History of Emotions (research)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of Emotions (research)

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    History, Research

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    • Students will acquire knowledge of a number of themes in the early modern history of emotions as well as of the concepts, approaches and sources used to study them
    • Students will train critical reflection on scholarly debates and literature and participate in discussions
    • Students will practice with interdisciplinary research methods, formulate a research question, conduct individual research, analyze sources and write a research paper
    • Students will present their research results in class and review each other’s projects

    This is a research class designed for third year students in history, literature and arts who want to further develop their research skills. The history of emotions is a burgeoning research field in cultural history that is highly interdisciplinary in character. Both historical, literary, social, philosophical and medical scholars investigate the role of emotions and emotional behavior in political, social and cultural processes. One of the many questions concerns the universality of human emotional experience across cultural, social and historical boundaries. Early Modern Europe offers interesting material to investigate such questions. In this course students will acquire knowledge of concepts and methods used by various scholarly disciplines that study emotional behavior and experience. A central and recurring theme will be the (experienced) embodiment of emotions in the period 1500-1850. Where did contemporary doctors and philosophers locate emotions in the body? What cultural rules reigned the bodily expression of emotions? When, where, for who and for what reason was weeping allowed?

    This topic will provide ample opportunities to develop individual research lines. Students may work on long term historical developments as well as on specific case studies, on literary sources as well as on (social/cultural) historical contexts or theoretical issues. We expect students to be able to gather and select relevant literature and write a Status Questionis by themselves to be handed in by the end of the third week. Via tutorials and individual feedback you will be guided through your research project.

    Lectures and literature seminars, tutorials

    Status Questionis (30%); Presentations and peer reviewing 10%; Research paper (60%); The Status Questionis must be sufficient to pass this course.

    This is a research class designed for third year students in the humanities who have been trained in academic writing and research design. We expect you to be able to find and study literature by yourself and write a well structured Status Questionis with footnote references.

    Students of this course have classes together with students of History of Emotions L_GABAALG004. Extra tutorials and individual feedback will guide them through their research projects

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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