The History of Emotions, Late Modern Europe

History 280B

Spring 2016
Section: 
2
Instructor: 
Location: 
3205 DWINELLE
Day & Time: 
Th 1000-1200
CCN: 
39777
Units: 
4

The history of emotions has become a trend in recent years. What stands behind it?  This course pursues two parallel agendas.  One, it introduces students to recent literature and methodologies, surveying some of the most widely cited names in the field, including Lucien Febvre, Barbara Rosenwein, and William Reddy. How have historians approached “the emotions”, and what kinds of historical questions have they sought to answer using this category? Two, it delves more deeply into three core affects— sympathy, fear, and melancholy—and the intellectual and cultural concepts attached to them, to see how they may have helped organize social and political behavior. Clustering secondary sources around each of these concepts allows us to trace their conceptual development over time. Here, too, we investigate the broader historical questions that historians have sought to answer using either “sympathy”, “fear”, and “melancholy” or their cognates as tools of analysis.  The course spans the 18th century through early 20th century.