Authenticity and Convention

Event: Research Group

Location: NEC (#403 ground floor) & Zoom

28 November 2023, 16.15-18.00 (Bucharest time)

Cătălin ȚĂRANU, PhD, NEC scientific researcher, leader of the research project Grammars of Emotion: Shame and the Social Economy of Honour in Medieval Heroic Literatures

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 3181 8191
Passcode: 000982


One of the biggest obstacles in studying emotions represented in historical sources appears to be their authenticity. How do we know whether this king’s anger or that mother’s grief was sincere or went no deeper than a rhetorical commonplace? What is the relationship between the performance and verbal expression of emotions and what people actually felt? Perhaps authenticity itself is a paradigm that needs to be historically contextualized and seen for the post-Romantic expectation that it is. Our discussion will focus on these issues and will partly aim to tease out more productive ways of investigating emotions in the past that bypass a perceived disjunction between sincere inner feeling and conventional outer expression.

Readings: *Mary Garrison, ‘The study of emotions in early medieval history: some starting points‘, Early Medieval Europe 10 (2001), 243–50

*Stuart Airlie, ‘The history of emotions and emotional history‘, Early Medieval Europe 10 (2001), 235–41


The Emotions Through History Research Group is the product of the collective interests and expertise of its convenors and participants, so please share any ideas, questions, and suggestions you might have at Depending on interest and subject to your suggestions, we can organize additional meetings, change some of the topics or have you present your work in progress.

This event is organized within Emotions Through History Research Group in the framework of the Grammars of Emotion: Shame and the Social Economy of Honour in Medieval Heroic Literatures research project supported by Romania’s Recovery and Resilience Plan | Ministry of European Investment and Projects – Government of Romania | #NextGenerationEU – European Union (Postdoctoral Research PNRR-III-C9-2022 – I9) and hosted by New Europe College.