Literature as Medium of Positive Emotions (GSA 2021 Seminar, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, Indianapolis)

Fritz Breithaupt's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
January 25, 2021
Location: 
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
German History / Studies, Humanities, Cultural History / Studies, Literature

We invite contributions for a Seminar at the 2021 GSA on the topic "Literature as Medium of Positive Emotions." Applications are needed by January 25 via the portal of the GSA.

    We will examine how narratives and fiction induce positive emotions and feelings in audiences. These feelings can, but do not have to match the feelings of characters in the text. Emotions are central to motivating engagement in reading literature, structure the narrative arch, and lead to better memory, but also remain poorly understood. While emotions have become more prevalent in research in the past decades, the focus tends to be on negative or ugly feelings (Ngai). The implicit understanding seems to be that positive emotions are either false (Adorno) or lack complexity. We wish to challenge this understanding and discuss the role literature plays in creating, cultivating, and sustaining positive emotions now and in the past. We will discuss 1. specific texts and genres, such as the Idylle; 2. effects of literature, such as being moved, joy, and empathy; and 3. theoretical debates about the place of literature in life.

    We invite 5-8 page papers by participants (but do not require a paper). We will designate a respondent for each paper and discuss papers during the sessions. Depending on the contributions, we will decide about an overall structure. 

    Conveners:

    Contact Info: 

    Applications via the portal of the GSA. For questions please contact us.

    Contact Email: