For 700 years, Geoffrey Chaucer has spoken to scholars and amateurs alike. How does his work speak to us in the twenty-first century? This volume provides a unique vantage point for responding to this question, furnished by the pioneering scholar of medieval literary studies, Stephanie Trigg: the symptomatic long history. While Trigg's signature methodological framework acts as a springboard for the vibrant conversation that characterises this collection, each chapter offers an inspiring extension of her scholarly insights. The varied perspectives of the outstanding contributors attest to the vibrancy and the advancement of debates in Chaucer studies: thus, formerly rigid demarcations surrounding medieval literary studies, particularly those concerned with Chaucer, yield in these essays to a fluid interplay between Chaucer within his medieval context; medievalism and ‘reception’; the rigours of scholarly research and the recognition of amateur engagement with the past; the significance of the history of emotions; and the relationship of textuality with subjectivity according to their social and ecological context. Each chapter produces a distinctive and often startling interpretation of Chaucer that broadens our understanding of the dynamic relationship between the medieval past and its ongoing re-evaluation. The inventive strategies and methodologies employed in this volume by leading thinkers in medieval literary criticism will stimulate exciting and timely insights for researchers and students of Chaucer, medievalism, medieval studies, and the history of emotions, especially those interested in the relationship between medieval literature, the intervening centuries and contemporary cultural change.
From the late twentieth century, historians have combined theoretical perspectives to tackle new topics or to revisit the old. One such amalgamation occurred in the history of emotions, in which historians have integrated ideas derived from psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and cultural studies.
The Dutch medievalist Johan Huizinga (writing in 1919), the sociologist Norbert Elias (1939) and the Annaliste Lucien Febvre (1941) are frequently discussed as founders of emotionshistory. While Febvre made a general plea for the historical
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
This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what
did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the
Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the
three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual
evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact
which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on
intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy
and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of
the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink,
excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the
soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the
Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in
works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a
frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy.
The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental
and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success
in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not
undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the
roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of
convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions
about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to
affect human bodies and health.
By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this
volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of
violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities
across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications
of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the
study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical
significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the
myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and
non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the
Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex
than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance.
Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale
violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum,
ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was
privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early
modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent
forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in
activities not officially classed as war.
conceptions of what constitutes pleasure and who is afforded well-being and happiness.
Positive emotions in the cognitive and social sciences
As is suggested by the rich interdisciplinary work arising in EmotionsHistory and Affect Studies, positive emotions have been the focus of important scholarly developments in the cognitive and social sciences. Psychology and the neurosciences, in particular, have been influenced by the new field of ‘positive psychology’.
The authors of the
, animations, puppets and literary pen-portraits, as
well as being brought to life in theatrical, televisual and cinematic
performances. This chapter explores what Chaucer’s ‘persone’,
and especially his face, has come to mean to post-medieval audiences, and analyses why it has been such a significant part of what
can be called his long ‘empathic afterlife’.
The emergence of the field of emotionshistory has opened
important inroads into understanding how affective experiences
can be treated as substantially historical phenomena, or at least
as experiences that are
Emotions (across Australia); the Hist-Ex (History and Philosophy of Experience) group, based at the Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales del CSIC, Madrid. Many of the field’s developments are documented by the project Les Émotions au Moyen Âge (EMMA), run between the Université d’Aix-Marseille and the Univeristé du Québec à Montréal. The first strictly historical journal focusing on emotions ( Emotions: History, Culture, Society ) has just been launched, with editorial input from across the world of expertise in the field.
3 J. Plamper, Geschichte und
in reason there is always already affect and experience. 32 Psychologists coined the word ‘cogmotion’, a portmanteau label combining cognition and emotion, to reflect new understandings of the role of affect in cognition. 33 The concept of reason thereby becomes decodable as an emotional prescription, expressed in a variety of ways over time, which tends to demarcate those who are powerful from those who are not, and often along gendered lines.
Emotionshistory has the potential, therefore, to shed light on the structural dynamics of gender relations as
Emotional inflammation, mental health and shame in Britain during the September crisis
Julie V. Gottlieb
Chamberlain and the discussion of these in Julie V. Gottlieb, ‘Guilty Women’, Foreign Policy and Appeasement in Inter-war Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
30 Peter N. Stearns, ‘Shame, and a Challenge for EmotionsHistory’, Emotion Review , 8:3 (2016), pp. 197–206.
31 Winston S. Churchill to Lord Moyne, 11 September 1938. Quoted in Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life (London, 1991), p. 595.
32 ‘Relief and Shame’, Liverpool Echo , 20 September 1938.
33 ‘Relief Mixed with Shame’, Western Morning News , 3 October 1938.
34 ‘How You Want