W4949: The Passions - Introduction to the History of Emotions | M. Elshakry

Graduate Seminar
W 2:10-4PM

This course is designed to introduce students to the history of emotions. We look at classical and contemporary philosophy and history as well as art and poetry on “the passions” – defined variously as emotions, feelings, physical or non-rational sensations or states of consciousness or affects. We begin by asking what is an emotion, and by considering the various historical and philosophical responses to that question. We then look at a number of key emotions from a similarly eclectic, episodic historical perspective. Among those we look at are such classic affective states as love, pleasure, pain, compassion, anger, and fear and terror, and the rise of later more contemporary ones like stress and anxiety, paranoia and trauma.