HUMA4001 “Feeling the Past: Emotions in History, 1100-1800”

Honours Seminar (19 students)

The unit is designed in four, three-week modules. The modules focus on key concepts in the historical understanding, practice and expression of emotions in the European tradition from 1100-1800, using relevant primary sources and significant secondary scholarship, with reference to historical events that focused intense emotional energies, for example, the Crusades, the Reformation and the French Revolution. These concepts are drawn from and illustrated by historical documents, literary and theatrical texts, examples of visual and material culture, and examples of intellectual discourses on the emotions of various kinds.

The unit includes examination of the changing intellectual, social and cultural significance of concepts such as ‘love’, ‘the passions’, and ’empathy’, and consideration of major conceptual frameworks within which the role of human emotions have been understood: physiological; psychological, philosophical/theological, political and popular. Attention is also given to the history of ’emotionology’: the changing social and cultural regulation of emotional expression. Attention is paid to gendered aspects of these fields of enquiry.

As well as emphasising past understandings of emotions, the unit introduces students to a variety of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the history of emotions. It encourages reflection on the emotional factors that may affect contemporary understanding of the past, and on the continuing effects of European traditions of emotion in contemporary emotional life.

HIST4105 “Christianities: Continuity and Reform, 313-1700”

Honours Seminar (12 students)

From its humble origins as a splinter sect of Judaism to its current status as the most widely practiced religion in the world, Christianity has undergone countless transformations throughout its long history. This course will explore a variety of Christian movements as they emerged, developed and (sometimes) disappeared over the period from the fourth century to the beginning of the eighteenth. Each meeting will explore a different movement or aspect of a movement, paying particular attention to how its unique ideology shaped and was shaped by the socio-historical context out of which it emerged, but also tracing the continuities between the other movements analyzed thus far. The course will be divided into four modules, each run by an instructor who specializes in the time period under discussion. The first, run by Michael Barbezat, will begin with the Late Roman Empire and end in the thirteenth century. This module will focus on Augustine of Hippo, the New Monasticism and high medieval heresy. The second module, run by Paul Megna, will explore various forms of Christian devotion popular in the late Middle Ages, focusing on the lifestyles of anchorites, hermits, lay devotees and Wycliffite heretics. The third module, run by Kirk Essary, will consider the way in which the cultural and intellectual transformations of the Renaissance contributed to changing landscapes in Christian thought and practice, and will then turn to examine the Protestant reformations and Catholic counter-reformations of the sixteenth century, when European Christendom was irreparably fractured. The fourth and final module, run by Robin Macdonald, will examine European missions in the Americas in the age of the counter-reformation.