Masterclass History of Emotions

Masterclass History of Emotions
University of Leuven
2 March 2012

Whereas often perceived as ‘natural’ due to their physiological component, emotions have, in recent years, increasingly been put in historical perspective. Focus is now also on their socio-cultural component. Historians emphasize that emotions, whether or not perceived as ‘legitimate’ within their specific historical contexts, are changeable and can be cultivated (e.g. feelings of shame), or repressed.

Within gender history, emotions have most often been addressed within the standard dichotomy of the ’emotional’ woman versus the ‘rational man’, an ideological bifurcation that blended out also historical interest in ‘men’s’ emotions. Nonetheless, they are making a come-back in studies such as Die Präsenz der Gefühle. Männlichkeit und Emotion in der Moderne (eds. Borutta, Verheyen, 2010).

In this master class we follow this lead in examining the emotional component of the various gender constructions (including the potential suppression of emotions) as well as differing context in which emotions (and their – learned – corporality) could be felt, expressed, communicated or even fail to materialize.

Program (13.00-17.30)

13.00-13.30: coffee/tea + welcome


Prof. Dr. Monique Scheer (Universität Tübingen), ‘The practice of feeling: emotions, the body, and gender’


Tom Bervoets, ‘Joys and sorrows in the rectory. Clerical concubinage in the early modern Archbishopric of Mechelen’

Nina Lamal (KUL), ‘Writing with indignation? Franciscans on the Dutch revolt’

Lode Lauwaert (HIW, Leuven),  ‘Marquis de Sade and emotions. How to understand apathetic enjoyment?


15.45-16.15: Break



Marleen Brock (KUL), ‘Students on a sentimental journey. The experience of nature around 1800’

Tine Van Osselaer (KUL): ‘Sensitive but sane. Male visionaries and their emotional display in interwar Belgium.’


17.05-17.30:  Drinks


Participation is free but we invite you to register by email at avg[dot]carhif[at] Final date of registration is Friday 24 February 2012. 

Location:  H. Geestcollege (Louis Janssenszaal),  Naamsestraat 40, 3000, Leuven

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