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Accepted Paper:

Situated emotions: exploring contemporary and historical narratives of fear in texts and images  
Helena Hornfeldt (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

The presentation considers epistemological and methodological gains of combining contemporary ethnography and archival data containing children's narratives of fear. This creates a possibility to analyse how intertextuality and contexts produces emotions and regulate expressions of fear.

Paper long abstract:

Talk of fear is paramount in contemporary Sweden, as well as across the world. Fear is usually described as an intrinsic human response to certain stimuli and the emotional basis for flight. It is also however, a cultural construct. To feel fear is an ambiguous state of mind, not only by nature but also in the meaning of the emotion. This ambiguity, however, is partially overcome through the contextualization of fears in "emotional regimes" (Gonzales 2012), which regulate their expression and create social expectations that determine the range of meaningful emotions for any given situation. These situations vary over time, in place and with context. If children in the contemporary express fearful narratives about the future of the world, children in the past directed their fears to other ideologies or objects.

A fruitful methodological strategy in this study has been to combine children's narratives of fear from the contemporary and stories of fear from the folklore archives. Thereto, in order to understand the interconnection between individual emotional life and the narratives of fear, a broad analysis of other textual narratives and visual culture of fear has been vital. It thereby becomes possible to say something about the intertextuality and the contexts from which fear narratives derives its power and authority.

The analysis of emotions situated in different cultural and historical context can provide us with relevant cues, not only about fear manuscripts or emotional regimes but also about the eventual emotional instability that comes together with social and cultural change.

Panel Body06
Body, affect, senses and emotion: fields and perspectives [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 April, 2019, -