Workshop: Emotion and Subjectivity

Emotion and Subjectivity, 1300-1900
Workshop at NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study) September 29-30, 2014

crying womanThe workshop brings together scholars from the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, who are working on various historical and literary approaches to the study of emotions. During two days in Wassenaar, participants will explore the ways in which emotions have been placed in dialogue with sociocultural values and political discourse throughout the period 1300-1900. The workshop primarily engages with emotion in a European context and so will raise questions about national stereotypes and emotions, as well as the possibility of characterizing a ‘European’ selfhood.

In their papers, participating scholars explore emotional rhetoric in a range of texts, such as medical and scientific tracts, visual art, music, theatre, literature, historiography, and war reporting. Individual topics range from medieval medicine to midwifery manuals of the eighteenth-century to the emotional appeal of opera in the nineteenth century. All workshop participants are invested in understanding the historical development both of emotions and the subject, concerns which continue to impact and shape European culture, literature, and art as we know it today.

The workshop is organized as part of the Emotion and Subjectivity Research Group, based at the University of Amsterdam. For more information or to register, please contact the workshop organizers, Dr. Kristine Johanson ( and Dr. Tara MacDonald (