Workshop – Studies on Emotion

Workshop on April 5, 2019, in Uppsala with Paul White, University of Cambridge


Welcome to a workshop with Paul White on the study of emotions as historical or contemporary objects of study. White is an historian of science, active in The Darwin Correspondence Project at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain, and has written several important texts on the use of the history of emotion to better understand the creation of knowledge, for instance Darwin’s Emotions: The Scientific Self and the Sentiment of Objectivity. He has also developed analytical tools such as "The Emotional Economy of Science", which are used to analyse for instance the social function of knowledge generating emotions.

Time and Venue


  • Session 1: 10:15–12:00
  • Session 2: 13:15–15:00


The Rausing Room, Department of History of Science and Ideas, English Park Campus, House 6


During session 1, 10.15–12, each participant will present their own project, related to studies of emotion, and get feedback from White and the group at large. During session 2,  13.15–15 we will discuss more overarching questions about the study of emotion, such as

  • How can we study emotions as historical, cultural and social phenomenon? Can we give meaningful answers to the question of what an emotion is?
  • How do emotions relate to questions about the individual and the private body's relationship to socially formed groups or historical discourses? Which are the methodological implications for the humanities and the social sciences?
  • How do emotions affect the creation of knowledge? Are they inspiring, deterring, motivating, boundary making?
  • The future of the field: Which difficulties must be handled, which goals can we reach? How does the history of emotion relate to other fields, for instance affect theory? 


Sign up by sending an abstract in English to Annelie Drakman along with the answers to the following questions:

  1. Why did I pick emotions as an analytical frame work to understand my research topic?
  2. What's a problem concerning my own work I'd like help with?
  3. What's a question concerning the studies of emotion that I wish to discuss? 

The workshop is open to 10 participants and the deadline for applying is 20 February 2019.


The workshop is organised by the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, in co-operation with the Department for Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, through Sven Widmalm, Staffan Bergwik and Annelie Drakman.


  1. A female face expressing admiration tinged with astonishment. Engraving by M. Engelbrecht, 1732, after C. Le Brun. Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY.
  2. Smiling girl and man from Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY.
Last modified: 2023-01-11