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Emotions in History – Lost and Found

By Ute frevert

Publication Year: 2011

Coming to terms with emotions and how they influence human behaviour, seems to be of the utmost importance to societies that are obsessed with everything “neuro.” On the other hand, emotions have become an object of constant individual and social manipulation since “emotional intelligence” emerged as a buzzword of our times. Reflecting on this burgeoning interest in human emotions makes one think of how this interest developed and what fuelled it. From a historian’s point of view, it can be traced back to classical antiquity. But it has undergone shifts and changes which can in turn shed light on social concepts of the self and its relation to other human beings (and nature). The volume focuses on the historicity of emotions and explores the processes that brought them to the fore of public interest and debate.

Published by: Central European University Press

Series: The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Ser

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and acknowledgments

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pp. 1-2

When Gábor Klaniczay invited me to give the Natalie Zemon Davis annual lecture in 2009, I had four reasons to immediately accept the invitation. First, I felt honoured to be connected to Natalie, whom I admire so much for many things that are mentioned in this book, and for more that...

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The historical economy of emotions: Introduction

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pp. 3-18

On September 16, 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy let off steam. Hitting back at the European Commissioner for Justice and Fundamental Rights who had sharply reprimanded the French government for the campaigns against illegal Roma camps, he did not care to hold back his anger. “I am the...

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Chapter 1. Losing emotions

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pp. 19-86

There are many ways in which emotions get lost. An individual can lose them as a direct result of a traumatic incident. Some of us might know someone who has undergone successful brain surgery. The tumour is gone, everybody is happy, except for the patient who can no longer experience...

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Chapter 2. Gendering emotions

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pp. 87-148

Emotions, whether lost or retrieved, come in socially specifi c and culturally diverse forms. Honour, for instance, was an emotional disposition deeply ingrained in nineteenth-century European society, and yet, it took multiple shapes and translated into different practices. The latter varied according to social class, age, religion, and national belonging...

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Chapter 3. Finding emotions

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pp. 149-204

When refl ecting on gender and emotions, fi nally and inevitably, empathy comes into mind. Women, as nineteenth and early twentieth-century authors seemed to believe, were particularly well equipped to feel what others felt. Their nature, the argument went, allowed them to be...

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Emotions lost and found: Conclusions and perspectives

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pp. 205-220

We have come to the end of our intellectual journey. It took us from the French president’s anger to global empathy; it fathomed women’s rage and allowed us to question men’s cold blood; it introduced us to honour cultures and examined practices of social shaming. With regard to time...


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pp. 221-252

Index of names

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pp. 253-255

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9786155225031
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155053344

Page Count: 262
Illustrations: 11 B&W illustrations
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Ser