History of Emotions


Course Objective

• Students will acquire knowledge of the concepts, approaches and
sources used to study emotions in medieval and early modern Europe
• Students will train critical reflection on scholarly debates and
literature and participate in discussions
• Writing and presentation skills are trained through written and oral

Course Content

The history of emotions is a burgeoning research field in cultural
history that is highly interdisciplinary in character. Both historical,
literary, social, philosophical and medical scholars investigate the
role of emotions and emotional behavior. In this course you will study
themes such as religious emotions in late medieval convents, early
modern medical theories about the bodily humours, the understanding of
emotions by the philosophers Descartes and Hume, emotions in early
modern theater, the concept of melancholy, the experience of fear and
sorrow. We will also iscuss the theoretical concepts and methods used
by scholars to study the cultural varieties in emotional behavior and
experience. A central and recurring theme will be the (experienced)
embodiment of emotions. Where did contemporary doctors and philosophers
locate emotions in the body? What cultural rules reigned the bodily
expression of emotions?

Teaching Methods

Lectures and literature seminars, student presentations

Method of Assessment

Short essay (30%); oral presentation (10%); Written exam (60%)
Attendance at the lectures and seminars is mandatory (80%).


• Susan Broomhall (ed.) Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction, (Taylor
& Francis/Routledge 2017)
• Additional literature and sources that will be (made) available via

Target Audience

The course is open to all students

Additional Information

This course is part of the minor 'European History and Culture

General Information

Course Code L_GABAALG004
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. H.M.E.P. Kuijpers
Examiner dr. H.M.E.P. Kuijpers
Teaching Staff prof. dr. I.B. Leemans
prof. dr. R.W. Munk
dr. H.M.E.P. Kuijpers
dr. K. Steenbergh
prof. dr. J.M. Koppenol

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: