The History of Emotions as a New Disciplinary Direction for South Asian Studies (in memoria Anne Monius)
We can no longer justify talking about the history of religion, intellectual history, connected history, and other histories of South Asia without including the history of emotions, which promises to open up a new disciplinary direction for South Asian Studies.
· Monius, Anne Elizabeth Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America)
South Asian Studies is increasingly giving way to the emotional turn. We can no longer justify talking about the history of religion, intellectual history, connected history, and other histories without including the subdiscipline of the history of emotions. Emotions have a history. Their concepts, experiences, and knowledge have changed across time and space. However, discussions about the South Asian history of emotions must not merely focus on speech (literature and language); they should also include—besides conceptual histories and lexicon research—sources of medicine, legal practices, art/artifacts, architecture, material-history components, politics, and economics. South Asian history of emotion research can be connected with influential methodological approaches, such as “emotional regimes,” “emotional communities,” “emotional practices,” “moral economies,” and “affect theory.” This field of research has to master analysing South Asian emotion discourses and knowledge systems in various languages, while being sensitive to visual and material sources and aware of the historical dynamics of places, space, objects, social groups, institutions, religion, and gender. Additionally, this research must bear in mind the results of current biocultural brain research, another increasingly acknowledged key source for historians of emotion. With these challenges and opportunities in mind, the history of emotions promises to open up a new disciplinary direction for South Asian Studies. Both reflective papers and case studies that promote trans-, inter- or multidisciplinary approaches are welcome. i
This panel is dedicated to the late Anne Monius.