Synopses & Reviews
This volume provides a cross-disciplinary examination of fear, that most unruly of our emotions, by offering a broad survey of the psychological, biological, and philosophical basis of fear in historical and contemporary contexts. The contributors, leading figures in clinical psychology, neuroscience, the social sciences, and the humanities, consider categories of intentionality, temporality, admixture, spectacle, and politics in evaluating conceptions of fear.
and#160;and#160;and#160; Individual chapters treat manifestations of fear in the mass panic of the stock market crash of 1929, as spectacle in warfare and in horror films, and as a political tool to justify security measures in the wake of terrorist acts. They also describe the biological and evolutionary roots of fear, fear as innate versus learned behavior in both humans and animals, and conceptions of human andldquo;passionsandrdquo; and their self-mastery from late antiquity to the early modern era. Additionally, the contributors examine theories of intentional and non-intentional reactivity, the process of fear-memory coding, and contemporary psychologyandrsquo;s emphasis on anxiety disorders.
Overall, the authors point to fear as a dense and variable web of responses to external and internal stimuli. Our thinking about these reactions is just as complex. In response, this volume opens a dialogue between science and the humanities to afford a more complete view of an emotion that has shaped human behavior since time immemorial.
andldquo;Plamper and Lazier have rendered a major service by bringing this impressive set of contributions into conversation. Moving deftly from neuroscience and psychology to history and cinematography, they interrogate the scholarly, social, and political treatments of what is so often taken as the most hardwired of all emotions.andrdquo;
andmdash;Michael Laffan, Princeton University
andldquo;What a great book. Itandrsquo;s important for the sciences and humanities to interact, and this is a wonderful example, covering fear from many angles. I recommend it.andrdquo;
andmdash;Joseph LeDoux, author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self
"Our concept of emotion is in large part shaped by the science of emotion, especially the experimental psychology of emotion that emerged in the nineteenth century. The history of modern emotions since the nineteenth century should, then, in large part be a history of science. For an orientation in this field, Biess and Gross have gathered the sharpest thinking being done by the smartest people. But this trail-blazing book does more than survey the psychology, neuroscience, economics, or sociology of emotion: it also puts emotion back into science. Emotions take center stage—as lived realities that motivated and puzzled the scientists who studied them. Anyone seeking perspective on the 'emotional turn' in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences cannot afford to miss Science and Emotions after 1945
“In this book of lively essays, the 1950s, with its cold war panic; the 1960s, with its womens movement; and the 1970s, with its totalizing market economies are here shown--along with many other historically salient moments--to be the unexpected catalysts of todays scientific culture. Science and Emotions after 1945 tells us not only why the sciences today are so interested in emotions but also how humanists can critique, use, and transform such insights in their own work on emotions.”
“The history of the science of emotions is here brilliantly outlined, both by locating experimental science in its historical context, and by simultaneously challenging how emotions are treated by science and the humanities. The result is a book rich with the kind of constructive controversies that produce new understandings and new roads to follow.”
and#147;This is a book about how we have come to know what we think we know about the emotion of fear. The editors, Jan Plamper and Benjamin Lazier, argue that we remain, to some extent, trapped in a and#145;phobic regimeand#8217; that we have inherited from the nineteenth century. It was then that fear came to be seen as an evolutionarily conditioned, politically manipulable phenomenon, not necessarily directed toward any specific threat; and, at the same time, as the most ancient and thus the most decisive of human emotions. . . . The book is cleverly organized so that later chapters often serve to historicize earlier ones, and the editors' introduction succeeds marvelously in placing the chapters in dialogue with each other. . . . a truly multidimensional appreciation of the historicity of fear.and#8221;
This volume provides a broad survey of the psychological, biological, and philosophical basis of fear in historical and contemporary contexts. The contributors, leading figures in clinical psychology, neuroscience, the social sciences, and the humanities consider categories of intentionality, temporality, admixture, spectacle, and politics in evaluating conceptions of fear. This volume opens a dialogue between science and the humanities to afford a more complete view of an emotion that has shaped human behavior since time immemorial.
Through the first half of the twentieth century, emotions were a legitimate object of scientific study across a variety of disciplines. After 1945, however, in the wake of Nazi irrationalism, emotions became increasingly marginalized and postwar rationalism took central stage. Emotion remained on the scene of scientific and popular study but largely at the fringes as a behavioral reflex, or as a concern of the private sphere. So why, by the 1960s, had the study of emotions returned to the forefront of academic investigation?
In Science and Emotions after 1945, Frank Biess and Daniel M. Gross chronicle the curious resurgence of emotion studies and show that it was fueled by two very different sources: social movements of the 1960s and brain science. A central claim of the book is that the relatively recent neuroscientific study of emotion did not initiate but instead consolidated the emotional turn by clearing the ground for multidisciplinary work on the emotions. Science and Emotions after 1945 tells the story of this shift by looking closely at scientific disciplines in which the study of emotions has featured prominently, including medicine, psychiatry, neuroscience, and the social sciences, viewed in each case from a humanities perspective.
About the Author
Jan Plamper is professor of history at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power.and#160;
Benjamin Lazier is associate professor of history and humanities at Reed College and the author of God Interrupted: Heresy and the European Imagination Between the World Wars.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Emotional Returns
Frank Biess and Daniel M. Gross
PART ONE Neuroscience
1 Humanists and the Experimental Study of Emotion
WILLIAM M. REDDY
2 “Both of Us Disgusted in My Insula”: Mirror-Neuron Theory and Emotional Empathy
3 Emotion Science and the Heart of a Two-Cultures Problem
DANIEL M. GROSS AND STEPHANIE D. PRESTON
PART TWO Medicine
4 What Is an Excitement?
Otniel E. Dror
5 The Science of Pain and Pleasure in the Shadow of the Holocaust
6 Oncomotions: Experience and Debates in West Germany and the United States after 1945
PART THREE Psychiatry
7 The Concept of Panic: Military Psychiatry and Emotional Preparation for Nuclear War in Postwar West Germany
8 Preventing the Inevitable: John Appel and the Problem of Psychiatric Casualties in the US Army during World War II
Rebecca Jo Plant
9 Feeling for the Protest Faster: How the Self-Starving Body Influences Social Movements and Global Medical Ethics
Nayan B. Shah
PART FOUR Social Sciences
10 Across Different Cultures? Emotions in Science during the Early Twentieth Century
11 Decolonizing Emotions: The Management of Feeling in the New World Order
12 Passions, Preferences, and Animal Spirits: How Does Homo Oeconomicus Cope with Emotions?
13 The Transatlantic Element in the Sociology of Emotions
14 Feminist Theories and the Science of Emotion
15 Affect, Trauma, and Daily Life: Transatlantic Legal and Medical Responses to Bullying and Intimidation
Coda: Erasures; Writing History about Holocaust Trauma
Carolyn J. Dean
List of Contributors