The discourse of feeling was powerful and specific in the eighteenth century and emotion offers a powerful approach to questions of the form, interpretation, and reception of modes of writing. The Age of Enlightenment appears to give precedence to rationality and the scientific method, insisting that feeling could and should be tamed by reason. But new work in the History of Emotion and Affect Studies has challenged and complicated old binary models of the opposition of thought and feeling, revealing the eighteenth century to be a period in which rationality and emotion were paradoxically conceptualized as increasingly separate modes of experience that inescapably overlapped and converged. The conversation Hultquist has curated attempts to elucidate major discoveries made when applying History of Emotion and Affect Theory to scholarship of the long eighteenth century. It rearticulates what we thought we knew about the eighteenth century. Far from rehashing tried and true readings, these applications reshape how scholars read, understand, and think about eighteenth-century literature, history, politics, and philosophy. These essays demonstrate the dynamic emotional life flourishing during the "Age of Reason."


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pp. 273-280
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