The social and cultural construction of emotions: .. (EMOTIONS)
The social and cultural construction of emotions: The Greek paradigm
Start date: Jan 1, 2009,
End date: Dec 31, 2013
Emotions influence social relations; consequently, they are socially relevant, subject to scrutiny, judgment, and normative intervention. The manifestation, perception and treatment of emotions are subject to social interventions and to the influence of cultural change. Emotions in the Classical world have been primarily studied in the light of their representation in literature and art. Such studies have provided important insights; yet, they are based on works primarily created in a few major urban centres, almost exclusively by educated men of a higher status. This project is based on an analysis of documentary sources (inscriptions and papyri, c. 800 BC-c. 500 AD). Although they provide abundant, diverse, and representative evidence, they have never been studied in connection with this subject. As compared to literature and art, these sources represent a wide range of social strata and age-classes, originate in both genders, and are widely disseminated over time and space. These sources will be analysed both diachronically (history of particular emotions) and synchronically (manifestations of emotions in defined historical contexts). Selected literary sources and archaeological material will also be taken into consideration. The project pursues the following objectives: to contribute to a more reliable, nuanced, and comprehensive history of emotions in the Greek world; to increase awareness of the importance of emotions in Classical studies; to contribute to the transdisciplinary study of emotions through the presentation of paradigms from Classical antiquity; to enhance the dialogue between historical, social, and natural sciences; and to make documentary sources accessible to scholars working on the history of emotions and, more generally, on the history of mentality.
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