Barbara H. Rosenwein

A pioneer in the field of the History of Emotions, Barbara H. Rosenwein is internationally known for her paradigmatic “emotional communities,” which examines how various groups (now and in the past) nourished different modes of valuing, expressing, and experiencing emotions, at both the individual and the collective level. She rejects the claim that there are certain basic emotions universal to all, yet she argues that some patterns of feeling are embedded in specific traditions that may be traced through time.  In her highly acclaimed Anger: The Conflicted History of an Emotion (2020), she looks at anger’s many faces, from the Buddha (rejecting all anger) to Twitter (delighting in it).  In her most recent Polity book, Love: A History in Five Fantasies, she shows how seemingly contradictory notions of love, recounted in literature, promoted in propaganda, lived out in real people’s lives, have persisted over time, their meanings and practical consequences ever-changing yet curiously recognizable.