Civilizing Emotions: Concepts in Nineteenth-Century Asia and Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the vocabulary of civility and civilization is very much at the forefront of political debate. Most of these debates proceed as if the meaning of these words were self-evident. This is where Civilizing Emotions intervenes, tracing the history of the concepts of civility and civilization and thus adding a level of self-reflexivity to the present debates. Unlike previous histories, Civilizing Emotions takes a global perspective, highlighting the roles of civility and civilization in the creation of a new and hierarchized global order in the era of high imperialism and its entanglements with the developments in a number of well-chosen European and Asian countries.
Emotions were at the core of the practices linked to the creation of a new global order in the nineteenth century. Civilizing Emotions explores why and how emotions were an asset in civilizing peoples and societies – their control and management, but also their creation and their ascription to different societies and social groups. The study is a contribution to the history of emotions, to global history, and to the history of concepts, three rapidly developing and innovative research areas which are here being brought together for the first time.
This project was a collaboration sponsored by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Kultrans, the University of Oslo. It brought together a team of researchers from around the world to investigate concepts of civility in thirteen different linguistic and cultural spheres. The authors are: Margrit Pernau, Helge Jordheim, Orit Bashkin, Christian Bailey, Oleg Benesch, Jan Ifversen, Mana Kia, Rochona Majumdar, Angelika C. Messner, Myoung-kyu Park, Emmanuelle Saada, Mohinder Singh, and Einar Wigen.