In the ongoing upsurge of studies on emotions the topic of narrativity has continuously been present. While some have claimed that emotions themselves have a narrative structure and thus need to be studied with the help of specifically narrative categories (David Velleman, Christiane Voss), others have suggested that narratives help us to understand or explain complex emotions such as shame, hatred or jealousy without the additional claim that such emotions have a narrative structure. Peter Goldie, in his late The Mess Inside (2012), emphasizes process emotions such as grief and treats them as inherently “narratable”. Others, such as Ronald De Sousa, propose that narratives or “paradigmatic scenarios” (often depicted in stories) help us to acquire familiarity with the meaning of emotions or claim that reading good literature will turn us into morally sensitive persons (Martha Nussbaum). Despite the great philosophical interest in all aspects of narrativity what is still lacking is a thoroughgoing philosophical appreciation of the results of narrativity research in the field of literary studies.
In the workshop we want to investigate the role of narratives or of models of narrativity in the field of emotion research and also attempt to connect the philosophical perspective to the perspective of narrativity research in literary studies. Typical questions to be investigated are: Are emotions narrative in structure? And if so: which emotions? Do we need narratives in order to understand or explain emotions? Does this understanding require specific narratives? Don’t we need a more refined understanding of narratives if we want to link emotion research to narrativity research? What can emotion research learn from novels or other fictional accounts and from their analysis in literary studies? Can narratives distort emotions?
The number of participants is limited. We invite submissions of abstracts (up to 500 words) and request a short academic CV. The workshop is under reserve of successful fundraising to be undertaken by the organizers.
Organizers: Martin Hartmann (Lucerne), Eva Weber-Guskar (Göttingen)