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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.

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Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

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 emotions history. While Febvre made a general plea for the historical

in The houses of history
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Rob Boddice

Over the course of this book I have tried to gauge from where the history of emotions came, why it is important and where we are now. In various ways, especially with reference to the turn to the neurosciences, genetics and to the question of morality, I have tried to suggest the potential routes for our historiographical future. By way of conclusion I want to re-state what is at stake in the history of emotions, and to emphasise what must happen in the coming years if the approach (currently a plural here would be more appropriate) is to prove to be

in The history of emotions
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
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Rob Boddice

neurosciences, in the process of carving out a space in which the history of emotions can exist. At the heart of this process are a series of radical claims that this book aims both to describe and, in many ways, defend: 1) Emotions change over time: that is to say, emotions are as much the subject of historical enquiry as anything else; 2) Emotions are not merely the effect of historical circumstances, expressed in the aftermath of events, but are active causes of events and richly enhance historiographical theories of causation; 3) Emotions are at the centre of

in The history of emotions
Rob Boddice

Emotionology The beginning of a substantial historiography of the history of emotions can be dated to Peter and Carol Stearns’ 1985 article in the American Historical Review . 1 The history of emotions, from this point on, was clearly about emotions in society. While more recent innovations have shifted focus to the individual, and the biocultural production of emotions in the individual, by and large the discipline of history has provided insights that locate individuals in meaningful company. When the Stearns began their work, they saw a

in The history of emotions
Rob Boddice

and the cognitive in the word ‘sense’, suggests the rich possibilities in a study of the senses. Moreover, it suggests that the senses ought properly to be a part of the history of emotions. There have been significant inroads into the history of the senses, most of which connect to a history of the emotions, but seldom have historians of the emotions substantially noticed. In 1989, for example, David Howes made a strong case for the relationship of the senses to ‘affective mechanisms’ and demonstrated the extent to which certain senses, particularly the

in The history of emotions
Rob Boddice

affects are automatic. This kind of reasoning has made it into published works, threatening the very essence of what it is that the humanities, and the history of emotions in particular, do. When scholars in the humanities bow down before certain influences from neurobiology but do not have the requisite experience or knowledge to challenge them, we end up with throwaway analyses that beg more questions than they provide answers. 12 More profound, however, is the connection between Affect Theory and Paul Ekman. Ekman himself has written of the influence of

in The history of emotions
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Death, grief and bereavement in wartime Britain
Lucy Noakes

remember wars and on the impact this can have on their sense of self. From this work emerged a body of writing that has explicitly set out to explore a wartime history of emotions. This research has taken many different avenues. Some scholars have examined the history of what psychologists term ‘primary’ or ‘basic’ emotions in wartime: Jan Plamper, for example, traces the evolution of a language of fear among Russian soldiers, showing how fear was absent from soldiers’ descriptions of battle in 1812 but central to their stories of the First World War. Richard Bessel has

in Dying for the nation
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Beatriz Pichel

elaboration. Recent developments in the history of emotions have opened up the concept of experience, as Rob Boddice has convincingly argued. 60 While early theorisations highlighted the role of language in shaping the meaning and experience of emotions, Monique Scheer and others have demonstrated that not just language but also gestures, objects and spaces influence emotional lives. 61 A key breakthrough in this regard has been the understanding of emotions as practices; something that people do , rather than something that they have. 62 Experience, in this regard

in Picturing the Western Front