914, London, Bloomsbury, 2014; OLSEN, Stephanie: "Informal education: Emotional conditioning in British Bands of Hope 1880-1914", in Marcelo CARUSO & Ute FREVERT (eds.): Emotionen in der Bildungsgeschichte (Jahrbuch fur Historische Bildungsforschung No. 18), Bad Heilbrunn, Klinkhardt, 2012, pp. 110-125.

(14) GAMMERL, Benno: "Queer Romance? Romantische Liebe in den biographischen Erzahlungen von westdeutschen Lesben und Schwulen", L 'Homme: Europaische Zeitschrift fur Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft, 24,1 (2013), pp. 15-34; GAMMERL, Benno: "1st frei sein normal? Mannliche Homosexualitaten seit den sechziger Jahren zwischen Emanzipation und Normalisierung", in Peter-Paul BANZIGER, Magdalena BELJAN, Franz X. EDER & Pascal EITLER (eds.): Sexuelle Revolution? Zur Geschichte der Sexualitat im deutschsprachigen Raum seit den 1960er Jahren, Bielefeld, transcript (in press); GAMMERL, Benno: "Jenseits der Metronormativitat? Westdeutsche Lesben und Schwule zwischen Land und Stadt", in Franz-Werner KERSTING & Clemens ZIMMERMANN (eds.): Stadt-Land-Beziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert, Paderborn, Schoningh (in press); GAMMERL, Benno: "Schwule Gefuhle? Homosexualitat und emotionale Mannlichkeiten zwischen 1960 und 1990 in Westdeutschland", in Manuel BORUTTA & Nina VERHEYEN (eds.): Die Prasenz der Gefuhle: Mannlichkeit und Emotion in der Moderne, Bielefeld, transcript, 2010, pp. 255-278.

(15) Cf. HITZER, Bettina: "Healing Emotions", in FREVERT & al.: Emotional lexicons..., pp. 118-150; HITZER, Bettina: "Korper-Sorge(n): Gesundheitspolitik mit Gefuhl", in Claudia JARZEBOWSKI & Anne KWASCHIK (eds.): Performing Emotions: Interdisziplinare Perspektiven auf das Verhaltnis von Politik und Emotion in der Fruhen Neuzeit und in der Moderne, Gottingen, Wallstein, 2013, pp. 43-68; HITZER, Bettina: "How to Detect Emotions? The Cancer Taboo and Its Challenge to a History of Emotions", in Helena FLAM & Jochen KLERES (eds.): Researching Emotions, London, Routledge, (forthcoming 2015); HITZER, Bettina: "Oncomotions. Experiences and Debates in West Germany and the United States after 1945", in Frank BIESS & Daniel M. GROSS (eds.): Science andEmotions after 1945: A Transatlantic Perspective, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2014, pp. 157-178; HITZER, Bettina: "Angst, Panik?! Eine vergleichende Gefuhlsgeschichte von Grippe und Krebs in der Bundesrepublik", in Malte THIESSEN (ed.): Infiziertes Europa. Seuchen im langen 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt, Beihefte der Historischen Zeitschrift, 2014, pp. 137-156.

(16) Osiris, 31: History of Science and the Emotions, eds. Otniel E. Dror, Bettina Hitzer, Anja Laukotter, Pilar Leon-Sanz, with contributions from a wide range of scholars from Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

(17) EITLER, Pascal, HITZER, Bettina & SCHEER, Monique (eds.): Feeling and Faith [special issue], German History 32, 2 (2014, in press), for the link to psychological emotion theories, cf. the contribution HITZER, Bettina & SCHEER, Monique: Unholy Feelings: Questioning Evangelical Emotions in Wilhelmine Germany. Cf. also EITLER, Pascal: "'Orte der Kraft': Korper, Gefuhle und die religiose Topologie im, 'New Age' ", in Frank BOSCH & Lucian HOLSCHER (eds.): Jenseits der Kirche: Die Offnung religioser Raume seit den 1950er Jahren, Gottingen, Wallstein, pp. 176-199; EITLER, Pascal: "Privatisierung und Subjektivierung: Religiose Selbstverhaltnisse im 'New Age' ", in Norbert FREI & Dietmar SUSS (eds.): Privatisierung: Idee und Praxis seit den 1970er Jahren, Gottingen, Wallstein, 2012, pp. 140-156; EITLER, Pascal: "'Selbstheilung': Zur Somatisierung und Sakralisierung von Selbstverhaltnissen im New Age (Westdeutschland 1970-1990)", in Sabine MAASEN, Jens ELBERFELD, Pascal EITLER & Maik TANDLER (eds.): Das beratene Selbst: Zur Genealogie der Therapeutisierung in den "langen" Siebzigern, Bielefeld, transcript, 2011, pp. 161181; EITLER, Pascal & SCHEER, Monique, "Emotionengeschichte als Korpergeschichte: Eine heuristische Perspektive auf religiose Konversionen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert", Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 35 (2009), pp. 282-313; SCHEER, Monique, "Topographies of emotion", in FREVERT & al.: Emotional Lexicons..., pp. 32-61; SCHEER, Monique, "Protestantisch fuhlen lernen: Uberlegungen zur emotionalen Praxis der Innerlichkeit", in FREVERT, Ute & WULF, Christoph (eds.): Die Bildung der Gefuhle, Zeitschrift fur Erziehungswissenschaft: special issue No. 16, (2012), pp. 179-193; SCHEER, Monique, "Empfundener Glaube: Die kulturelle Praxis religioser Emotionen im deutschen Methodismus des 19. Jahrhunderts", Zeitschrift fur Volkskunde, 105 (2009), 185-213. HITZER, Bettina: "Die Therapeutisierung der Gefuhle. Eine Geschichte aus dem 20. Jahrhundert", in Der Mensch. Zeitschrift fur Salutogenese und anthropologische Medizin, 42/43, 1+2 (2011), pp. 17-20.

(18) See the introduction to the homonymous issue by JENSEN, Uffa & SCHULER-SPRINGORUM, Stefanie: "Einfuhrung: Gefuhle gegen Juden. Die Emotionsgeschichte des modernen Antisemitismus", Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 39 (2013), pp. 413-442; Cf. also JENSEN, Uffa: Politik undRecht, Paderborn, Schoningh, 2014.

(19) FREVERT, Ute: Gefuhlspolitik: Friedrich II. als Herr uber die Herzen?, Gottingen, Wallstein, 2012; FREVERT, Ute: "La politique des sentiments au XIXe siecle", Revue dHistoire du XIXe Siecle, 46 (2013), pp. 51-72.

(20) FREVERT, Ute: Vertrauensfragen: Eine Obsession derModerne, Munchen, Beck, 2013; FREVERT, Ute: "Uber Vertrauen reden: Historisch-kritische Beobachtungen", in Jorg BABEROWSKI (ed.): Was ist Vertrauen? Ein interdisziplinares Gesprach, Frankfurt a. M.: Campus, 2014, pp. 31-47.

(21) FREVERT, Ute: "Wartime Emotions: Honour, Shame, and the Ecstasy of Sacrifice", in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War. For more informtion please see

(22) FREVERT, Ute: Emotions in history--Lost and found, Budapest, Central European University Press, 2011; FREVERT, Ute: Vergangliche Gefuhle, Gottingen, Wallstein, 2013.

(23) FREVERT, Ute: "Piggy's shame", in FREVERT & al.: Learning how to feel...

(24) KONIG, Gudrun M. & SCHMIDT, Anne: "Moderne Ambivalenzen: Konsumkultur und Propaganda im Ersten Weltkrieg", in Thomas SCHLEPER (ed.), Aggression und Avantgarde, Essen, Klartext, 2014, pp. 250-262. Cf. also FREVERT, Ute & SCHMIDT, Anne (eds.): Geschichte, Emotionen undvisuelle Medien [special issue]. Geschichte undGesellschaft, 57,1 (2011).

(25) See for a first insights in the research of the Minerva Research Focus: Results to be published in: ELLERBROCK, Dagmar & WEINHAUER, Klaus: Emotions and Violence. Historical Insights in a Multifoldet Relation (forthcoming).

(26) This assumption inspired a workshop aimed at analyzing the connection between emotions, violence and peace education:

(27) Cf. ELLERBROCK, Dagmar: "Old games--new meanings? Understanding modern gun practices in the light of 19th century cultures", Miscellanea: Anthropologica et Sociologica, (in print); ELLERBROCK, Dagmar: Deutsche Schiefiwut: Zur Transformation der deutschen Waffenkultur im 19. und fruhen 20. Jahrhundert. Gottingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, (forthcoming).

(28) Ellerbrock also takes into account that gender is a crucial factor, shaping the specific setting in which emotions are linked to violence: Cf. ELLERBROCK, Dagmar: "Gun-rights as privileges of free men: Chronology of a powerful political myth of the 19th and 20th century", in Kathleen STARCK & Birgit SAUER (eds.): Political Masculinities, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars, 2014 (in press), pp. 67-79); ELLERBROCK, Dagmar & WECKEL, Ulrike (eds.): Waffenschwestern, WerkstattGeschichte 64,1 (2014 in press).

(29) ELLERBROCK, Dagmar & FEHLEMANN, Silke (eds.): The Emotional Impact of Memories of World War I Violence, forthcoming.

(30) An interdisciplinary approach is essential for this research agenda: ELLERBROCK, Dagmar. "Zwischen individuellen Dispositionen und gesellschaftlichen Dynamiken: Korper und Kontext als Herausforderung einer interdisziplinaren Aggressions- und Gewaltforschung", Interdisziplinare Anthropologie, Jahrbuch 2/2014: Gewalt und Aggression, in press.

(31) For a complete listing, please consult the continuously updated library catalog of the MPI for Human Development: &author=&title=&year=&order=year_desc

(32) PLAMPER, Jan: Geschichte und Gefuhl. Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte, Munchen, Siedler 2012--soon to be published in English as: PLAMPER, Jan: The History of Emotions: An Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press (forthcoming). Cf. also PLAMPER, Jan & LAZIER, Benjamin (eds.): Fear: Across the disciplines. Pittsburgh/PA, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, and PLAMPER, Jan: "The History of Emotions: An Interview with William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns", History and Theory, 49,2 (2010), pp. 237-265.

(33) SCHEER, Monique: "Are emotions a kind of practice (and is that what makes them have a history)? A Bourdieuian approach to understanding emotion", History and Theory, 51 (2012), pp. 193-220; GAMMERL, Benno (ed.), Emotional styles-concepts and challenges, Rethinking Hisfory[special issue], 16, 2 (2012).

(34) HITZER, Bettina: "Emotionsgeschichte: Ein Anfang mit Folgen [Forschungsbericht]. H- Soz-u-Kult. <http://hsozkult. de/forum/2011-11-001> (January 5, 2011).

(35) Please feel invited to learn more about our work and to participate in our Internet portal (editors: Anja Laukotter, Margrit Pernau):

(36) FREVERT & WULF (eds.): Bildung der Gefuhle...; CARUSO & FREVERT (eds.): Emotionen in der Bildungsgeschichte ...
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Date:Jan 1, 2014
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