HSIT How do emotion ‘words’ help us understand historical emotions and what are the limitations of this approach?

 

How do emotion ‘words’ help us understand historical emotions and what are the limitations of this approach?

RESEARCH PLAN AND EVALUATION OF THE SECONDARY LITERATURE (1,500 words, 30%): This assessment is designed to help you establish the wider scholarly context of your research and to build your analytical skills. It will provide you with the opportunity to conduct foundational research for the Research Project and to receive feedback on your preliminary findings.

The general question that you will address is:

What is the significance of my project to the history of emotions and how do historians write about it?

First, you will identify your research project.

Second, you will specify which methodology or methodologies from the History of Emotions you have chosen and how you will use it to examine primary sources. You will also outline what types of primary sources you plan to use and why they will help to improve your understanding of the topic.

Third, you will identify a range of secondary source materials on your topic and explain their relevance to the problem you are investigating.

Fourth, you will explain the significance of your project (i.e. how does it improve our understanding of emotions in past societies/within the period or culture[s] you have selected?)

This is how you will present the assignment. You can vary the length of the sections, but this is what I recommend:

Give a short description of your planned topic. Raise the general research question/s that you aim to address (approx. 50 words).

Explain which methodology/methodologies and primary sources you intend to use to answer you research question/s. How will you use your methodology to analyse the primary sources? (note: you do not need to analyse primary sources here, but you should state what types you want to look at and provide some information about where you plan to obtain them) (approx. 300 words).

Choose one book and explain its importance for understanding the research question/s you are addressing. Sole-authored or collaboratively written monographs are acceptable, but edited collections comprising chapters by different authors are not (you may choose to use a book by a theorist in emotions history, such as William Reddy or Barbara Rosenwein here) (approx. 250 words).

Choose two or three academic articles from peer reviewed journals and/or book chapters from edited collections and explain their importance for understanding the research question/s you are addressing. Please note that at least one of these sources must be a peer-reviewed journal article (approx. 600 words).

Drawing on the research you have completed for this assignment, explain the significance of your project (approx. 300 words).

In your Bibliography, you should include under a separate heading (such as ‘To Be Consulted’) a list of primary sources that you intend to cite, or a list of locations that you have identified as having appropriate primary sources [e.g. links to websites, archives, edited collections]. This is not included in the final word count.

Marking Criteria (refer to the rubric for more specific detail—I will be marking to the same rubric as the Methodology Essay)

Capacity to understand and incorporate theories and concepts from the History of Emotions to address a research question.

  1. Capacity to identify core arguments and methodologies in secondary sources.

Capacity to synthesise, evaluate, and compare core arguments and methodologies in the sources

  1. Capacity to communicate the nature and significance of the research project

Clarity of expression

  1. Capacity to understand and incorporate theories and concepts from the History of Emotions to address a research question.

You need to demonstrate that you understand how to appropriately use a theory or theories from the History of Emotions to analyse primary sources and to answer your research question/s. This will involve looking into these theories in more detail, such as by reading work by the person/people who invented the theory, and by identifying studies that other historians have conducted using the theory/ries.

  1. Capacity to identify core arguments and methodologies in secondary sources.

It will not be enough to simply describe the content of your chosen secondary sources. Aim to demonstrate your understanding of the author’s intention, their argument, and their attempt to address the topic you are researching. Consider what the author is trying to achieve and how they have gone about doing this. You may find it useful here to explore work by historians who use the theory/ies you plan to use, even if their topic/period of interest is different (e.g. if you want to look at love letters from World War I, you may also find it useful to consult emotions research on love letters from World War II, or from earlier historical periods, such as the 18th or 19th centuries). It could also be worthwhile to consult broader historical studies outside of the History of Emotions that look at the same topic to see how you could use emotions theories to identify things they might have missed.

Capacity to synthesise, evaluate, and compare core concepts in the sources

  1. While you will be addressing individual items, to go beyond the minimum requirements you should establish how they fit into a larger picture, or argument, or a set of arguments. Thus, your analysis of the individual items is as important as your ability to reflect on your examples as a group of sources on the same general subject. Once you have understood the main point of each source consider whether there are patterns in the secondary literature and/or whether there is a hierarchy of themes and/or approaches. Do the historians reach the same consensus about a topic, or is there some disagreement?

Capacity to communicate the significance of the research project

Aim to draw on your analysis of the sources when making general observations about the significance of your project. Even though you will organise your response in sections, you should draw connections between them and build on your ideas. In doing so, your conclusion will help you to consider the significance of your project as a whole in a way that builds on the research you have conducted.

Clarity of expression

You will be assessed on your capacity to address key concepts in a clear and concise manner. You should not include lengthy quotations or rely on other historians to write the analysis for you. The point of this assignment is to practice your communication skills and develop your own writing style, which you can then take to your Research Project.

HSIT How do emotion ‘words’ help us understand historical emotions and what are the limitations of this approach?

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