orange white and pink smoke digital wallpaper

June 6, 2022

Early bird registration for SHE conference
The early bird registration deadline is 15 June 2022 for ‘Going Places: Mobility, Migration, Exile, Space and Emotions’, the 3rd Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Emotions, Florence, Italy, 30 August to 2 September 2022. 2022 Financial members of the North American Chapter on the History of Emotion are also eligible to choose the Society for the History of Emotions (SHE) member rate when registering. 

The registration link for the conference is

NACHEmotion link to subscribe to EHCS journal 2022
2022 Financial NACHE members can subscribe to Volume 6 (2022) of the Society’s journal Emotions: History, Culture, Society via this dedicated link:
The first issue for 2022 is due to be published later in June.

June 5, 2022

Announcement of a forthcoming conference at Kean University, in Union, New Jersey: The Search for Humanity after Atrocity. The conference focuses on processes of recovery from atrocity by the people who were most vulnerabie and victimized.  In person (as currently planned), Oct. 16-17, 2022. Further details on the conference website, or contact Dennis Klein at Kean University.

May 16, 2022

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for the very warm response to my message last week
about Sources of Early Modern Emotion in English, 1500-1700.  I’m
writing today to let you know that the project is now hosted on a new
website that just launched,

You’ll see a couple of major changes from the document I circulated
last week.  First, primary source material has been separated into
different bibliographies covering specific emotion clusters, to help
people more easily find what they’re looking for.

More importantly, SEMEE now contains a large bibliography of secondary
sources on early modern emotion.  I’ve started to populate the
categories, but it would be fantastic if you added your own
scholarship!  Editing the GoogleDoc should be pretty easy, but there
are links to an instruction page if you’re having trouble.

I’d be very grateful if you checked out the site and let me know what
you think!  (The bibliographies are best viewed on a desktop/laptop,
but the general site works on mobile devices.)   Any questions,
comments, suggestions are much appreciated.  And please do, when you
get a chance, think about expanding the bibliographies with your own
knowledge and expertise; the more people that contribute, the more
helpful we can make the resource!

Yours sincerely,

May 7, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this finds you well!

I’m writing to let you know that I’ve started a GoogleDoc devoted to
sources for the study of early modern emotion in English.  There’s not
a ton there now, but I intend to continue adding more; more
importantly, I hope that you might be tempted to check it out, spread
the word, and help expand it with your knowledge and expertise!  If
there’s interest, I’d like this to become an ever-growing community
resource for those of us working on early modern emotion.

You can access the document here:

All comments, suggestions, etc. are greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much!

All best,

March 11, 2022

Webinar title: 
Archives and Emotions. Call for abstracts

Date: Friday 7 October 2022
Time:8:00–11:00 (New York, EST); 13:00–16:00 (London, GMT); 14:00–17:00 (Malta, CET)
Venue: Online event

This virtual conference aims to explore the interplay between emotions and archives—traditional, digital, official, and personal/unofficial—from an interdisciplinary point of view. This interplay includes but is not limited to:

  • Emotions as attachments and reactions to documents and to the people who created them
  • Emotion as the experience of the archive as a space, an environment, and a milieu (including the personal and professional relationships formed there)
  • Emotions as factors affecting which and how records are accumulated, collected, re/arranged, preserved, as well as the shape, description, communication, and the physicality of the archives, also taking into account issues of neutrality and inclusivity, or lack thereof.

With an eye on the bio-cultural aspect of emotions and archives, also:

  • The instruments and materials involved in the preservation, cataloguing, and consultation of archival materials (desks, machines such as cameras, microfilm readers, card catalogues, computers, stands, weights etc.)
  • Sensorial experience of the archives themselves (touch, smell, sound etc.)
  • Uniform/dress of researchers and archivists—evolving trends/implications for broader socio-cultural histories and how people regard the archival experience)
  • The perception of the archivists and researchers in the society/s and the self-perception of archivists today
  • The relationship between archives, memory, identity, historians, and archivists and their overlapping concerns with records
  • Conceptualisations of archives as bodies and sentimentalised entities, organisational systems, and hierarchical levels as trees

Set of practices attached to archival experience and their related emotions:

  • From the archivist side: managing archives, welcoming and guiding researchers, concerns about security and usage;
  • From the researcher side: early contact and preliminary research, funding, travel, sign in, consultation, stolen views of the vaults, taking pictures, reading, taking notes,
    consulting at home and accessibility issues
  • Feeling attached to archival experiences: discovering, saving, accumulating, managing, etc.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to Dr Ilaria Scaglia by email and by email to Dr Valeria Vanesio by 8 April 2022.
All submissions will be acknowledged and receive a response by 29 April 2022.

Participants will be asked for a revised abstract to be posted on the conference website and a 10-min recording of their contribution by 19 September 2022.

On the conference day, they will be asked to participate in a live discussion about the other contributions.

For a selection of interested participants, there will be the possibility of contributing to an edited volume to be included in the History of Emotions series (Bloomsbury).

More information is available online.

November 5, 2021

Dear SHE 2021 members

Following the email below from SHE secretary Anne Sophie Voyer requesting your attendance at the SHE Biennial Ordinary General Meeting (to be held by Zoom on Saturday 6 November 2021, commencing 7am local time Ottawa (EDT)), for ease of reference I have attached the relative meeting start times around the world in the attached Excel spreadsheet.

A reminder please to notify Anne Sophie your anticipated attendance or apology no later than Friday 22 October by email to Anne Voyer, c.c.

I hope all is well with you all.

June 25, 2021

Arrangement details, NACHE conference Fri-Sat June 3-4, 2022, on the campus of George Mason University

Conference fee is $135. This covers continental breakfasts both days, coffee service during day, lunches both days, dinner Friday, bus transportation to and from suggested hotel. A NACHE grant covers a final reception after the Saturday session. As always we have worked to keep costs as low as possible. 
Attendees who paid for the cancelled 2020 and who did not request refund,  are excused from further payment. Feel free to check with Peter Stearns ( if there are questions about status. 
Rooms are available for Th, Fri, and Sat evenings at a conference rate of $109 per night, as the Residence Inn Fairfax City. Reservations can be made at 1-800-331-3131, requesting group rate for History of Emotions conference. 
Further details, including preregistration procedures, will be forthcoming. Please direct any questions or concerns to Peter Stearns. 

June 15, 2021

ISRE 2022 In-Person: Hold the Date!

We are happy to announce that the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE) conference will take place in-person on the 15-18th of July 2022 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles USA. The ISRE conference is an exciting opportunity to meet international colleagues, present your work, and to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in emotion research. ISRE members study emotions from a wide range of disciplines including affective computing, anthropology, art and design, education, history, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology and sociology. The ISRE conference 2022 will include a keynote address by Antonio Damasio (US).

If you would like to contribute to the ISRE conference by presenting your research, submissions will be opened in the fall of 2021. We invite you to submit an abstract of max. 250 words. Submissions are welcome from scholars in all relevant disciplines for symposia (of up to four talks and a discussant, or 5 talks), individual talks, and posters. Symposia are encouraged to include more than one discipline to facilitate cross-disciplinary exchange. Talks will be 15 minutes long. Abstracts should be submitted online at the ISRE 2022 conference website which will go live later this summer.

Submissions are also encouraged for pre-conferences to take place on the first day of the conference (July 15th). We are looking forward to welcoming you in Los Angeles in July 2022!

Jonathan Gratch and Stacy Marsella Organizers, ISRE 2022 Conference

Relevant Publications and Recent News

  • Minsky, A. “The Men Who Stare at Cathedrals: Aesthetic Education, Moral Sentiment, and the German Critique of French Revolutionary Violence, 1793-4,” Central European History 53, no. 1 (March 2020): 23-45. DOI:
  • Minsky, A. “Home is Where the Heart is: The Rise of Emotional Spaces in the German Late Enlightenment,” Eighteenth-Century Life 45, no. 1 (forthcoming, January 2021), special issue on “Spaces of Enlightenment,” edited by Peter Denney and Lisa O’Connell.
  • “‘Desire’ Enacted in the Wilderness: Problems in the History of the Self and Bible Translation” in Self, Self-Fashioning and Individuality in Late Antiquity, edited by Maren Niehoff and Joshua Levinson (Mohr Siebeck, 2019), 25-49.
  • Dennis Klein received an NEH award for teaching a seminar in June 2021 on “The Search for Humanity After Atrocity.” The seminar is dedicated to participants who are higher education faculty. For details email

September 14th, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I write concerning the NACHE conference, postponed but currently scheduled for June 2021. This is just an interim note to say that Susan Matt and I are deeply aware of the continuing pandemic challenges and obvious uncertainties. We have decided to hold off for a couple of months making a definite decision but will of course keep you informed; and we do recognize the likelihood is not great.  We are not inclined to substitute a virtual format because of doubts about its effectiveness. Of course if we cancel definitively we will work on refunding conference fees as promptly as possible.

In the meantime and with rueful recognition of the complexities, we would like to encourage some thinking about a NACHE conference for what would have been our normal cycle, June (or early summer) 2022. Despite the pandemic setback, we do believe that the kind of regular gathering we were all counting on will still make sense once greater normalcy returns. To that end, we invite one or more members, perhaps preferably on the east coast, to consider serving as organizational and institutional host, with Susan and I continuing to provide assistance. I hope that one or more of you would be willing to discuss this possibility. Presumably, actual solicitation of panel proposals would begin summer or fall of 2021; we are not launching this effort yet. (But a panel on the (changing?) emotional impacts of contagious disease in modern world history would be an interesting possibility; just saying.)

We are always eager for news, including publication announcements and informal blogs, that can be put on the NACHE website, which I admit has not been active of late.

And we do hope that all of you are as well as can be expected in this challenging time. Again, we will be in touch again in a few weeks.

With best wishes,

Peter Stearns

March 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

It is now clear that we must cancel the June NACHE conference. Many participants already  know that cannot attend. Obviously we regret the inconvenience.
This said, a question. We can run the conference during the first weekend of June, 2021, if enough participants believe they can plan to attend, even if some wish to adjust their topics. Can you let me know about this as soon as possible, obviously with details to follow.
For those who wish a refund of the conference fee, please let me know. I promise to attend to this, though it may take a few weeks to arrange given current disarray. We are checking with the hotel about fees paid there.
We will gladly handle any questions, and will be in touch concerning the 2021 possibility.
Many thanks for your interest thus far, and very best wishes for your continued health.

Susan Matt and Peter Stearns

February 11, 2020

Andreea Marculescu (Oklahoma) and myself (Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier, Vermont) are preparing an MLA volume on “Options for Teaching Emotions in World Literature.” We are interested in any language, any approach. 350–400-word abstract and a short biography (100–150 words) due by 15 April 2020 to both Andreea Marculescu ( and Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier ( Please share it with your friends and colleagues! The call for papers is attached (

Emotions in World Literature
Long limited to the social sciences, the study of emotions has gradually picked up in the humanities and in literary studies. A good instance of this focus is the special topic issue of PMLA entitled Emotions. Moreover, numerous panels devoted to emotion studies have become increasingly visible in major conferences, including the MLA convention.

Literature, film, media, and languages play a crucial role in the dissemination and representation of emotions. The depiction of emotions cannot be dissociated from the cultural grammars and narrative frameworks disseminated by cultural works. The emotion known as love, for instance, presents the advantage of being a concept that is largely understood throughout languages, cultures, and centuries, as everybody can approximate its meaning. Its interpretation and representation, however, vary widely across culture and centuries and offer various multilayered narratives that can be the loci of scholarly focus. Love in an eighteenth-century romance, in a twentieth-century Urdu tragedy, or from the point of view of an ASL practitioner may carry the same input yet would not share the same emotional charge. Indeed, emotions cannot be separated from social, historical, cultural, and linguistic practices. How an emotion is performed at a linguistic and cultural level is contingent upon a network of societal conventions that allow for individual and collective modes of adherence or, on the contrary, contestation of such norms.

Although it can be argued that the study of emotions in cultural works can be traced back to antiquity (for instance, the works of Aristotle), recent pathbreaking theorizations of emotions by historians and cultural critics enable us to conceptualize emotion studies as a distinctive field of knowledge. Historians such as Barbara Rosenwein and William Reddy have referred to emotions as speech acts that follow particular social scripts and translate personal or group reactions to a wide range of external stimuli. Therefore, emotions are real identity makers that allow divergent socioeconomic categories to perform their identity by belonging to what Rosenwein calls “emotional communities.” Literary historians, in turn, complicated this model while retaining the idea that emotions are performed through social scripts. The latter, as Sarah McNamer has recently pointed out, lead to a “performance of feelings.” At the core of this performance is the existence of what McNamer calls an “affective stylistics,” a set of formal textual features that generate a certain range of emotions in the audience. Cultural theorists such as Sianne Ngai and Sara Ahmed have linked emotions to everyday modes of production, circulation, and consumption. Emotions, underscores Ahmed, are circumscribed on the surface of the bodies, and they “stick,” They circulate between the bodies and, thus, produce subjectivities that disrupt or reconfigure a certain status quo. Moreover, as Ngai underlines, such circulation of emotions is symptomatic of social dynamics and of modes of personal and collective forms of vulnerability and agency.  

Building on the signposts of scholarship on emotions mentioned above, this volume invites contributions that look at emotions in their literariness, as identity makers, or as embedded in different affective circuits of productions and consumption. Because emotions are experienced corporeally and performed culturally, their study allows bridging traditionally disparate fields and domains of study ranging from neurosciences and social sciences to the humanities. Moreover, the ingrained interdisciplinarity of emotion studies calls for approaches than can make teaching and research accessible to an audience that might not have been otherwise aware of how their own pedagogic and scholarly interests could properly be housed in traditional humanistic disciplines. As of late, diverse fields such as natural sciences, business, and engineering have become places that have welcomed new fields of studies for the humanities and, particularly, languages, where disciplines like professional languages have garnered a diversity of approaches.

Such heuristic flexibility makes emotion studies potent pedagogic tools adaptable to a curriculum that must be academically rigorous and, at the same time, ethically compatible to the needs of a diverse student population. The aim of this volume is, therefore, to translate the theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives enumerated above to the space of an inclusive classroom.

We invite papers that engage one or several of the suggested approaches:

• Different emotional vocabularies that lead to the formation of “emotional communities” in an upper-division literature class, for instance, as opposed to an instructional class in the target language or a composition class designed for first-year students.
• Possible pedagogical techniques and sources that allow students to identify and analyze a certain “affective stylistics” embedded in a canonic or lesser-known text.
• Sources that expose students to transhistorical and diachronic definitions of emotions: from the Stoic passio and Christian affectus to modern emotions.
• Case studies of analyzing particular emotions or emotional conglomerates (hate, fear, joy, compassion, happiness, etc.) in lower- and upper-division and graduate classes taught in English or the target language.
• Types of methodological approaches in the study of emotions and modalities of tackling them in different types of classes ranging from graduate seminars and upper-division classes in the field of literary, visual, or media studies to TESOL and second language acquisition and expository writing classes.
• Emotional lexicons that allow students and instructors from diverse socioeconomic, sexual, and racial backgrounds to articulate certain identity questions and to influence the teaching of particular emotional practices. How can the study of emotions help students gain a sense of community? How can these activities develop a stronger bond between students and faculty members and their environment and type of institutional affiliation?
• Emotional scripts in nonwritten languages such as ASL.
• Presentation of interdisciplinary projects and digital archives for the study of emotions. 

Please submit a 350–400-word abstract and a short biography (100–150 words) to both Andreea Marculescu ( and Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier ( by 15 April 2020.

November 8, 2019

Dear all

My book “Heart to Heart: How Your Emotions Affect Other People” was officially released in the UK yesterday.
If you are interested, electronic sample chapters are available free either from Amazon (in Kindle format) or from the Cambridge University Press web-site.


Brian Parkinson
Department of Experimental Psychology
University of Oxford, UK

November 5, 2019

Call for Manuscript Proposals

Announcing a new series on the history of emotions, published by Bloomsbury and edited by Peter Stearns and Susan Matt.

Editorial Board: Rob Boddice, Pia Campeggiani, Angelika Messner, Javier Moscoso, Charles Zika

We are seeking proposals for monographs which explore emotions in history. We seek to create a truly international series, with works on feelings from across the globe, from the ancient world to the present. We really hope to use the series to promote varied and imaginative work in this growing scholarly field. If interested, please send a short précis to or

October 18, 2019

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions III Conference






14:15 – 15:00 Registration – Refreshments

15:00 – 15:10 Welcome speeches

Introduction: 15:10-16:00

George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras) and Dimos Spatharas (U. of Crete) ‘Look both ways: ancient and modern modes of understanding memory and emotions’

Elias Economou (U. of Crete) ‘The Relationship Between Emotions and Memory:

A Short Review of the Effects of Emotion on Memory’

Session I: 16:00-17:00

Chair: Lucia Athanassaki

Jonathan L. Ready (Indiana University) ‘The Tension between Memory and Emotion in Homer’s Audience’

Elizabeth Minchin (The Australian National University) ‘Emotions, Memory, and the Wrath of Achilles: Observations from Social Psychology’

17:00-17:30 Coffee break

Keynote paper 17:30-18:30

Chair: George Kazantzidis

Angelos Chaniotis (IAS, Princeton) ‘Remembering Emotions’

Wine reception and dinner


Session II 10:00-11:30

Chair: Melina Tamiolaki

Elizabeth Craik (U. of St. Andrews) ‘Learning, Memory, Trauma and Anger: Cognitive and Emotional Experiences in Medicine and Myth’

Anne-Sophie Noel (ENS de Lyon) ‘Memory Palace: Materiality, Memory, and Emotions in Greek and Roman Tragedy’


Nick Fisher (U. of Cardiff) ‘Exploitation of (Alleged) Memories in Demosthenes and Aeschines’

11:30-12:00 Coffee break

Session III 12:00-13:00

Chair: Costas apostolakis

Aaron Seider (College of the Holy Cross) ‘A Space for Grief and Fame: Commemorating Trauma in Ovid’s Tristia’

Damien Nelis (U. of Geneva) ‘Emotion, History, and Politics in Vergil’s Georgics

13:00- 15:00 Lunch

Session IV 15:00-16:00

Chair: Eva astyrakaki

Sophia Connell (Birkbeck, U. of London) ‘Aristotle on Memory and Emotion in Humans and Other Animals’

David Kaufman (Transylvania U.) ‘The Stoics and Epicureans on the Emotional Force of the Past’

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

Session V 16:30-17:30

Chair: Stelios panayotakis

Francesca Martelli (UCLA), ‘Remembering familiaritas: Structures of Feeling in Cicero’s Epistulae ad Familiares

Peter N. Singer (Birkbeck, U. of London) ‘Plotinus’ Memory: Problems of Emotion and Personal Identity’



Session VI 10:00-11:30

chair: zacharoula petraki

Mark McClay (University of Miami) ‘Who is Mnêmosynê in the Orphic Lamellae?’

Christopher Simon (University of California, Riverside) ‘Nihil tale metuentem … undique invadunt: Fear, Trauma, and the Landscape of Germania in the Collective Memory of Rome’

Estelle Strazdins (U. of Cambridge) ‘Herodes Atticus, Material Memories, and the Expression and Reception of Grief’

11:30-12:00 Coffee break

Session VII 12:00-13:00

Chair: eleni papadogiannaki

Janet Downie (UNC-Chapel Hill) ‘Memory and Emotion in Philostratus’ Heroicus

Marc Mastrangelo (Dickinson College) ‘Nostalgia, Memory, and Salvation in Augustine,


Boethius, and Prudentius’ 

13:00-14:30 Lunch


Session VIII 14:30-16:00

chair: dimos spatharas

Philip Hardie (U. of Cambridge) ‘The Emotional Memories of Internal Narrators’

William Short (U. of Exeter) ‘Cognitive Approaches to the Ancient Emotions: Scripts and Metaphor’

Jennifer Devereaux (U. of South California/U. of Exeter) ‘Metahistoricity and the Embodiment of Emotion in Ancient Literature’

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

Session IX 16:30-18:00

chair: ewen bowie

A. Novokhatko (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) ‘Memoria and imago in Quintilian’

D. Spatharas (U. of Crete) ‘Memory, Visceral Feelings, and the “Lower” Senses’

J. Grimwade (U. of Cambridge) ‘How to Remember a Poem: Method versus Emotion’

18:00-18:15 Conclusions

October 15, 2019

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce a funded inter-disciplinary PhD studentship at QMUL – jointly supervised across the Centre for the History of Emotions and the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health:

Application deadline: 25 November 2019
Full details here:

Please draw this opportunity to the attention of suitable candidates looking for an original and ambitious PhD project linking emotions, medical humanities, and healthcare.
best wishes,
Thomas Dixon
Professor of History
Queen Mary University of London HISTORY OF EMOTIONS email list is run by the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions The Centre also hosts the History of Emotions Blog

September 24, 2019

Dear 2019 members of the Society for the History of Emotions

As foreshadowed in the Society for the History of Emotions (SHE) newsletter of 21 June 2019, the Society’s Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) will take place during the second Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Emotions, with the details now confirmed as follows:

Date: Thursday 3 October 2019

Time: 12noon

Venue: Lab0, 10 Daly St, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


All Council members and office bearers must be financial members of the Society for the History of Emotions for the duration of their tenure.
Meeting frequency and timing: Council members will typically be required for three meetings each Calendar Year. Please note: Because SHE is an international Society, in order to hold meetings during waking hours for all, meeting times for the current Council are scheduled (broadly) for early morning for the USA and Canada, middle of the day for Europe, later evening for Australian members.

In accordance with the Statute, all of the Council positions are elected for a period of a minimum of two years, up to a maximum of four years.

Nominations are now called for these positions. Incumbents were mostly elected for two years at the OGM in December 2017, so their initial two-year terms will expire in December 2019.


Email your nomination by Saturday 28 September. Either click on this link or email me at, using the subject header ‘SHE Nomination for Council Position [INSERT NAME OF POSITION]: Due 28 September 2019’, and include the following details in the text:

o Full name

o Contact email:

o Institutional affiliation (if you have one)

o The position on the SHE council for which you are nominating

o A brief bio (no more than 300 words)

o Brief outline of your current research interests in the history of emotions (no more than 200 words)

For information, I have listed incumbents who are nominating for a further two years.



Jacqueline Van Gent (incumbent)


None yet (position currently being filled by Katrina Tap, who will not be nominating).


None yet (incumbent Tanya Tuffrey will not be re-nominating)


None yet (Social media currently being managed by Katrina Tap and Katie Barclay. Katrina and Catherine-Rose Hailstone managing the website. Katrina prepares the newsletter)


Katrina Tap (incumbent) – This position primarily involves liaising with new members and coordinating membership lists with Brill.
POSTGRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (who shall be a currently enrolled postgraduate student)


None yet

Nominees (all incumbent):

Kirk Essary
Susan Matt
Piroska Nagy
Carly Osborn
Miri Rubin
Peter Stearns
Stephanie Trigg
Charles Zika
Warm regards

Katrina Tap

Secretary/ Administrative Officer (Honorary)
Society for the History of Emotions

c/- ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education
The University of Western Australia
M204, 35 Stirling Highway, PERTH WA 6009, Australia




‘Like’ our Emotions: History, Culture, Society Facebook page:
Follow the Society and Journal Twitter page:

The University of Western Australia is on the lands of the Whadjuk Noongar peoples. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.

September 19, 2019

HISTORY OF EMOTIONS: A new book series

The history of emotions offers a new and vital approach to the study of the past. The field is predicated on the idea that human feelings change over time and they are the product of culture as well as of biology. Bloomsbury’s history of emotions series seeks to publish state-of-the-art scholarship on the history of human feelings and emotional experience from antiquity to the present day, and across all regions of the world. With a commitment to an expanded thematic, geographical and chronological breadth, and a deep commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the series will offer new and innovation titles which convey the rich diversity of emotional cultures.

Editorial Board

Bloomsbury Series on the History of Emotion

Co-Editors: Susan Matt, Weber State University; Peter N. Stearns, George Mason University

Board members:

Rob Boddice, Ph.D., FRHistS, Freie Universitaet, Berlin

Susan Broomhall, Professor of History. The University of Western Australia

Pia Campeggiani, Doctor, University of Bologna

Angelika Messner, Professor, Head of the China Centre, Kiel University

Javier Moscoso, Research Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Madrid

August 2, 2019

Dear friends, mentors, and colleagues, 
It gives me great pleasure to announce that my monograph, Emotional Devotion: Affective Piety at the Eleventh-Century Monastery of John of Fécamp, was published yesterday, August 1st, worldwide. Medievalists have long taught that highly emotional Christian devotion, often called ‘affective piety’, appeared in Europe after the twelfth century and was primarily practiced by communities of mendicants, lay people and women. Emotional Monasticism challenges this view. The first study of affective piety in an eleventh-century Benedictine monastic context, it traces the early history of affective devotion through the life and works of the earliest known writer of emotional prayers, John of Fécamp, abbot of the Norman monastery of Fécamp from 1028-78. Exposing the early medieval monastic roots of later medieval affective piety, the book casts a new light on the devotional life of monks in Europe before the twelfth century and redefines how medievalists should teach the history of Christianity.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited that, after ten years of gestation and labor, this baby is finally out in the world. Please feel free to share it with interested scholars! Tell your university libraries to buy it! Suggest your students read it! Whatever you can do, I’d be so thankful.

With gratitude for your support for my project and your assistance in spreading the word, 

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May 30, 2019

From Jan Plamper on behalf of the International Society for Research on Emotion:

I am pleased to announce the publication of the first ‘Element’ in the Cambridge UP series ‘Histories of Emotions and the Senses’: Donovan Schaefer, ‘The Evolution of Affect Theory: The Humanities, the Sciences, and the Study of Power’. It is available for free download until June 5th here:
Let me use the opportunity to invite you to contribute to the series. ‘Elements’, a new format at CUP, are 20-30K words in length, i.e. between article and monograph; published much faster than articles or monographs (12 weeks after acceptance of final manuscript); peer-reviewed and copy-edited; published digitally and printed on demand as paperback books; richer in content – more graphs, images etc. can be embedded (colour in the digital version); updatable on an annual basis; and REF-able:

The series is multidisciplinary in approach and plans to cover, roughly, the following ten areas:
(1) theoretical: newest developments in the field, new concepts and approaches;
(2) evolution: epigenetics, trans- and posthumanism, human-animal relations;
(3) gender and sexuality: histories of the complexity of desire and sexual pleasure;
(4) violence: pain, suffering, vulnerability;
(5) politics: post-Marxism, ideologies such as nationalism, racism, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia etc.;
(6) big history: anthropocene, archaeology, deep history, climate and environment;
(7) society: new ways of thinking about collective emotions and sensations, the ‘mood’ of an epoch or a place, but also mental health epidemics vs. the ‘happy’ society, wellbeing;
(8) economy and finance: markets, labour, consumption;
(9) digitality: social media, artificial intelligence, robotics;
(10) life science: affective neuroscience, social neuroscience, distributed cognition, cognitive/emotional ecologies.

I am recruiting authors who have cutting-edge, original material. If you are interested, please let me know and send a 2-3-page abstract/proposal. We will then discuss your proposal at CUP and offer, if we feel it has promise, a contract. Once you submit the manuscript we will have it peer-reviewed within 60 days. We publish the final, revised manuscript within 12 weeks.

I look forward to hearing from you,


Jan Plamper, Series Editor
Professor of History
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London, SE14 6NW, UK

Gender Tensions and Emotions History

Recently, as many readers doubtless know, Melanie Hamlett published an intriguing piece in Harper’s Bazaar that quickly won wide comment. The subject was male emotional isolation –“Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden” – and it clearly struck a chord with many female readers and some agonized or apologetic men as well. Clearly lots of women feel that they are providing therapeutic service for emotionally crippled male partners and boyfriends, and at least some men believe that their own emotional limits require compensatory action. Conclusion: along with admiration for the (unnumbered) men who are trying, a belief that we need a “total revolution” in the ways we raise our children.

One enters this discussion gingerly, as a male, for it is easy to hit a wrong note. But without fully assessing the merits of the argument, I was impressed with how helpful it would have been to frame the topic more clearly in light of what we know about the history of emotion. So, two or three points, briefly, in this vein.

First, as not only a male but an old one, I was struck by the virtual identity of the current argument and the 1970s attacks on emotionally limited masculinity, associated with second-stage feminism and, quickly, with a response in what was then called the male liberation movement (linked to authors like Jack Sawyer, Joe Pleck, and Jack Nichols). To be sure, there was less emphasis on women’s burdensome therapeutic service, more simply on men’s emotional unavailability. And the current vogue term, “toxic masculinity”, had yet to be devised (according to Google Ngram, it emerged very suddenly in the mid-90s, quickly gained popularity dimmed only briefly by 9/11 followed by an even more dramatic ascent to the extent that it is now sometimes taken as a given that requires no definition). The fact of a mirror history may simply confirm the correctness of the current diagnosis – men have been emotionally deficient for a long time. But it may also suggest the desirability of looking more closely at the previous episode, which did create a male liberationist flurry that lasted about a decade but then trailed off – perhaps the deficiency argument is not the best way to get men to change? There are at least some historical reminders that deserve attention.

Second – possibly – it would be interesting to take a look at earlier periods (between the first and second feminist phases, primarily) when a leading charge against some men was that they were spending too much time with other men (bars, men’s clubs) rather than with women. Boys’ night out patterns were not, to be sure, usually assessed in terms of emotion, but the topic would bear inquiry. It may not be easy to strike a balance in an age of companionate marriage.

Most important, however, is the desirability of reminding interested participants that we already have a history of male friendships that at least complicates some of the current arguments while inviting an update. For the Hamlett argument, and some subsequent echoes in commentary by people like Rebecca Onion in Slate, assume that male emotional deficiency is deeply rooted in the nature of patriarchy and so very old indeed (linking the problem to Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider’s recent work on the persistence of patriarchy). “Patriarchy harms men” is the basic claim. But this ignores the historical work on male friendship that clearly suggests a more complex past – without in any sense necessarily denying a current problem. Patriarchy indeed has all sorts of deficiencies but it does not inevitably kill off emotionally rich male friendships.

Thus Edmund Leites and others have written – though some decades ago – about intense male friendship as a primary emotional expression in Europe at least until the growing commercial rivalries of the later 17th century. Anthony Rotundo’s work on the 19th century was built around the impressive emotionality of friendships among young men (though waning after marriage). Thus Daniel Webster terms his best friend “the partner of my joys, griefs and affections, the only participator of my most secret thoughts.” Many men wrote letters to each other in terms of great endearment –“my dearest”; “accept all the tenderness I have” , along with pledges “ever to love, ever to cherish and assist each other.” The language, in fact, and the apparent emotion were strikingly similar to the sentiments being exchanged among middle-class women in the same period, as Carroll Smith Rosenberg has described. This is simply not the emotionally deprived stuff that apparently characterizes many contemporary men.

And from this, two related points, along with possibly and gently suggesting adding a bit more complexity to the toxic masculinity claims. First: it is really important to keep alive, in active use, findings that were established before the formal rise of the history of emotions – in this case, work published in the 1970s and 1980s. Rebecca Onion, who so readily linked Hamlett’s claims with basic patriarchy, is normally a gifted user of historical perspective, but in this case I have to assume that earlier work on friendship has simply faded from view; we should try to figure out how to keep it available.

And second: the earlier work on 19th century was so good, and so clearly delineating emotional commitments that were quite different from 20th-century patterns, that there was a clear invitation to carry historical analysis into more recent decades, to offer 20th-century histories of friendship that could be compared to the Victorian findings, with differences explicitly analyzed. But for whatever reason, with only a few exceptions (Linda Rosenzweig, on female friendships), the challenge has not been taken up, opening the way for historically sloppy generalizations about our most recent past.

Keeping older work alive, and using emotions history to address contemporary concerns (along with other approaches in the field) strike me as two goals that are worth attention. And if one response is some relevant new work on gender and emotional friendship, this would be a great start.

         Comments from William Reddy, Ph.D.

I would add that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) launched a whole research theme on male-to-male relationships that used or exploited heterosexual ones. Later Sedgwick set aside the idea of “desire” as an explanatory key to gender or sexuality (in Touching Feeling, 2003).
Also relevant are Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, The Normal Chaos of Love (1995), who treat romantic love as a kind of “earthly religion” and backstop for ever-more risky careers for both women and men; and Robert D. Putnam’s Bowling Alone (2000) which, if I remember correctly, decried a general decline in associational life outside the home.
There is also some interesting research on male friendship in relation to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Julie de Lespinasse’s salonregulars were said to be united by the deepest friendships. Robespierre’s fellow Jacobin (and friend?), Saint-Just, insisted that a man without friends was a traitor to the Republic (Vincent-Buffault, L’exercice de l’amitié(1995), pp. 110-111).

May 23, 2019

Training the Emotions in Early Modern Europe

Organizer: Joy Wiltenburg, Rowan University

For a panel or panels at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in St. Louis, MO, 17-20 October 2019. The aim is to create dialogue on the history of emotions and on modes of creating or maintaining emotional regimes and emotional communities. Papers from any field are invited, to examine different modes of emotional discipline. Please send abstract of up to 250 words, brief bio (up to 150 words), and any AV needs, by April 20, to

Joy Wiltenburg

April 30, 2019

A bit of book news:

William Reddy’s book, Navigation of Feeling, is being published in French by Les Presses du Reel, Dijon: La traverse des sentiments: un cadre pour l’histoire des emotions (1700-1850).

 Luke Fernandez and Susan Matt, Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid; changing feelings about technology, from the telegraph to twitter is officially out May 1, from Harvard University Press

Jeffrey Auerbach, Imperial Boredom: monotony and the British Empire,  has just been published by Oxford University Press. Here is a summary from the BBC History Magazine:

April 10, 2019: Sixteenth Century Studies Conference

Training the Emotions in Early Modern Europe

Organizer: Joy Wiltenburg, Rowan University

For a panel or panels at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in St. Louis, MO, 17-20 October 2019. The aim is to create dialogue on the history of emotions and on modes of creating or maintaining emotional regimes and emotional communities. Papers from any field are invited, to examine different modes of emotional discipline. Please send abstract of up to 250 words, brief bio (up to 150 words), and any AV needs, by April 20, to

Joy Wiltenburg​

Blog post and recordings from BA Event on ‘Subjectivity, Self-Narratives and the History of Emotions’

For all those who are interested, there is now a blog post review of the Masterclasses at the British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Event on ‘Subjectivity, Self-Narratives and the History of Emotions’ that took place at the University of Sussex in January 2019.

There are also recordings of some of the keynotes from the international symposium on this theme, including talks from Lyndal Roper, William Reddy, Ute Frevert, Penny Summerfield, Tim Hitchcock, Rhodri Hayward, and Claire Langhamer. These can be viewed here –

Many thanks to all those who participated in the BA Rising Stars Masterclasses and Symposium on Subjectivity, Self-Narratives and the History of Emotions. If anyone would like to get in touch with me regarding being involved in future events on this theme, please email me at

April 4, 2019

The Biennial International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE) Meeting is one of the biggest events in the emotion science calendar. We are thrilled to announce that the upcoming meeting will feature an Emotion Development Preconference on July 10th, 2019:


In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of ISRE, this preconference will bring together people from different countries and disciplines to consider how the developing child and adolescent learn how to value (or feel about) aspects of their environment. Our goal is to provide a multi-disciplinary perspective of how individuals and societies learn to value – in short, how and why emotions develop.



We will also provide time for poster and/or 5-minute flash talk sessions. Researchers across a variety of disciplines (psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, history, primatology, education…) and career stages to attend and present their empirical or theoretical research on any topic related to emotion development.

Those interested are encouraged to submit the following:
• a title
• all authors (identifying the presenting author) and corresponding affiliations
• an abstract of no more than 250 words

• whether your abstract should be considered for a poster, flash talk, or both.

For full consideration, please submit your abstract by April 14th at midnight (last time zone on earth) to with the email heading, “ISRE pre-conference abstract submission”.

March 15, 2019

From Susanne Kassung and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development:

On behalf of Ute Frevert we are pleased to announce the program of our Colloquium for the summer term of 2019 at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in the Department of History of Emotions.

The series will start on April 16, 2019 at 5 p.m. with a lecture by Matt Lenoe (University of Chicago) to the topic “Emotional Regimes and Refuges in the Great Patriotic War: The Case of Red Army Soldiers” at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin).
The individual abstracts will be sent to you in advance. We look forward to welcoming you to the talks.

February 26, 2019

We are pleased to announce an agreement with De Gruyter, publishers, in Berlin, to publish a conference volume, drawn from the accepted papers by a Conference editor, and subject of course to normal referee evaluations. De Gruyter’s editor is eager to advance their work in the history of emotion, and the Conference itself will obviously be enhanced by this arrangement.

January 15, 2019

Approaches and their Pleasures

by Barbara H. Rosenwein

In our recent book, What Is the History of Emotions? (Polity Press, 2018), Riccardo Cristiani and I talk about a number of approaches that historians have used and are more recently elaborating to study the history of emotions. We start with emotionology, move on to emotional regimes, emotional communities, and the study of rituals and performances. We continue with the recent emphasis on the body as it expresses emotions intentionally or unintentionally.

It was our hope in writing this book to introduce a new generation of historians to this exciting field. By applying all the approaches to one common text—the Declaration of Independence of the United States–we demonstrated the different ways in which historians of emotions work, and we warned against too quickly bundling all the approaches together, as if they were perfectly compatible.

More recently, in the course of researching and writing my next book, Anger: The Virtuous Vice (Yale University Press, forthcoming in 2020), I realized that, while the approaches do not work together unproblematically when looking at one document or one emotional community, they complement each other when dealing with a single emotion like anger. There the many different approaches allow the researcher to see facets that a single approach would likely miss.

For example, Carol Z. Stearns and Peter N. Stearns had already used the methods called for by emotionology to study the history of anger in the United States (Anger: The Struggle for Emotional Control in America’s History [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1986]). That made an excellent starting point for my chapter on the celebration of anger among some groups in America today, forming a counterpoint to the general direction of “anger control” outlined by the Stearnses. William M. Reddy’s idea of emotional regimes was useful as well, since the current celebration derives in large measure straight from the top, from President Donald Trump himself.

At the same time, my own approach—looking at particular emotional communities—was essential to see that (for example) even when anger is celebrated, the exclusionist and fearful anger of the alt-right today, so fixated on the mantra “They will not replace us,” is quite different from the muted and mournful anger of the Black Lives Matter movement. Indeed, while the alt-right’s emotional stance excludes others, the Black Lives Matter movement is inclusionary. When Alicia Garza learned that George Zimmerman had been acquitted of the murder of young Trayvon Martin, it was her tweet, “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter,” that inspired the hashtag. The alt-right and Black Lives Matter movements may thus be seen as different emotional communities, even though superficially they seem similar because both use the word anger to express their feelings.

Among historians of emotions, an apparent rift has developed between those who emphasize words in their methodologies, and those who stress the body. Emotionology looks at advice books; emotional regimes and communities rely above all on utterances and texts. Even so, however, the gestures of the body and ideas about how the body works are everywhere mingled with words. Consider the recent Commonwealth Club event at which Garza interviewed Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018). As Traister made her points, she punctuated them with gestures of her right arm, her hand often closed in a fist. When she explained how anger became the organizing principle of her book, she said that “it was like I couldn’t think clearly. […] It’s like the anger was clouding my brain.” At this point, she put her hand up to her head, shielding her eyes. She continued, “It was like there was a bubbling, boiling,” and her hand went to the top of her head, as if the steam of her anger might blow right out of it. Here we see not only how her body had become a metaphor for the crucible of her creative anger but also how it served as the instrument with which she relived the moment of her original feelings.

Traister was drawing upon theories of emotions to describe her physical sensations. Already in the third century, Galen had talked about anger as “a kind of boiling.” But he put its origin and heat in the heart. The brain played a secondary role for him. A thousand years later, however, Bartholomaeus of Salerno was asserting that anger began in the brain, though (he opined) it was executed in the heart. In today’s neuroscientific theories, the brain holds center stage as the generator and regulator of the emotions, while the heart plays only a bit part. Traister’s imagery, her hand pressing down on the top of her head, combined the old and the new. It suggests yet another approach that historians of emotions should willingly draw on: the metaphors that theories provide for both utterances and bodies.

January 8, 2019

Controverses sur les émotions–Latest issue of Sensibilités reception at Reid Hall, Paris, 14 Jan 7pm


Présentation et discussion exceptionnelle autour du numéro 5 de la revue SENSIBILITÉS. Histoire, critique, et sciences sociales.

En présence des coordinateurs: Quentin Deluermoz, Thomas Dodman, et Hervé Mazurel

Et avec: Jean-Jacques Courtine, Arlette Farge, et Dominique Memmi.

Reid Hall, 14 janvier 2019, 19.00.

December 4, 2018

Brief report on the History of Emotions Symposium at the University of Helsinki, 7-8 November, 2018, by William M. Reddy:

On November 7 and 8, I was present in Helsinki for a History of Emotions Symposium co-sponsored by the Center of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires, University of Helsinki, the Academy of Finland, and Aalto University. The program is here: . The two main organizers were Ancient Near Eastern specialist Saana Svärd of the University of Helsinki and neuroscientist Mikko Sams of Aalto University. The symposium was held to introduce a project by the above-mentioned Center of Excellence to make a systematic study of emotional expression in cuneiform texts in the Akkadian language.

In two days, we made a rapid review of research trends in related fields, ending with a paper introducing the Akkadian Emotions project. Heini Saarimäki of Aalto University gave an overview of neuroscientific research on emotions, including efforts to use brain imaging to understand both narratives and conversations (rather than just static images or printed words). Very interesting work along these lines is currently under way in Aalto. There were papers by Krista Lagus and Jussi Pakkasvirta (both of Helsinki University) on the use of emotional expressions in present-day Finnish social media. Ville Vuolanto (Tampere University) and Andrew Crislip (Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Helsinki) gave papers on emotions during the Roman period. Crislip’s paper, which focused on Christian emotions prior to the fourth century CE was particularly informative to me, making clear how much of a break was represented by the fourth-century Fathers such as Jerome and Augustine. Prior to 350 CE, Stoic norms and even the idea that Christians should be happy were commonly embraced in Christian writings.

Ulrike Steinert of Gutenberg University, Mainz, provided a fascinating introduction to ancient Mesopotamian ideas of selfhood. Finally, the Helsinki team of Tero Alstola, Heidi Jauhiainen, Aleksi Sahala, and Krister Lindén introduced us to the Akkadian Emotions project, which aims at working out semantic fields for several dozen key Akkadian words.

The day following the symposium, I was very fortunate to be invited by Mikko Sams to his lab at Aalto University, where I had conversations with several of his graduate students and postdocs about their projects. Sams and his associates are acutely aware of the potential impact of historical and cultural variation on participants’ responses to different test designs, and thus on the historical contingency of imaging results. Sams believes neuroscientists should be listening carefully to anthropologists and historians as a result. I was impressed by the care and effort which a well executed imaging study necessarily entails; as with a dissertation in history, there is, after a lot of work, some things that are sure and a larger cloud of uncertainties and educated guess work.

November 28, 2018

Call for Papers deadline for the Second Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Emotions had been extended to Monday, December 10, 2018. Please check the SHE website for more details:

November 20, 2018

History of Psychology invites submissions for a special issue on the history of emotions in the modern period.

The relatively new specialization of the history of the emotions has revealed that emotion, felt experience, and expression have played a key role in culture, society, and politics. In the history of science, however, interest in the emotions has been more muted. This special issue will focus on the exploration of emotion theory and practice in the human sciences in the modern period – roughly from the late 18thcentury to today.

This special issue will address the following themes, among others. Was there a particular historical moment in which interest in emotions in the sciences, broadly construed, increased? While some historians situate heightened study of the emotions in the sciences in the 1960s, others point to a surge in interest in emotions after World War II. But we can also go back to William James’s 1884 influential theory of emotion that stimulated intense debate; or to the 1910s, when Walter Cannon experimented on the physiological concomitants of emotion; or to the early 1920s, when unorthodox psychoanalysts Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank raised emotional understanding to a central place in psychoanalysis. More recently, studies in the new discipline of social neuroscience have contributed to the ever-growing literature on emotion and the brain.

Can we discover the roots of the academy’s recent turn to the emotions in older traditions that have not yet received their due? Might historical investigations shed light on contemporary debates on emotion including the existence, or not, of a set of universal, basic emotions, or whether emotion is primarily a bodily affect or a cognitive response?

As the study of emotion has not been confined to any one discipline, we welcome submissions on the history of psychology, psychotherapy, neuroscience, psychophysiology, social work or other relevant fields.

The submission deadline is March 1, 2019.

The main text of each manuscript, exclusive of figures, tables, references, or appendices, should not exceed 35 double-spaced pages (approximately 7,500 words). Initial inquiries regarding the special issue may be sent to the guest editor, Susan Lanzoni <>or the regular editor, Nadine Weidman <>.

Papers should be submitted through the History of Psychology Manuscript Submission Portal with a cover letter indicating that the paper is to be considered for the special issue. Please see the Instructions to Authors information located on the History of Psychology website.


November 20, 2018

History of Experience: Theories, Methodologies, and Concepts

March 4 – 5, 2019
Tampere University, Finland

Please download the CFP of the first open international conference of HEX in PDF format here.

The concept of experience has played a major role in many classic works of history, as those of R.G. Collingwood and E.P. Thompson. Studying the experiences of people whose voice was often silenced became an empowering element in the new social history and in the history from below. This enterprise became heavily criticized in the post-structuralist thinking. Experience as simple or essentialist evidence in explaining history was challenged by many influential historians like Joan W. Scott. In Germany, on the other hand, the history of experiences (Erfahrungsgeschichte) answered the challenge of the cultural turn by taking Peter Berger’s and Thomas Luckmann’s sociology of knowledge (1966) as its point of departure in explaining experiences as social and linguistic constructions. Lately, studies in the history of emotions have made important contributions to enrich historical scholarship, mostly in a constructionist fashion.

The Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences (HEX), hosted by Tampere University, is seeking new ways to study experiences and their role in explaining history. HEX studies experiences as lived realities and focuses on three wide-ranging cultural and societal phenomena: lived religion, lived nation, and lived welfare state. HEX covers a great variety of historical approaches, both old and new, in studying experiences as a crucial element of social reality including structures, agency, identities, and emotions. We ask how people make their lives – and their society and history – through experiences. We are seeking for new insights and methodologies to the past. We are open to all ideas from all disciplines which enrich historical analysis of experience – and we aim to show how the history of experiences can also contribute to other disciplines.

The first open international conference of HEX will be held on March 4–5, 2019, in Tampere, Finland. The theme of the conference is History of Experience: Theories, Methodologies, and Concepts. Our keynote speakers are Professor Laura Lee Downs (European University Institute, Florence) and Professor Jan Plamper (Goldsmiths, University of London).

Professor Laura Lee Downs’ research interests cover modern Europe, gender history, history and social theory, and comparative labour history, among others. She is the founder and director of the EUI Gender project as well as the European research network The Quest for Welfare and Democracy. Her publications include the widely read Writing Gender History (2nd edition Bloomsbury 2010) and other books and articles on labour history, theories and methodologies of gender history and the history of childhood.

Professor Jan Plamper is a specialist on the history of emotions and experience in the 19th and 20th century Europe with a focus on Russian and Soviet history. His major publications are The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (Yale University Press, 2012) and The History of Emotions: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2015, German original 2012). He is currently studying the history of migration in post-1945 Germany and the experience of fear among Russian soldiers of the First World War.

We call for papers discussing topics such as:
• What is (historical) experience and how to study it?
• What are the theoretical frameworks for the history of experiences?
• What kind of methodologies and concepts it employs?
• How does the history of experience contribute to historical research at large?

Thus, the papers should focus on the theoretical, methodological, and conceptual dimensions of experience or fruitful cases illuminating these aspects. The discussion is not limited to any specific historical period or geographical area.

Please submit abstracts (approx. 250 words) for 20 minute paper presentations latest by December 20 at the website Notifications of acceptance will be send by January 10, 2019. HEX will cover accommodation costs for the accepted participants.

For further details on HEX and the conference, please see


November 19, 2018

Conference on Emotions and Emotion Concepts

in Bern, 29th November – 1st December 2018

It is our pleasure to announce a three-day conference on Emotions and Emotion Concepts which will take place on Thursday, 29th November until Saturday, 1st December, 2018 at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

There is no registration fee. Everybody is welcome to attend. Please drop us a quick email if you wish to join us for this conference.

For a full conference program as well as further information about the conference, please visit the conference website:

Keynote Speakers:

Michael Brady (University of Glasgow)
Olga Pollatos (University of Ulm)
Jesse Prinz (City University New York)
Katja Schlegel (University of Bern)
Fabrice Teroni (University of Geneva)

Christine Wilson-Mendenhall (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This workshop is financed by the Swiss National Foundation (IZSEZ0_183757).


Rodrigo Díaz (University of Bern)

Kevin Reuter (University of Bern)


November 14, 2018

International Journal of Fear Studies
Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Approaches

Call for Papers and Creative Submissions:

Dr. R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D., founder/editor of IJFS, has set the wheels in motion for a first edition of an on-line journal that promotes academic scholarship, professional explorations and popular educational and creative works for a variety of serious readers interested in fresh thinking and ideas about the nature and role of fear in societies. Articles and creative submissions may include large technical and philosophical works, research studies and results, essays, opinions, poetry and other art, etc.

There is also going to be space to share the kinds of work (theoretical or practical, complete or incomplete) you are doing on fear that deserves international recognition. The primary criteria is that works have an interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary approach, while at the same time are progressive and open-minded works that instigate insight, healing, liberation, creative thinking, critique, and synthesis. We simply require a new journal format like IJFS because there is no other place to focus on fear as a subject matter in any journal to date.

All authors retain their own copyright of their works published in IJFS. The journal will consider re-published submissions as long as copyright approval has been made. Submissions Due January 20, 2019 for the first volume edition of IFJS. Feel free to send the editor ( a proposal of what you would like to submit ahead of time if you want feedback first. Otherwise, send your completed work and it will go out for peer-review and final editing by Dr. Fisher. Citations of references is essential in papers and should follow a standard style format (e.g., Chicago, APA, Harvard, etc.) in most cases, but also feel free to be creative in style format as well but provide a rationale for any such deviations from standard formats. There is no word-length requirements of submissions. If all goes well the first journal will be published in Spring 2019. There’ll likely be two issues/year.

If you would like to be on the Editorial Board (and/or be a Reviewer for IFJS) make your interest known to Dr. Fisher as soon as possible. We look forward to your participation to make this journal a success. The first edition will be available in an open-access pdf format and housed on the Fearlessness Movement ning (hosted by R. M. Fisher) and eventually, IFJS will be archived in a university library digital repository with open-access and full linking to academic search engines.

If you would like to gift a donation to IFJS, please contact R. M. Fisher. Your support is greatly appreciated.


November 7, 2018

Call for Papers for ‘Emotions in Conflict’, the Second Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Emotions

Dates: 2‒4 October 2019
Venue: University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Committee: David Dean, Kathryn Prince, Piroska Nagy
Call for Papers Deadline: 1 December 2018
Enquiries/Submission of Proposals:

Conflict (whether interpersonal, intercultural, interspecies or individual) can lead to devastating consequences, but it is also an important catalyst for creativity and an indicator of social change. The emotions associated with conflict can be as pleasurable as the relish of dramatic tension or as devastating as a complete physical and mental collapse of the self.

We invite participants to consider the emotions associated with conflict, to examine how various cultures have understood the nexus of emotions and conflict, and to explore conflicting emotions in any context. Approaches from all disciplines broadly related to the History of Emotions are welcome. Given uOttawa’s bilingual mission, participation in French is welcome and encouraged. A version of the call for papers is also available en français. The deadline is 1 December 2018 to submit proposals (in English or French) for individual papers, panels, and creative presentations (200–300 words with a short biographical statement) to the conference organisers David Dean, Kathryn Prince and Piroska Nagy at the conference address:

The conference will take place at uOttawa, located downtown near Ottawa’s many galleries and museums, the Rideau Canal, and other attractions, including a shuttle to see the autumn colours in Gatineau Park.

Download CFP flyer (ENG)

Download CFP flyer (FR)

Key Dates
  • 1 December 2018: Deadline for proposals
  • 15 January 2019: Decisions announced about proposals, along with information about hotel options and registration.
Conference Committee
  • David Dean, Director, Centre for Public History, Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Kathryn Prince, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa
  • Piroska Nagy, Professor of Medieval History, Université du Québec à Montréal


November 6, 2018

Do We Know What Work Feels Like?

Affective Forecasting in Performance Contexts

Seth Kaplan

George Mason University

Department of Psychology

I study the subjective experience of work with a focus on the affective/ emotional parts of that experience. One topic of interest concerns how affect/emotions impact workplace behavior, including performance of job activities (i.e., job performance). Research from our field shows that generalized affect and discrete emotions have statistically significant, but generally modest relationships, with various aspects of job performance such as task performance, counterproductive work behaviors, and safety behaviors.1

Perhaps explaining these modest effect sizes, recent research from social psychology suggests that the impact of affective states on behavior is rarely direct. Rather, affect and emotion function in a more distal and temporally delayed manner.2 That is, forecasts about prospective states (i.e., affective forecasts) guide subsequent action.

Juxtaposed with this research are other findings documenting frequent biases and inaccuracies in these emotional forecasts. When asked how we would feel if diagnosed with a serious illness, denied tenure, going on a vacation, or purchasing a desired item, there is a tendency to overpredict the intensity and duration of emotional responses. 3

Thanks to a generous award from the US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, colleagues Jill Bradley-Geist and Greg Ruark, several graduate students, and I conducted two field studies examining the accuracy and performance implications of affective forecasts in performance/work contexts. The basic study design was straightforward. First, individuals were asked to think of a series of work activities in which they would be participating during the following work week. Using an online survey, they provided descriptions of those activities along with ratings of how they would feel while engaging in the activities. They did so in reference to three negatively valenced states (anger/annoyance, anxiety/worry, and tiredness/fatigue) and two positively affect states (happiness/pleasure and relaxation/comfort). Then, immediately after engaging in each activity, participants reported their “felt” or experienced emotions during the activity. They also made several other ratings, such as perceived performance on the activity, the amount of interaction during the activity, and others.

The two studies provided similar conclusions. First, unlike most previous findings, affective forecasts were generally accurate here. Individuals were fairly accurate in predicting how they would feel while engaged in work activities. Worth noting is that some scholars suggest that the discrepancies found in most relevant research largely reflect methodological artifacts, not substantive biases/errors. Indeed, when people are asked how they will feel about a specific event and then report in reference to that specific event (versus when later asked to report how they feel in general, without reference to that event), accuracy is much higher – as was the case here.4

Second, both studies showed that errors of prediction were about equally as likely to reflect “feeling better” than expected as to reflect “feeling worse” than expected. That is, there was not a systematic tendency to forecast work as being more aversive or more enjoyable than it later turned out to be. There were errors in both directions, but they were about equal in frequency and magnitude.

Finally, with respect to performance, the two studies revealed that feeling “better” than predicted (higher scores on the positively valenced, and lower scores on the negatively valenced, emotions – relative to predicted ones) were associated with better self-rated performance.

We have presented this work at a conference and it is now under review at a journal. In the coming months, we are extending this research into specific job contexts, including police work. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts.

*This research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Institute Grant #: VV911NF-16-1-0513. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARI or the government.


  1. Kaplan, S., Bradley, J.C., Luchman, J.N., & Haynes, D. (2009). On the role of positive

and negative affectivity in job performance: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 162-176.

  1. DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Chester, D. S., & Bushman, B. J. (2016). How often does

currently felt emotion predict social behavior and judgment? A meta-analytic test of two   theories. Emotion Review8, 136-143.

  1. Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003). Affective forecasting. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology35, 345-411.
  2. Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., Kaplan, R. L., & Safer, M. A. (2012). Accuracy and artifact:

Reexamining the intensity bias in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social   Psychology103, 584-605.


October 16, 2018

Subjectivity, Self-Narratives and the History of Emotions Masterclass

A British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Event

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, 16-18 January 2019

Registration at:


October 12, 2018

History of Psychology invites submissions for a special issue on the history of emotions in the modern period.

The relatively new specialization of the history of the emotions has revealed that emotion, felt experience, and expression have played a key role in culture, society, and politics. In the history of science, however, interest in the emotions has been more muted. This special issue will focus on the exploration of emotion theory and practice in the human sciences in the modern period – roughly from the late 18thcentury to today.

This special issue will address the following themes, among others. Was there a particular historical moment in which interest in emotions in the sciences, broadly construed, increased? While some historians situate heightened study of the emotions in the sciences in the 1960s, others point to a surge in interest in emotions after World War II. But we can also go back to William James’s 1884 influential theory of emotion that stimulated intense debate; or to the 1910s, when Walter Cannon experimented on the physiological concomitants of emotion; or to the early 1920s, when unorthodox psychoanalysts Sandor Ferenczi and Otto Rank raised emotional understanding to a central place in psychoanalysis. More recently, studies in the new discipline of social neuroscience have contributed to the ever-growing literature on emotion and the brain.

Can we discover the roots of the academy’s recent turn to the emotions in older traditions that have not yet received their due? Might historical investigations shed light on contemporary debates on emotion including the existence, or not, of a set of universal, basic emotions, or whether emotion is primarily a bodily affect or a cognitive response?

As the study of emotion has not been confined to any one discipline, we welcome submissions on the history of psychology, psychotherapy, neuroscience, psychophysiology, social work or other relevant fields.

The submission deadline is March 1, 2019.

The main text of each manuscript, exclusive of figures, tables, references, or appendices, should not exceed 35 double-spaced pages (approximately 7,500 words). Initial inquiries regarding the special issue may be sent to the guest editor, Susan Lanzoni <>or the regular editor, Nadine Weidman <>.

Papers should be submitted through the History of Psychology Manuscript Submission Portal with a cover letter indicating that the paper is to be considered for the special issue. Please see the Instructions to Authors information located on the History of Psychology website.


October 2, 2018

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) was founded in 2011. Its mission is to provide leadership in worldwide humanities research into how societies have understood, experienced, expressed and performed emotions, and how this long history impacts on the modern world. CHE pursues these core questions within four main research programs: Meanings, Change, Performance and Shaping the Modern. The Centre’s initial focus was mainly on later medieval and early modern Europe, 1100–1800. It has since extended its enquiries to earlier and later historical periods, and to a global geographical range.

CHE’s national hub is at The University of Western Australia (UWA), with nodes at the Universities of Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Its Co-Directors are Professors Andrew Lynch and Susan Broomhall (UWA). Several new Australian nodes are in the process of affiliation, bringing further strengths, as the Centre enters a new phase of its existence. CHE actively welcomes involvement from new emotions researchers, together with its many former and existing Associate Investigators. It provides a stimulating environment and specialist training for postgraduates and early career researchers as part of its mission to foster the next generation of humanities researchers in Australia.

CHE has also worked closely with Partner Investigators from major institutions in the UK, Europe and Canada: Queen Mary University of London, the University of Southampton and Durham University (UK); Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and Umeå University (Sweden), Université du Québec à Montréal and Western University (Canada). It has collaborated in organising academic events in Germany, Italy, Sweden, New Zealand, the UK, China, the USA, South Africa and Canada, and continues to welcome visiting emotions scholars from around the world.

CHE has created and fostered links between Australian humanities researchers and a broad set of industry partners, including performing arts institutions, art galleries and media organisations. It has developed innovative ways to relate and connect different research methods, and to maximise fruitful synergies between different disciplines. Examples of CHE’s work with industry include the exhibition Love: Art of Emotion 1400–1800 with the National Gallery of Victoria, the baroque pastiche opera Voyage to the Moon with Musica Viva and Victorian Opera, and historically informed performances at the New Fortune Theatre (UWA). The short video Old Emotions on the New Fortune Stage can be viewed here.

CHE also presents highly popular education and public outreach activities – lectures, workshops, seminars, podcasts, blogs, and school workshops. Through them we recover the history of emotions, and share it with the wider public, including high school students and teachers, to enrich personal lives and revitalise culture. Teacher Education Packs on the history of emotions for school students at all levels are publicly available. CHE also undertakes research on audience emotions through musical, operatic and theatrical events that utilise our understandings of historically informed performance practices from the past. A short video of CHE’s Opera Highlights can be viewed here. CHE research initiated and informed the prize-winning Zest Festival in the remote Western Australian town of Kalbarri – the site of the shipwreck of a Dutch VOC trading vessel, the Zuytdorp, in 1712 – connecting the local community with its Indigenous and European emotional histories. The short video Emotions and the Zest Festival can be viewed here.

In 2016, the Centre founded the international Society for the History of Emotions (SHE). SHE’s biannual refereed journal, Emotions: History, Culture, Society (EHCS), now published by Brill, has become a venue for the latest international multidisciplinary research. EHCS is dedicated to understanding the emotions as culturally and temporally situated phenomena, and to exploring the role of emotion in shaping human experience and action by individuals, groups, societies and cultures. It welcomes theoretically informed work from a range of historical, cultural and social domains. It aims to illuminate (1) the ways emotion is conceptualised and understood in different temporal or cultural settings, from antiquity to the present, and across the globe; (2) the impact of emotion on human action and in processes of change; and (3) the influence of emotional legacies from the past on current social, cultural and political practices.

The North American Chapter on the History of Emotion (NACHE), a subsidiary chapter of SHE, was launched in September 2018. Individual financial members of NACHE are considered to be members of SHE, and can subscribe to the EHCS journal for 2018 at this link. Institutions can subscribe to the journal via the Brill website.

The Society for the History of Emotions also runs its own major conferences, the next in Ottawa from 2–4 October 2019, and is associated with the continuing seminar series ‘Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World’, whose forthcoming meeting is in Malta in February 2019.

The ARC Centre for the History of Emotions looks forward to extending its collaborative reach and activities in the coming years. Intending visitors are invited to contact either of the CHE Co-Directors or For further information about CHE please visit its website, or email:


September 28, 2018

Announcement and program for the international workshop on “The Multifaceted Relationship between Fear and Technology” our colleague Bettina Hitzer has organized with Alexander Gall (Munich), Martina Heßler (Hamburg), Karena Kalmbach (Eindhoven, NL), Anne Schmidt (MPI for Human Development, Berlin) and Andreas Spahn (Eindhoven, NL). It will take place from October 10 to 12, 2018, at our Institute in Berlin.

The workshop starts on October 10 at 6pm with a public keynote by Margaret Morris (University of Washington) on “Challenging Fears of Technology and Isolation”.

All relevant information on the registration procedure is also given in the program (p. 4). Program Multifaceted_Relationship


September 27, 2018

Announcement and Call for Abstracts

Conference on Emotions and Emotion Concepts

in Bern, 29th November – 1st December 2018

It is our pleasure to announce and invite submissions for a three-day conference on Emotions and Emotion concepts which will take place on Thursday, 29th November until Saturday, 1st December, 2018 at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Emotion concepts like happiness and fear are central to (a) communicate, understand and attribute emotions to ourselves and others, and (b) study emotions scientifically. Both philosophers and cognitive scientists rely on a mutual understanding of these concepts when conducting their research: Philosophers, on the one hand, need to make sure their conceptual analyses are informed by and in line with our common-sense understanding of emotion concepts. Cognitive scientists, on the other hand, rely on experimental subjects’ self-report of their emotions when trying to establish emotional correlates and effects in the mind and the body. However, it is not clear how the folk understanding of emotions and the scientific operationalization of emotion terms relate or should relate to each other.

The goal of this conference is to bring together philosophers, linguists, psychologist, and neuroscientists to discuss and develop some avenues for successfully tackling issues regarding:

(1) the nature of emotion,
(2) the structure of emotion concepts,
(3) how folk understanding and scientific operationalization of emotion terms (should) relate to each other.

Call for Abstracts

We invite contributions addressing these and related questions for presentation at the conference. We also invite submissions featuring empirical work or planned experimental studies on emotion concepts. There will be talks by the keynote speakers as well as several selected speakers from the Call for Abstracts.

If you have any questions about the conference, please send and email to or (Attendance of the conference is free)

If you would like to present your work or ideas, please upload an abstract (max. 500 words) to our EasyChair website:

Keynote Speakers:

Michael Brady (University of Glasgow)
Olga Pollatos (University of Ulm)
Jesse Prinz (City University New York)
Cristina Soriano (University of Geneva)
Fabrice Teroni (University of Geneva)

Christine Wilson-Mendenhall (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Important Dates

Abstracts Submission Deadline: 14th October 2018
Notification of Acceptance:  17th October 2018
Conference Dates   29th November – 1st December 2018

This workshop is financed by the Swiss National Foundation (IZSEZ0_183757).


Rodrigo Díaz (University of Bern)

Kevin Reuter (University of Bern)


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