"Theorizing Emotion" Panel at New Chaucer Society 2012, July 23-26

full name / name of organization: 
Jessica Rosenfeld, Washington University
contact email: 

Where and how is emotion theorized in the medieval (and/or modern) period? This session will consider the discourses within which the "emotions" or "passions" are overtly analyzed, described, and prescribed. Papers might consider confessional literature, treatises on the vices and virtues, rhetorical treatises, moral philosophy, sermons, devotional literature, conduct manuals, medical treatises, or other places where emotions come under definitional pressure. Are the emotions theorized in genre-specific ways? Differently in Latin versus the vernacular? What kinds of emotional theories does Chaucer's poetry engage with? How do certain frames such as "vice and virtue" or the medicalizing of emotions shift understandings? What is the relationship between taxonomic definitions and narrative illustration? Are emotions gendered? How does the theorizing of emotion shed light on understandings of politics or intersubjectivity? What does the emotional body look like? How do various medieval discourses figure in the history of emotions?

Please submit abstracts by June 1, 2011

For further information, see http://artsci.wustl.edu/~chaucer/congress/congress2012call.php

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