chapter  I
4 Pages

I.3 Affect theory


It is hard not to suspect that many of these disputes and differences are grounded as much in disciplinary tensions as intellectual ones. And it is clear that the stakes are quite high. From being a somewhat marginal branch of historical studies, the history of emotions has in many institutional contexts become a flagship for dialogue between the humanities, the social sciences and the cognitive sciences, and the opposition between emotion and affect can become quite stark in this context. Where does this leave early modern studies? As in other areas where the history of emotions has made substantial inroads, we must also negotiate our own disciplinary traditions and practices, and our own different starting-points (texts, images, events or practices). Of course, in the case of historical studies, we are restricted to the surviving texts, objects, images and structures around which we reconstruct the history of feeling.