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Friday, 4 September 2009

Emotional event

Something I received from Dr Thomas Dixon from Queen Mary University, London. It looks pretty interesting... Would that I had a day off to go down.

Towards a Historical Semantics of Emotions
Special Panel at the 12th Annual Conference of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group
London, September 18th 2009
At the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 16 Taviston Street

Emotions are shaped in multiple ways by different cultures and languages. Rather than innate and universal, they are socially constructed to a large extent, embedded in their political and historical contexts and learnt by the individual. This panel will deal with concepts of emotions as objects of a new direction of study in the History of Concepts to which the conference is dedicated.

Semantic and conceptual history is an approach to the study of key concepts of culture not as fixed and timeless entities, but rather, as molded by the political and social contexts in which they are created and applied, and within which they change. It investigates the ways in which language functions, is employed, transferred and transformed in cultural, political, social, historical and geographic contexts, and the ways that concepts structure and constitute the extra-linguistic experience and reality to which they refer.

The papers in this panel will apply semantic history to concepts of emotions as they are used, appear in, and disappear from, different languages and discourses over time, place, context and cultures.