Sandra Schnädelbach
"Judge: 'Defendant, why do you let your wife drink?' Defendant: 'I don’t let her drink, but what should I do? She doesn’t listen to me. You know, I can’t beat her every day.' Judge (without changing expression, in seeming agreement): 'Not every day.'" Laughter in the court. The joke worked.
© Vossische Zeitung, 12 April 1931
Margrit Pernau, Max Stille
Guzishta Zamana ("Bygone Time") is a story on the deep anguish felt about the irreversible loss of time. Originally published in 1873, the essay is read widely until today. It is part of Urdu textbooks in Pakistan. In an audio-book version distributed widely in the internet, the synesthetic experience of the stormy night is enhanced by sound effects of rain, storm and thunder. The speaker furthermore adapts his voice to the old man’s despair when exclaiming “alas, time!” Just four months ago, a nearly complete English literary translation of the story by an Urdu-speaking student at King Abdul Aziz University was printed in an English-language newspaper from Saudi-Arabia and applauded by its Urdu-speaking readers, most likely migrants from South Asia – the text obviously continues to speak to contemporary readers.
© wikipedia/privat
Christian von Scheve
The above photograph appeared in the online edition of the German daily "Der Tagesspiegel", in an article updated on September 21, 2012. The picture shows protesters in an unspecified German city who rallied against the release of the film “The Innocence of Muslims”, an anti-Islamic film produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The film was widely perceived to be offensive to Muslims and has stirred both violent and non-violent protests on a global scale. Protesters complained that the film ridiculed their belief, was deeply injurious, and perceived as dishonoring and demanded – amongst others things – the film be removed from the online platform YouTube.
© picture alliance/ dpa
Omar Kasmani
This text draws on three inter-related sound recordings from two affiliated saints’ shrines in Sehwan, a renowned place of pilgrimage on the banks of the river Indus in Pakistan. The shrine of Bodlo, though much smaller, is second only to that of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, the principal saint of Sehwan, and of whom Bodlo is the penultimate disciple.
© Omar Kasmani
Daphne Rozenblatt
If he were winged by two men in similar clothing, two women, or two children, his smile, laughter, and cheery disposition might mean something else. But flanked by two officers, Luigi Lucheni’s smile was the sign of disease and depravity. While the smile might be a basic - and some might say universal - human expression, the meaning of this smile was shaped by political, legal, scientific, and popular discourses at the turn of the twentieth century.
© Wikipedia
Pavel Vasilyev
How can a legal treatise serve as a useful source for a historian of emotions? Aren’t legal treatises one of the most formalized types of texts, bound by the numerous conventions and restrictions of both legal jargon and academic writing? Although at first glance these assumptions might seem intuitive, they are not necessarily true, and are certainly not applicable to documents produced during the years immediately following the Russian Revolution, an era of social and political change and revolutionary upheaval that also witnessed one of the most radical legal reforms in the history of humankind.
Anne Schmidt
This entry discusses an artefact that was invented with the aim of helping ambitioned men (women didn’t belong to the target group) organize their lives in a way that would foster success in their professions. Among other things, the day planner was designed to enable its users to adopt a specific form of emotional (self-)conduct. And this, in turn, was supposed to give them solid foundations for optimizing their performance and productivity.
Ute Frevert
This photo was taken by Ulrich Schreiterer in Delhi on 22 January 2014. He happened to be at Khan Market, an expensive shopping district in the modern center of the capital, as several Indians, most of them young, demonstrated. He knew my professional interest in shame and embarrassment so he took the photos and brought me a leaflet that explained the background of the protest. What was the protest about?
© Uli Schreiterer
Sebastian Ernst
"Only by enduring many trials and tribulations was I prepared to grapple with the strokes of fate I later met with.If those hours of joy in the past were wiped away [...] then I certainly wouldn’t have been able to be the Socrates of the Magdeburg Jail that I was for 10 years." This passage from Friedrich Freiherr von Trenck’s writings exemplifies the way he emotionally processed the experience of incarceration. In doing so, they offer insight into a specific form of the spatially conditioned dimension of emotions, which will be the subject of this article.
Gian Marco Vidor
Cheerful people crowd the cloisters of Bologna’s monumental cemetery, known simply as la Certosa. It is All Souls' Day, a Catholic holiday dedicated to the "commemoration of all the faithful departed". Along with other local or national daily, weekly or monthly publications, the most important local newspaper, "Il Resto del Carlino", published articles on the commemorations.
© Biblioteca Archiginnasio, Bologna
Joel F. Harrington
Frantz Schmidt (1554-1634), better known as Meister Frantz, served as executioner for the imperial city of Nuremberg for forty-five years, during which time he executed 394 individuals and tortured or flogged many hundreds more. He is best known to us today because he kept a journal of all this professional activity. I've used this manuscript as the principal source for a biographical portrait of the longtime executioner and his times, but until now have refrained from discussing Meister Frantz as an author.
© Staatsarchiv Nürnberg
Marie Louise Herzfeld-Schild
The anthology of church songs "Cantate! A Catholic Songbook with Prayers and Devotions for all Periods and Festivals of the Ecclesiastical Year" was published in 1847. An impressive example of the genre, the work highlights the manner in which church songbooks are both canons of religious education and testaments to contemporary cultural practices. Such sources tell us a great deal about the repertoire of songs which are to be performed in various congregations, dioceses, and regional churches; in doing so, they shed light on the religious, musical, and emotional practices of the contexts in which they emerge.
Rhodri Hayward
On 12 May 1937 a motley collection of amateur anthropologists from the newly formed British survey organization Mass-Observation, spread out across London in attempt to uncover the collective fantasies associated with the Coronation of George VI. Mass-Observation was a curious organization. Pitched halfway between a prototypical opinion polling company and a surrealist experiment, its members sought to discover the secret organizing principles that lay behind the accumulated details of everyday life. On 12 May, observers recorded, among other phenomena, the spontaneous celebrations of crowds, the peculiar shapes of commemoratives pies and attempted seductions of soldiers but as one commentator noted, it was a curious fact that no-one mentioned the bus strike.
© Unity Theatre Trust
Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly
The text "Vollständige Beschreibung aller Solennitäten bey dem hohen Königlichen Sicilianischen Vermählungs=Feste" by Johann Ulrich König chronicles the week-long festivities staged in Dresden in May 1738 to celebrate themarriage of the thirteen-year-old Maria Amalia of Saxony (1724-1760) to the Bourbon Carlo VII, King of the Two Sicilies (1716-1788).
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, SKD
Luis-Manuel Garcia
"I have always listened to the wrong music," quips Richard Dyer in the introduction to his essay, "In Defence of Disco," in the British socialist gay journal, Gay Left. "Since I became a socialist, I've often felt virtually terrorised by the prestige of rock and folk on the left. How could I admit to two Petula Clark LPs [vinyl records] in the face of miners' songs from the North East and the Rolling Stones?"
© Gay Left Collective
Sonam Kachru
Neville, in Virginia Woolf’s "The Waves", ponders love with these words: "To be contracted by another person into a single being—how strange." More than a thousand years earlier, approximately in the eighth century, a playwright named Bhavabhuti gave us the opportunity of overhearing a character express his wonder at love in his celebrated play "The Last Act of Rama" (Uttararamacaritam): The state where there is no twoness in response of joy or sorrow,/ Where the heart finds rest, where feeling does not dry with age,/ Where concealments fall away in time and the essential love is ripened—/Blessed is this state of human fulfillment, which we find once if ever.
Add. 15296 (1), f.111 |
© The British Library
Joseph Ben Prestel
On January 5, 1887, the head of Berlin's 42nd police district, Lieutenant Laiber, sent a comprehensive report about the performance of a boys' choir in the neighborhood of Kreuzberg to the city's police department. Laiber wrote that a constable called Werner from his district had been called to a tenement house on Prinzessinensstraße at 10 in the morning. According to the report, the constable discovered that eight boys from a choir were performing Christian songs in the courtyard of the building. He noted that the choir leader, a certain Friedrich Marquardt, was absent during the performance, delegating the leadership of the choir to a fourteen-year old schoolboy. The report stressed that the performance without adult supervision had turned into a nuisance.
© bpk
Eric J. Engstrom
To this day, a good deal of psychiatric historiography is heavily invested in stories about the subjugation and incarceration of psychiatric patients. There are at least two main strands in this historiography. One focuses on the carceral and disciplinary regimes of asylums, while the another derivative approach adopts a patients' perspective "from below" to assess the effects of those regimes and/or the subjective resistances to them. Both, however, tend to drawn their legitimacy (and gusto) from the tasks their authors set themselves as critics of psychiatric institutions and medical practice. One recent monograph has even gone so far as to claim apodictically that "a history of psychiatry is unwritable without a critique of psychiatry".
© British Museum
Christa Hämmerle
In literary, linguistic, and cultural studies, love letters, to which the example above might also belong, are usually elevated to be an own genre. Yet their history is located in a particular area of tension: on the one hand, we have to consider the strong normative character of such a genre, which until well into the 20th century seems to be governed by literary and aesthetic guidelines and conventions. On the other hand, the analysis of these letters must also take into account the many historically growing practices of the written form. In the research, which for a long time focused primarily on contexts of the educated middle-class and related traditions of the love letter, the first-mentioned dimension was mainly emphasized: namely that love letters are to be defined as "special aesthetic forms of communication", as "cultural artifact" or as "highly coded forms."
© Frauennachlässe, Uni Wien
Nina Verheyen
The historical research of emotions is not fixed to any particular source-corpus: they can work with self-help literature as well as, for example, periodicals, diaries, scientific dissertations or more. As such it is important, on the one hand, to distinguish between these types of documents and "genres". In the end each has their own genre guidelines. Accordingly it makes a difference, if the love of a mother for her children is alleged by an education specialist in a self-help book, by a journalist in a family illustration magazine, illuminated introspectively by a middle-class woman via her diary, or examined by a psychologist in a professional article.
© "Die Gartenlaube", 1875
Laura Kounine
Dorothea Rieger was put on trial for witchcraft in 1678, some fifty years after the height of the "witch-craze" had swept Germany between 1580 and 1630. She was tried in Besigheim, approximately thirty kilometres north of Stuttgart, in the southwestern duchy of Württemberg, an area that experienced relatively low levels of witch-hunting. The trial of Dorothea Rieger thus came relatively late in the history of the early modern witch-hunts, and was not an altogether "typical" case. Rieger had come to the attention of the authorities because of her suicidal thoughts and her "feeble-mindedness", which had led her to confess that the Devil had "used her sins" and that she "belonged under the gallows".
© Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart
Philipp Nielsen
When the West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visited the new chancellery in Bonn in 1977, he quipped that it had all the charm of a "cooperative savings bank". The same year, West German President Walter Scheel complained that the entire capital had no coherent architectural and thus political vision; and two years later the Bundestag's president Richard Stücklen remarked that for the people to become emotionally attached to the constitutional order, the government buildings needed to give democracy "a certain splendor".
Karlsruhe, Bundesverfassungsgericht | Bundesverfassungsgericht Karlsruhe - mündl
© Bundesarchiv, F044195-0012, photo: E. Reineke
Magdalena Beljan
Amid the "AIDS crisis" (1987) CDU politician Rita Süssmuth, at the time federal minister of Youth, Family and Health in the FRD, published a book with the title "AIDS. Ways Out of Fear." The cover gave notice of a "consulting information address." As said by Süssmuth herself in the forward, she wanted to make her policies clear to her citizens: "This book shall contribute to the reduction of uncertainty and fear by relaying available knowledge of experts. Different points of view should not be concealed from the public. They should be put in a position to understand these differences and make their own judgments. Fear is difficult to dispel, especially if the individual fears he or she may be deprived of information or even, as the case may be, that only filtered knowledge will be passed on."
© Verlag Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg
Andreas Bähr
In 1623, the Thirty Years War had already been going on for five years when the Jesuit priest and polymath Athanasius Kircher was awarded the mission to teach Greek at the Order’s college in the Saxonian city of Heiligenstadt. On the way there, as he reports in his autobiography, he was met by a remarkable "misadventure." Although Kircher had to pass through one of the "heretical" Protestant regions, he threw caution to the wind, deciding not to hide his religious affiliation along the route. "I would rather die dressed in my Order’s habit than travel unmolested in secular clothing." What outsiders feared, and what Kircher fully took in willingly, was shortly awaiting him in the "gloomy wild" "Höllental" ('Valley of Hell' between Eisenach and Marksuhl). While in the woods, Kircher would be encircled by encamped riders, recognized by his habitus as a Jesuit, only then to be robbed, beaten, and injured.
© Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek Fulda
Stephanie Olsen
Ephemera can be real treasure, especially perhaps for the historian of emotions. It can allow us to conceive of the emotive qualities of actors or events in different ways from sources that were meant to be preserved for posterity. This piece of ephemera, fortuitously preserved long after its technology was made obsolete, is a magic lantern slide. The magic lantern was widely used, in an era before the spread of movies and computers, for entertainment, sometimes combined with education. The medium was ubiquitous in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, yet, because of the equipment required, rare enough to be special to viewers. The British Band of Hope movement used this medium widely, and its major unions under which local bands were active had well-organized lending policies of magic lantern slides and projectors. But what can one dusty slide tell us about the motivations of the adults or the children involved in this movement, and how can it enlighten us as historians of emotion?
© The Livesey Collection, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
Rob Boddice
A prone rabbit, bolted to an operating table, stares sightlessly upwards into the glare of an electric light. Above its head a scalpel, held like a pen in the hand of a white-coated, white-bearded physiologist, is poised to make an incision. The raking light also illuminates the wraiths of the sick, the physically disabled, and the diseased, drawn to the scene in the hope of an end to their suffering. These abundant phantoms stalk the physiologist’s laboratory: a child on crutches, an ailing baby writhing in the arms of a frantic mother, a blind man. The other faces are those of the poor, whose own lives and the lives of their families are exposed to the ravages of polio, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and a host of other diseases. They yearn for security, for vaccines, sera, and curative medicines, and their hopes lie at the sharp edge of the scientist’s scalpel. They plead, this band of "Sufferers": "For Humanity's Sake, Go On!"
© Will Crawford, "Vivisection" (LC, Washington)
Benno Gammerl
Homosexual men and women have constantly adapted their emotional patterns and practices to changing social conditions. Even the way in which they have fallen in love, whether suddenly or gradually, has changed over time. Simultaneously though, homosexuals have contributed to a societal transformation with their feelings, with their anger, with their shame, and with their pride and their joy. Precisely these interactions make the contemporary history of homosexualities such an exciting field for research into the history of emotions.
© Der Kreis, 7 (1965), 1
Uffa Jensen
"That our Benjamin learns to be strong for his own happiness, to this our little advice book should contribute; it should strengthen in our Benjamin the force of pure feelings and sensing, firm will and regular accomplishing, so that he will be happy." Benjamin's happiness was the aim of Adolf Matthias’s advice manual Wie erziehen wir unsern Sohn Benjamin? ("How Do We Educate our Son Benjamin?"). This manual offered parents advice for the education of their children, starting from day one and covering a wider range of topics: the child's temperament, intelligence, religiosity and even proper punishment for bad deeds and suitable rewards for good ones. The final chapter of the book was devoted to Benjamin's happiness.
Pascal Eitler
Within the "New Age Movement," fear was considered one of human being's "core emotions." Esoteric advisers in the 60s and 70s tried to not only make this understandable in a larger context, but also to overcome fear, the fear all human beings supposedly have: that of being alone. Chris Griscom in her self-help book "The Healing of Emotion," published multiple times on both sides of the Atlantic, opens, in this framework, a good entry point to the relationship between emotions and religion within the so called "New Age."
© cover Die Heilung der Gefühle, 1988
Eva Giloi
It can be difficult to assess ordinary people’s feelings towards their rulers, especially in the nineteenth century. Even if subjects had access to publishing their views in newspapers or books – which most people did not – lèse-majesté laws and other journalistic practices kept them from airing candid views. To circumvent this potential bias in published texts, historians often turn to non-textual sources to help unearth popular attitudes towards institutions of power. They examine material culture, for instance, to see how certain objects were circulated, what was done with them as they passed hands, and where they were situated in daily life, in the understanding that the social practices governing these exchanges give insight into the unspoken mindset of the objects’ owners.