Rob Boddice introducing his new book A History of Feelings in the HEX conference 2019.
A History of Feelings is the companion volume to 2018’s The History of Emotions. In the former book, I suggested a programmatic turn to experience on the basis that contemporary “emotion” categories often obscure more than they reveal about the past. The new book is an attempt to do a history of experience, in the epic mode, combining an historicist approach to affective experiences with a sensitivity to past actors’ bioconstructed realities. The reference to feelings plays on the ambiguity of the English phrase “I feel”, which can mean “I think”, “I have an emotion about”, or “I sense”. In everyday usage it can be a jumble of all these things at the same time. It gets at the very messiness and situatedness of experience.
For more information see the website of Reaktion Books.