Workshop München: "Fear: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives"

03.07.2015 - 04.07.2015

Mit "Fear: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives" beschäftigt ein zweitägiger Workshop am 3. und 4. Juli 2015, den die Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien gemeinsam mit "The Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit University of Cambridge" veranstaltet.

Theme: This workshop aims to understand various human emotional experiences of fear. By analyzing fear in its social and political incarnations we will explore the variability and contingency of this emotion from the nineteenth century until the present. Despite the centrality of fear as emotional experience in the past, analysis of fear has received different attention from historians and anthropologists. Whereas the field of anthropology has a long tradition of studying fear as a human emotion, historical research on emotions has not yet generated a definitive methodology that proved to be conducive to empirical research. One key aim of this workshop is therefore to explore how research methods on fear in anthropology can be applied in historical scholarship. The focus will particularly be on social and political fears. We will explore the modes of creation, organization, and overcoming of this emotion within the context of social power structures. Fear may create and reproduce types of subordination socially and historically. We will specifically look at how social power structures shape fear and how, in turn, fear also shapes social structures.


Format: In the first session, we will discuss “classical texts” on emotion / fear in the fields of history and anthropology to find a common language about the semantic content of the term and its application for a prolific research. The second session will be devoted to the examination of work in progress related to fear as conceptual term or as a category of experience. Participants are invited to present their texts (e.g. draft chapters) at the workshop. Commentators will examine the strengths and weaknesses of each paper. The comments are followed by a brief response by the author and a general discussion with a particular focus on the semantic content of fear and its analytical value.

Draft schedule:

Friday, July 3, 2015:

Arrival of participants

1:00 pm-2:00 pm:             Lunch

2:00 pm-4:00 pm:             Discussion of “classical texts” on emotion / fear

4:00 pm-4:30 pm:             Coffee break

4:30 pm-6:30 pm:             Discussion of work in progress on fear (paper 1 & 2)

7:00 pm:                         Dinner


9:00 am-11:00 am:           Discussion of work in progress on fear (paper 3 & 4)

11:00 am-11:30 am:         Coffee break

11:30 am-12:30 pm:         Discussion of work in progress on fear (paper 5)

1:00 pm:                        Lunch

Departure of participants