Call for Essays: Special Issue of PMLA


Deadline for submissions: 4 November 2013

Coordinators: Katharine Ann Jensen (Louisiana State Univ.) and Miriam L. Wallace (New Coll. of Florida)

How do human beings experience or recognize emotions—our own and those of others? What distinguishes an emotion from other faculties and sensations, and how do different fields engage these complex concepts? These questions have recently been the focus of affect studies, which elucidates how visceral forces beyond consciousness impel us toward movement, thought, and relation and explores affect’s ethical, aesthetic, and political implications.

The nature and significance of emotion have engaged thinkers since ancient times. In fifth-century Greece, for example, Hippocrates developed the theory of the humors to posit an intrinsic relation between the body and the emotions. Indeed, discerning connections or disjunctions among body, mind, and emotion has preoccupied philosophers, political theorists, religious thinkers, and literary writers, among others, for millennia. he classification of kinds of emotion—love, joy, hatred, sadness, fear, shame, and so on—an emotion’s positive or negative quality, and the ability to control one’s emotions have also been enduring subjects of theory and debate. Visual and theatrical artists since the eighteenth century studied the facial and bodily manifestations of emotions to depict them persuasively, while Freud famously elaborated the deleterious effects of repressed emotions and conceived of human existence in terms of a persistent conflict between aggressive and erotic instincts.

The PMLA Editorial Board invites essays that reflect on theories or representations of emotions in any period or cultural tradition. Potential contributors are encouraged to consider such questions as these: In what ways have emotions been valued as a form of knowledge or refinement; in what ways have they been rejected or associated with the uneducated? How and why have emotions been gendered or racially defined? How have emotions been understood to affect the imagination? How has emotion been conceptualized as disembodied or as excessively embodied, and what are the implications of these competing notions? What have been the psychological aspects of emotions, whether repressed or unbridled? What are the affective dimensions of reading or viewing (sympathy, identification, alienation, subjective transformation)? What have been the epistemological, aesthetic, political, or moral dimensions of emotion?

For submission details, click HERE

Miriam Wallace,
Oct 14, 2012, 3:24 PM