Understanding affect in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

This collection of essays offers a major reassessment of the meaning and significance of emotional experience in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Recent scholarship on early modern emotion has relied on a medical-historical approach, resulting in a picture of emotional experience that stresses the dominance of the material, humoral body. The Renaissance of Emotion seeks to redress this balance by examining the ways in which early modern texts explore emotional experience from perspectives other than humoral medicine.

The chapters in the book seek to demonstrate how open, creative and agency-ridden the experience and interpretation of emotion could be. Taken individually, the chapters offer much-needed investigations into previously overlooked areas of emotional experience and signification; taken together, they offer a thorough re-evaluation of the cultural priorities and phenomenological principles that shaped the understanding of the emotive self in the early modern period. The Renaissance of Emotion will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, the history of emotion, theatre and cultural history, and the history of ideas.

Author: Rob Boddice

The history of emotions is the first accessible textbook on the theories, methods, achievements, and problems in this burgeoning field of historical inquiry. Historians of emotion borrow heavily from the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, and stake out a claim that emotions have a past and change over time. This book introduces students and professional historians to the main areas of concern in the history of emotions, discussing how the emotions intersect with other lines of historical research relating to power, practice, society and morality. Providing a narrative of historical emotions concepts, the book is the go-to handbook for understanding the problems of interpreting historical experience, collating and evaluating all the principal methodological tools generated and used by historians of emotion. It also lays out an historiographical map of emotions history research in the past and present, and sets the agenda for the future of the history of emotions. Chiefly centring on the rapprochement of the humanities and the neurosciences, the book proposes a way forward in which disciplinary lines become blurred. Addressing criticism from both within and without the discipline of history, The history of emotions offers a rigorous defence of this new approach, demonstrating its potential to lie at the centre of historiographical practice, as well as the importance of this kind of historical work for our general understanding of the human brain and the meaning of human experience.

Rob Boddice

things are . It enables us to ask ‘why?’ and ‘for how long?’ It permits us to posit other ways for things to be. Enter the history of emotions and a curious challenge. In general, and with some notable exceptions, historians have steered clear of historicising the human being itself. 1 Humans have been actors in shifting historical scenery, and it has sufficed to analyse that scenery and the drama within it. This has been at odds with the aforementioned tendency to reject what is . If historians have tended to reject transhistorical universals, they

in The history of emotions
Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida

For the last three decades or so, literary studies, especially those dealing with premodern texts, have been dominated by the New Historicist paradigm. This book is a collection of essays explores medieval and early modern Troilus-texts from Chaucer to Shakespeare. The contributions show how medieval and early modern fictions of Troy use love and other emotions as a means of approaching the problem of tradition. The book argues that by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It is a spectacle of which tells something about the play but also about the relation between anticipatory emotion and temporality. The sense of multiple literary futures is shaped by Shakespeare's Chaucer, and in particular by Troilus and Criseyde. The book argues that the play's attempted violence upon a prototypical form of historical time is in part an attack on the literary narratives. Criseyde's beauty is described many times. The characters' predilection for sententiousness unfolds gradually. Through Criseyde, Chaucer's Poet displaces authorial humility as arrogance. The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The poem appears to be linking an awareness of history and its continuing influence and impact on the present to hermeneutical acts conspicuously gendered female. The main late medieval Troy tradition does two things: it represents ferocious military combat, and also practises ferocious literary combat against other, competing traditions of Troy.

The crucial year
David Wallace

The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga is a perfect vehicle for tracing the history of the emotions, in that it offers an unparalleled darkening of mood over time. This saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The conceit of the work, as laid out in its prose prologue, is that

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Matt Perry

2 Mutinous emotion The emotions of mutineers contributed to their subjectivity ‘from the inside out’, being their inner responses to the world around them, forming a circuit with their sensory experience and shaping the way that they interacted with their environment.1 The passage of time and the selection of words mediated the raw emotion of the mutiny, rendering historical analysis a fragile business. The difficulties of reading emotions from their retrospective literary expression notwithstanding, certain emotions emerge during the process of revolt with

in Mutinous memories
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Rob Boddice

place within the corpus of masculinity studies, for the historian is not only trying to get at what the actors thought, but also at the structural element that the actors could not necessarily see. An essential part of such an approach is the acknowledgement that masculinity is not a fixed category, but a fluid one. Despite this, we should reserve a degree of circumspection with regard to the word ‘emotion’. Why? Some historians of emotion, among them Nicole Eustace and Barbara Rosenwein, have no problem in using the word ‘emotion’ as a master category. They

in The history of emotions
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Rob Boddice

History departments around the world appear to have taken the ‘emotional turn’. 1 In the last decade, an astonishing number of books and articles, as well as centres for research, have appeared specifically to address emotions in history. 2 There are already a number of theoretical and methodological tools, generated by historians, that address what emotions are and what historians should do with them. Historians of emotions have engaged with – sometimes borrowing, sometimes abusing – other disciplines, most notably anthropology and the

in The history of emotions
Jonathan Frome

This article addresses two questions about artworks. First, why do we emotionally respond to characters and stories that we believe are fictional? Second, why are some media better than others at generating specific types of emotions? I answer these questions using psychological research that suggests our minds are not unified, but are comprised of numerous subsystems that respond differently to various aspects of artworks. I then propose a framework to help us understand how films, videogames, and literature interact with our minds in different ways, which explains why they tend to excel at generating different types of emotions.

Film Studies
Rob Boddice

Historical narratives, if we consider the sweep of historiography from, say, Ranke to Richard Evans, have tended to rely on a stark opposition when dealing with public matters. The remit of history was originally to document the dynamics of public life, and public life was the sphere of reason. There was no place for emotion, which derailed politics. Where it cropped up it was easily identifiable as an aberration: an unwelcome diversion that usually plunged polities into catastrophe. Strictly speaking, historical practice was bound up, for most of the

in The history of emotions