ACCESS lecture: Jan Plamper on Embodied Reading

When:              Tuesday the 20th of May

Where:            VU University, W&N Building, 6th floor, room M623

Time:               15:00 – 17:00hrs, after the lecture there will be drinks

Please register for attendance here.

The Graduate School of Humanities, CLUE and the Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies (ACCESS) would like to invite you to the 4th graduate school lecture by Jan Plamper: “Ivan’s Bravery: How Embodied Reading Turned Russian Children into Fearless Soldiers – Maybe.”

coverFocusing on Russia during the late Tsarist to early Soviet periods, Jan Plamper’s lecture explores the production of maximally fearless soldiers, an important precondition for any army’s success in a war. It first looks at pre-revolutionary instruction manuals for teachers on what (and how) to read and then moves on to children’s literature proper. In this literature bravery seems to be part of a field which included other emotions, first and foremost fear and cowardice; at its most basic level, bravery was conquered fear. In a close reading, Plamper shows how a combination of narratology (the way narratives affect our perception), Extended Mind Theory (the idea that minds are not merely brains, but are ‘extended’ to the body), and Paul Virilio’s writings on media technology (e.a. might help explain how good child-age readers can become good, i.e. brave, adult soldiers.

plamperJan Plamper is Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London. After obtaining a B.A. from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, he taught at the University of Tübingen and from 2008 to 2012 was a Dilthey Fellow at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin. He is the author of Geschichte und Gefühl: Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte (2012; forthcoming in English from Oxford University Press as Emotions: A History); co-editor, with Benjamin Lazier, of Fear: Across the Disciplines (2012); and co-editor, with Marc Elie and Schamma Schahadat, of Rossiiskaia imperiia chuvstv: Podkhody k kul’turnoi istorii emotsii [In the Realm of Russian Feelings: Approaches to the Cultural History of Emotions] (2010). He has also recently authored The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (2012).

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