BSA Emotions Study Group Webinar - The Conflicted History of an Emotion
10 December 2020 (4:00-5:30pm GMT)
Barbara H. Rosenwein (University of Chicago)
Anger: The Conflicted History of an Emotion
Discussant: Dr Jilly Kay (University of Leicester)
Tracing the story of anger from the Buddha to Twitter, Rosenwein provides a much-needed account of our changing and contradictory understandings of this emotion. All of us think we know when we are angry, and we are sure we can recognize anger in others as well. But this is only superficially true. We see anger through lenses coloured by what we know, experience, and learn.
Barbara H. Rosenwein traces our many conflicting ideas about and expressions of anger, taking the story from the Buddha to our own time, from anger’s complete rejection to its warm reception. Rosenwein explores how anger has been characterized by gender and race, why it has been tied to violence and how that is often a false connection, how it has figured among the seven deadly sins and yet is considered a virtue, and how its interpretation, once largely the preserve of philosophers and theologians, has been gradually handed over to scientists—with very mixed results.
Rosenwein shows that the history of anger can help us grapple with it today.