Mapping the Emotions of Higher Education

Project Description

This project treats of the history of emotions in higher education at the turn of the eighteenth century. Its background is a contemporary debate. In the wake of the Bologna process, there has been an intense discussion of the goals of teaching in higher education. Life at the university in our time is said to have become an emotionally bland and mechanical process. These statements form a sharp contrast to the ones found in the educational debate two hundred years ago. During this period, university studies acquired a new and strong emotional charge. The more indifferent attitudes of the previous period gave way to stronger affections, not least of love of learning and of university life. Most of the evidences of this process can be found in the German context, and in the intense discussions about the goals and meaning if higher education there. The project examines and analyses this debate in journals and literature. It has two specific goals. Firstly, it undertakes an empirical mapping of the expressions and evidences of the changing affective life in higher education. Secondly, the project involves an analytical element, where the sources surveyed are placed within a broader context. The analysis sets out from the methodological perspectives developed in the traditions of research into the history of the university education and the history of emotions. This combination represents a new direction within the study of the history of higher education.

About the Project

Project Duration


The Swedish Research Council


Thomas Karlsohn (projektledare)

Last modified: 2022-12-29