Matters of Engagement : Emotions, Identity, and Cultural Contact in the Premodern World book cover
1st Edition

Matters of Engagement
Emotions, Identity, and Cultural Contact in the Premodern World

ISBN 9781138594678
Published November 6, 2020 by Routledge
354 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

By drawing on a broad range of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary expertise, this study addresses the history of emotions in relation to cross-cultural movement, exchange, contact, and changing connections in the later medieval and early modern periods.

All essays in this volume focus on the performance and negotiation of identity in situations of cultural contact, with particular emphasis on emotional practices. They cover a wide range of thematic and disciplinary areas and are organized around the primary sources on which they are based. The edited volume brings together two major areas in contemporary humanities: the study of how emotions were understood, expressed, and performed in shaping premodern transcultural relations, and the study of premodern cultural movements, contacts, exchanges, and understandings as emotionally charged encounters. In discussing these hitherto separated historiographies together, this study sheds new light on the role of emotions within Europe and amongst non-Europeans and Europeans between 1100 and 1800.

The discussion of emotions in a wide range of sources including letters, images, material culture, travel writing, and literary accounts makes Matters of Engagement an invaluable source for both scholars and students concerned with the history of premodern emotions.

Table of Contents

1. Matters of Engagement: Emotions, Identity, and Cultural Contact in the Premodern World. An Introduction

Daniela Hacke, Claudia Jarzebowski, and Hannes Ziegler

Part 1: Letters

2. Bridging the Gap: Techniques of Appresentation and Familiar(izing) Narratives in Eighteenth-Century Transmaritime Family Correspondence

Christina Beckers

3. An Emotional Company: Mobility, Community and Control in the Records of the English East-India Company

Mark Williams

Part 2: Images

4. Lust, Love and Curiosity: The Emotional Threads in the Dutch Encounter with an Exotic East

Natsuko Akagawa

5. Santiago Matamoros/Mataindios: Adopting an Old World Battlefield Apparition as a New World Representation of Triumph

Heather Dalton

6. Riding the Juggernaut: Embodied Emotions and ‘Indian’ Ritual Processions through European Eyes, c. 1300-1600

Jennifer Spinks 

Part 3: Materials

7. Robbing the Grave: Stealing the Remains of the Blessed John of Matha from the Church of S. Tommaso in Formis in 1655

Lisa Beaven

8. Days of Wrath, Days of Friendships: The Materiality of Anger and Love in Early Modern Denmark

Jette Linaa

Part 4: Travel Writing

9. "A Country Where Reason Does Not Rule the Heart": Spanish Exuberance and the Traveller’s Gaze

Thomas C. Devaney

10. Sensible Distances: The Colonial Projections of Therese Huber and E.G. Wakefield

Lisa O'Connell 

11. Animals and Emotions in the Early Modern World

Margaret R. Hunt

Part 5: Literary Accounts

12. Travel, Emotions and Timelessness: On Otherworldly Encounters in Medieval Narratives

Jutta Eming

13. "Always fleeing away": Emotion, Exile and Rest in the Old English Life of St Mary of Egypt

Andrew Lynch 

14. From Aaron to Othello: The Changing Emotional Register of Blackness in Shakespeare

Bríd Phillips

15. Emotions, Identity and Propaganda: Ottoman Threat and Confessional Divide in Later Sixteenth-Century Germany

Hannes Ziegler

View More



Daniela Hacke is an internationally renowned cultural historian and Full Professor of Early Modern History at Freie Universität Berlin.

Claudia Jarzebowski, partner investigator at the Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions since its founding in 2011, researches and publishes on early modern global history and applies polycentric perspectives with a focus on agency, gender, and ethnic and religious/spiritual creolization. Her second book, Childhood and Emotion. Children in Early Modern Europe, was published (in German) in 2018.

Hannes Ziegler is Research Fellow in early modern history at the German Historical Institute London.