Affect and Sympathy in Romanticism
Special session to be proposed for the MLA Annual Convention 2006 in
The idea of the autonomous individual in the Romantic period emerged
together with a notion of autonomous affects—of affects that are
created by the individual, rather than being caused by sensual
stimuli. How is it possible for an individual to create its own
affects (feelings or moods)? How could such autonomous affects be
conveyed to others? Would they have to be recreated by the others?
If yes, would such creative affective transfer threaten the notion of
sympathy, of feeling together? What is the relationship between
affect and sympathy in Romanticism?