Major Seminar

Spring 2014

HIST 4501 (1)

Major Seminar

"A History of Emotions from Genocide to the Politics of Fear"

Oscar Ax

This course is intended to introduce students to the growing field of history of emotions. It aims to show both the different ways in which historians and other social scientists grasp emotions as historical objects and, conversely, how they use these to shed light on historical topics and issues. The seminar has a broad historical theme. After considering some programmatic statements on historical research on emotions, we will explore some major themes of the modern period. In the first part of the semester we will read about, and discuss the role of emotions in everyday life as well as in traumatic historical turning points ranging from the Holocaust to 9/11. These initial meetings will prepare students for the writing of a substantial research paper (20-30 pp.) based on primary and secondary sources, which is due at the end of the semester.  Students will be expected to work through more than one draft of this paper. The requirements will fulfill the second writing requirement. Although most of the readings will cover topics in European history, this course is also suitable for students of American history as well as other subfields. 



Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

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