Cover for MORUNO & PICHEL, EDS.: Emotional Bodies: The Historical Performativity of Emotions. Click for larger image

Emotional Bodies

The Historical Performativity of Emotions

What emotional bodies teach us about past and present societies

What do emotions actually do? Recent work in the history of emotions and its intersections with cultural studies and new materialism has produced groundbreaking revelations around this fundamental question. In Emotional Bodies, contributors pick up these threads of inquiry to propose a much-needed theoretical framework for further study of materiality of emotions, with an emphasis on emotions' performative nature. Drawing on diverse sources and wide-ranging theoretical approaches, they illuminate how various persons and groups—patients, criminals, medieval religious communities, revolutionary crowds, and humanitarian agencies—perform emotional practices. A section devoted to medical history examines individual bodies while a section on social and political histories studies the emergence of collective bodies.

Contributors: Jon Arrizabalaga, Rob Boddice, Leticia Fernández-Fontecha, Emma Hutchison, Dolores Martín-Moruno, Piroska Nagy, Beatriz Pichel, María Rosón, Pilar León-Sanz, Bertrand Taithe, and Gian Marco Vidor.

"This wide-ranging and rigorously historicized collection of essays gives new insights into how emotions have changed and been deployed over time. The stress on emotions as a practical engagement with the world that has tangible effects is especially welcome."--Jo Labanyi, editor of Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spain: Theoretical Debates and Cultural Practice


Dolores Martín-Moruno holds a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship at the Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva. Her books include On Resentment: Past and Present. Beatriz Pichel is VC2020 Lecturer in Photographic History at the Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University.

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