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Workshop: Early Modern Studies and the History of the Emotions

The Huizinga Institute is pleased to invite you to a Workshop on Early Modern Studies and the History of the Emotions

Thursday 7 April, 13.15–15.00
University of Leiden, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, Room 004

The emotions have been at the forefront of much recent work in the field of cultural history. Central to this work has been the idea that the ways in which emotions are experienced are powerfully shaped and mediated by cultural-historical contexts. During this workshop four scholars working in the field of early modern studies will reflect on current issues in the history of emotions. They will focus especially on the affective dimensions of early modern literary texts: on the role which literary representation plays in shaping the emotional regimes of its surrounding culture.

The workshop will begin with three 15-minute presentations:

  • Kristine Steenbergh (VU University), ‘Practising Compassion in the Early Modern English Theatre’
  • Kristine Johanson (University of Amsterdam), ‘Melancholy, Time, and the Anxiety of the Inactive Body’
  • Frans Willem Korsten (University of Leiden), ‘The Possible, the “What If” and the Virtual: Affect and Agency from Job to Abraham and Isaac’

The presentations will be followed by a response by

  • Michael Schoenfeldt (John Knott Professor of English, University of Michigan)

After Professor Schoenfeldt’s response, the floor will be open for further debate among the four presenters and the audience.

The workshop is organized in tandem with a guest lecture by

Michael Schoenfeldt on Lessons from the Body: Disability, Deformity, and Disease in Shakespeare

Wednesday 6 April, 16.15,
Vossius Room, Leiden University Library.

You are also invited to attend this event.

For further information about the workshop and guest lecture, please contact Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen (University of Leiden) at