Non-human Emotions

Event: Research Group

Location: NEC (#403 ground floor) & Zoom

31 October 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


Animals, gods, swords, forests: narratives from all ages and places are full of non-human agents that have agency and feel or express emotion. However, the history of emotion has yet to acknowledge this rich corpus of evidence for affect that does not have a human subject as its source or that does not recognize the subject-object distinction. We will discuss various theoretical frameworks that might enable us to account for these non-human emotions (animism, mimesis, extended mind theory, cognitive metaphor, actor-network theory etc.) and what we can do with feeling subjectivities outside /beyond a human self.

Readings: *Rane Willerslev, Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood among the Siberian Yukaghirs (University of California Press 2007), pp. 73-79; 97-100; 105-114; 181-188
*James Paz, Nonhuman Voices in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Material Culture (Manchester University Press, 2017), pp. 1-4; 17-24

*(Optionally) Ellen Arnold, ‘Environmental History and Hagiography‘, in Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500, ed. by Samantha Kahn Herrick (Brill, 2020), pp. 351-71 (especially pp. 365-370)


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.