Polish Studies Newsletter


Date of the event: 23.06.2022 - 24.06.2022
Added on: 16.06.2021

Schools of feeling Gender in the historical processes of shaping emotions

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The Commission for the History of Women at the Committee of Historical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw June 23rd-24th 2022.

The main premise of the history of emotions - understood in cultural terms - is the claim that psychological and mental ability to feel emotion is universal, but the ways in which emotions are evoked, felt and expressed depend both on individual propensities as well as cultural norms prevailing in a particular historical period and within a given group (Barbara Rosenwein, 2002). Furthermore, in recent years research on emotions in the context of gender history increasingly undermines the stereotypical belief that emotion in the past was a straightforward socio-cultural indicator of the masculine and feminine. As emphasized by Damien Boquet and Didier Lett, the antithesis - characteristic of Western culture - of emotion vs. rational thinking, where emotionality is usually associated with femininity, and rational thinking - consistently with masculinity, definitively requires more in-depth and detailed historical study (Emotions and the concept of gender, 2018).

The proposed conference is an attempt to answer the challenge thus formulated, in the context of the question of historically diverse processes shaping desirable emotional behavior in specific social, religious or political groups. This is why our main points of reference will be the concepts of emotional communities and emotional regimes. An emotional community we define - after Barbara Rosenwein - as a group where similar norms of emotional expression are in force, and specific emotions are similarly evaluated. Depending on the period, it might be a school, manor, household, religious community, a community united by economic interest, a group of friends or a family. The concept of emotional regimes we understand - after William Reddy - as a set of normative emotions, as well as practices, rituals and standards of emotional behavior in force in a given community, whose rejection leads to the exclusion of an individual. We are primarily interested in research focused on specific communities and the promotion of a given emotionality in a group, with particular emphasis on the role that gender plays in "teaching emotion".

We desire to look at the history of emotions in the light of both new readings of known sources, as well as the analysis of new, heretofore unused material: ego-documents, letters, journals, but also chronicles, miracula, collections of sermons, manuals, guides, iconographic material including photography and film, literary sources, court records, journalistic texts and ephemera of the political propaganda type.

We will be interested in, among others:

1. The methods of shaping emotional reactions in specific situations as well as - more broadly - the desired emotional attitudes, both at the theoretical level, as well as in terms of specific educational practices in a given community.

2. Emotions in the creation of political and religious communities, and the process of developing one's individual sense of belonging to a given community.

3. Expert knowledge about emotions and emotionality in the context of gender (for instance from the field of psychology, pedagogy, sexology), and the promotion of specific emotionality standards.

4. The use of emotional messages in political agitation, propaganda and rhetoric in the context of gender.

5. Emotional restrictions with regard to gender and examples of transgressions.

Conference languages: Polish and English We will wait for the abstracts of proposed papers (no more than 400 words), with a short cv, until July 20th 2020. Please send your proposals to: konferencja.historia.emocje.plec@gmail.com.

Submission acceptance information will be sent out by August 31st 2021, and the conference agenda will be published in October of this year. We assume that the conference will be stationary; however, the final decision in the matter will depend on the epidemiological situation in the country. Should it worsen, the conference will take place online.


Application deadline for speakers:
Added on:
16 June 2021; 12:41 (Mariola Wilczak)
Edited on:
16 June 2021; 14:19 (Mariola Wilczak)

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