School of History

HST7328 - Stoicism and Sensibility: Emotions in Modern British History

Module code: HST7328

In the modern period, the British developed a reputation for being, variously, phlegmatic, taciturn, melancholic, withdrawn, reserved, restrained, and stoical. This module will look beyond these stereotypes to reconstitute the rich emotional lives of the British people, both public and private, since the eighteenth century. Topics covered will include: sentimental education at home and at school; romantic love, sex and adultery; tears and sentimentality; emotions in the courtroom; theories of passions and emotions in science and medicine; emotional wellbeing and the modern state; emotional styles in times of war and peace; the stiff upper lip; and the therapeutic turn. The course will introduce students to important theoretical writings about the history of the emotions, including texts by Lucien Febvre,Barbara Rosenwein, Joanna Bourke,Ute Frevert and Michael Roper.