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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
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.

Affective piety in the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp
Series: Artes Liberales
Author: Lauren Mancia

Scholars of the Middle Ages have long taught that highly emotional Christian devotion, often called ‘affective piety’, originated in Europe after the twelfth century, and was primarily practised by late medieval communities of mendicants, lay people, and women. As the first study of affective piety in an eleventh-century monastic context, this book revises our understanding of affective spirituality’s origins, characteristics, and uses in medieval Christianity.

Emotional monasticism: Affective piety at the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp traces the early monastic 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 to 1078. The book examines John’s major work, the Confessio theologica; John’s early influences and educational background in Ravenna and Dijon; the emotion-filled devotional programme of Fécamp’s liturgical, manuscript, and intellectual culture, and its relation to the monastery’s efforts at reform; the cultivation of affective principles in the monastery’s work beyond the monastery’s walls; and John’s later medieval legacy at Fécamp, throughout Normandy, and beyond. Emotional monasticism will appeal to scholars of monasticism, of the history of emotion, and of medieval Christianity. The book exposes the early medieval monastic roots of later medieval affective piety, re-examines the importance of John of Fécamp’s prayers for the first time since his work was discovered, casts a new light on the devotional life of monks in medieval Europe before the twelfth century, and redefines how we should understand the history of Christianity.

Abstract only
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
The book and the household in late medieval England
Author: Myra Seaman

Objects of affection recovers the emotional attraction of the medieval book through an extended engagement with a single fifteenth-century literary collection known as Oxford, Bodleian Library Manuscript Ashmole 61. Exploring how the inhabitants of the book’s pages – human and non-human, tangible and intangible – collaborate with its readers then and now, this book addresses the manuscript’s material appeal in the ways it binds itself to different cultural, historical, and material environments. This new materialist manuscript study traces the affective literacy training that the book, produced by a single scribe, provided to a late medieval English household. Its diverse inhabitants are incorporated into the ecology of the book itself as it fashions spiritually generous and socially mindful household members – in the material world they generate and that guides their living, and in the social and spiritual desires that shape their influences in that world.

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
Abstract only
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

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

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

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