Call for Articles | The Discourses of Anger

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 11, 2012

Brill’s series seems to define the early modern period as ca. 1450/1500 to ca. 1700. Still, for those of you working at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this might be relevant. . .

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The Discourses of Anger in the Early Modern Period
Edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel and Anita Traninger

Proposals due by 1 March 2013

9691Intersections is a peer-reviewed series on interdisciplinary topics in Early Modern Studies published by Brill (Leiden/Boston). Contributions may come from any of the disciplines within the humanities, such as history, art history, literary history, book history, church history, social history, cultural history, and history of ideas. Each volume  focuses on a single theme and consists of essays that explore new perspectives on the subject of study. The series aims to open up new areas of research on early modern culture and to address issues of interest to a wide range of disciplines.

We are inviting proposals for contributions to a volume on discourses of anger in the Early Modern Period to be published in the series Intersections. The volume will be edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel (Münster University) and Anita Traninger (Freie Universität Berlin).

Emotion, the perceived counterpoint to reason, has received intense attention in the humanities and the social sciences in recent decades. Anger, however, has traditionally been conceived as pertaining to both reason and passion, since it involves complex mechanisms of rational judgment of social situations but is at the same time characterized by untamed/violent emotional repercussions. Aristotle held that anger was the morally justified seeking of revenge following the incurrence of a slight. Being thus conceived of as a social emotion, anger has since been construed as being composed of sadness and hope, as involving social and moral categories, and as mediating between the past and the future.

Even though anger is characterized as a just reaction to social misdemeanor, it has not been acknowledged universally as a socially beneficial reaction. The Stoics insisted that it was necessary to suppress it at the first showing of angry symptoms in order to achieve freedom from the disturbance of emotions which forms the basis of the good life; Christianity, where Stoic views were adopted very early on, found it difficult to reconcile the idea of anger as the just reaction of a virtuous man with its ideals of passivity.

In the Early Modern period, this already ambiguous conception was complicated by a changing intellectual framework. The Early Modern period sees long-term shifts between traditional systems of thought: a mounting criticism of Aristotelianism, a forceful contestation of Scholasticism, the factioning of religious belief and the emergence of  contesting theologies along with moral canons, the rediscovery and transformative appropriation of Stoic and Sceptic doctrines, to name but a few. We are interested in how the notion of anger is informed by these developments.

Despite the recent surge in research on the history of emotions, there is no comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of notions of anger in the early modern period. There is a host of studies on ‘ancient anger’, and the Middle Ages have also received due attention, but the early modern period has been neglected in this regard, despite a wealth of sources and despite the fact that wide-spread speculation about the emotions in general emerged in Early Modern times.

Thus in our volume, we ask contributors to discuss the fate of anger with a view to the tensions between these developments. Contributors to the volume are invited to trace the framing of anger in various discourses in the Early Modern period, including theology, philosophy, literature, medicine, law, political theory, and the arts, as well as
to account for changes in the discourses of anger in this era. We would like to see discussions of anger as a contested field, one that is goverened and defined in various ways by various discourses which may nevertheless converge in literary and non-literary texts, images, religious practice, scholarly debates, etc. (more…)

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