Tears, Sighs and Laughter. Expressions of Emotions in the Middle Ages

Tears, Sighs and Laughter

Expressions of Emotions in the Middle Ages

By Per Förnegård (red.), Erika Kihlman (red.), Mia Åkestam (red.), Gunnel Engwall (red.)

Konferenser, 92
ISBN: 9789174024470
Soft cover: 330 pages
Published: 2017
Language: eng

SEK 235

In the 1990s a new interest for research on emotions and affectivity in the humanities and the social sciences began to develop. This movement, later referred to as “the affective turn”, has been a most productive and vigorous field of research in the past decades as it opens up for new interpretations of historical source materials and enables studies of the relationship between states of mind and materiality. In addition, it prompts questions of, for example, gender, power and religiosity, thus being conducive to a fuller understanding of historical events, places and persons.

This anthology is the result of a Marcus Wallenberg symposium held at The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, focused on interpretations of emotions as expressed in medieval art and literature. The contributing scholars represent a wide variety of disciplines as can be seen in the range of topics and materials in the articles. Emotional expressions within the religious as well as the secular spheres are analyzed, drawing on hagiographical and biblical texts, monastic writings and sermons, early modern novels and comic tales, crusader stories, historical chronicles and even runes.

The Authors: Roger Andersson, Alexander Andrée, Martha Bayless, Kim Bergqvist, Tomas Ekenberg, Olle Ferm, Carin Franzén, Claes Gejrot, Wojtek Jezierski, Magnus Källström, Sofia Lodén, Piroska Nagy, Corinne Péneau, Claire L. Sahlin, Jean-Claude Schmitt, Wim Verbaal, Kurt Villads Jensen, Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre & Mia Åkestam.



Loi, science et émotions dans l’Europe moderne (appel à contributions)

Evidence of Feeling: Law, Science and Emotions in Modern Europe


Call for Papers


Date:  April 10, 2017 to April 11, 2017
Location:  Germany
Organizer: Daphne Rozenblatt
The power to prove or disprove a feeling is nowhere more strongly exhibited than in the courts of law, where emotions can determine the motives (and therefore culpability) of a defendant accused of a crime; affirm, discredit, or cast doubt upon the validity of a witness’s testimony; or determine the damages and compensation owed to the offended party. But what constitutes evidence of feeling? As a legal concept, evidence is both mutable and case specific. A court can reject and deny the admittance of evidence, can produce evidence through testimony and interrogation, and can rely upon extra-legal systems of knowledge, often times including scientific expertise. The challenges of legal evidence are further complicated by the emotions both implicit and explicit to juridical processes. Despite these ambiguities, emotions are often crucial to detecting and determining motive, intent, mens rea, etc. and affecting not only the verdict of a trial, but its broader social and political meaning.
This workshop aims to bring together research on the history of emotions in law and science in order to examine emotions together with the relationship between systems of knowledge and social practices in the scientific-legal setting. It builds on recent research on law and emotions that has examined both the way that emotions are addressed, arbitrated, defended, and prohibited by legal code as well as the emotional practices of various persons within the court, included judges, jurors, lawyers, and spectators. Furthermore, it builds on research into the history of science and the emotions, which has explored emotions as scientific objects and as part of scientific practice. By focusing on evidence as a crux between theory and practice, it not only aims to contribute to the legal and scientific history of emotions, but emotional epistemology through historical examine.
The workshop will be held on 10th and 11th April 2017 at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Travel and accomodation costs will be covered. The organizers welcome contributions with a strong historical impetus from all social and cultural sciences. Please send proposals (a short CV and sketch of max. 500 words) by 19th February 2017 to: cfp-emotions@mpib-berlin.mpg.de.
Contact Info: 
Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for the History of Emotions
Daphne Rozenblatt
Lentzeallee 94
14195 Berlin
Contact Email:



26th-28th June 2017
pour le programme, cliquez ici
Autrement dit, l’historien.ne de l’émotion a l’embarras du choix: les mêmes jours, trois colloques internationaux se tiennent autour des émotions en Europe : Umea, York, Lleida !

Powerful Emotions / Emotions & Power c. 400-1850

L’Université de York (GB) et l’ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions organise un colloque sur ce sujet les 28-29 juin 2017 à York.


‘Emotional control is the real site of the exercise of power’ (William Reddy, 1997)

Scholars across the humanities and social sciences are increasingly turning their attention to the affective dimension of power, and the way in which emotions are implicit in the exercise of power in all its forms. The language of power has long been used to calibrate the impact of emotions – feelings ‘shake’ and ‘grip’ us; we read of and recall moments when passions convulsed communities and animated violent actions. Strategic displays of emotion have regularly been used for the exercise and negotiation of power.

This conference will draw on a broad range of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary expertise to address the relationships between two fundamental concepts in social and historical inquiry: power and emotion. How are historical forms of cultural, social, religious, political and soft power linked with the expression, performance and control of emotions? How has power been negotiated and resisted through expressions of emotions? How have emotional cultures sustained or been produced by particular structures of power? How have understandings and expressions of emotion played out within cross-cultural encounters and conflicts? What has been the relationship between intimate, personal feeling and its public, collective manifestations?

Literary and artistic works as well as objects of diverse kinds are often said to produce or to have elicited powerful emotions. Yet how has this varied across time, space, cultures and gender? What visual, verbal and gestural rhetorics have been considered to act most potently upon the emotions in different periods? How have these conventions related to ideas of the inexpressibility of powerful or traumatic emotional experience, its resistance to aesthetic articulation? What are the implications of this for the recoverability of past emotional experience? And how does the study of the power of feeling relate to more traditionally social conceptions of hierarchy, society, and power? What new understandings of the workings of power do we gain through the perspective of a history of emotions?

This interdisciplinary conference is jointly organized by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Centres for Medieval Studies, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York. It invites papers that address the above issues from disciplines including, but not restricted to: history, religion, literature, art, music, politics, archaeology, philosophy and anthropology.

Papers and panels might focus on the following questions and themes:

  • Emotion and political and social action: How have emotions been used by various political, religious and other groups to reinforce or to undermine social and political hierarchies? What role did gender play in these processes?
  • Dynasty, rule and emotional display.
  • The affective dimensions of war, protest, revolution and nation building
  • Diplomacy and the negotiation of cross-cultural emotions
  • Religious change, power and emotions
  • How has the relationship between emotions / passions and power been understood and theorized across time?
  • The micro-politics of intimate relationships and gendered power
  • The role of ritual, object and liturgy in managing, intensifying, or disciplining political, religious or other emotions
  • What techniques and venues have been used to construct and amplify collective emotions? Papers might consider mass meetings, crowds, congregations, theatres, assemblies and clubs.

The organisers welcome proposals for individual 20-minute papers, for panels (which may adopt a more innovative format, including round-tables, a larger number of short presentations), or for postgraduate poster presentations.

Proposals should be sent to Pam Bond, Administrative Officer at the Centre for the History of Emotions, University of Western Australia. Email: emotions@uwa.edu.au by Friday 27 January 2017.