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Study Information | GLASS Masterclass

Affective States: The Politics and History of Sentiment

  • Ann Stoler
Wednesday 18 May 2016

As part of the GLASS program, Ann Stoler will teach a masterclass on Affective States. We welcome applications from all PhD and RMA students both within and outside of Leiden. Application deadline is May 2nd.


Affective States: The Politics and History of Sentiment

This course starts from two premises: (l) that sentiments articulate the personal and the political in historically specific ways; and (2) that sentiments are historically located social phenomena with specific genealogies. In this course, we draw on a range of varied literatures in anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, and literary criticism to explore the changing ways in which thought and feeling, rationality and passion, reason and sentiment have been understood. The focus is on sentiment as an index of relations of power and as a tracer of them. Seminar themes include attention to social inequality and sentiment, state formation and affect, the politics of compassion, imperial sympathy, "structures of feeling" and sentiment as a marker of political and social location.



Solomon, R. 1988.“On Emotions as Judgments,” American Philosophical Quarterly 25: 183-91 

Williams, Raymond. l977, “Structures of Feeling” in Marxism and Literature: 129-135.

Hirschman, Albert. 1977. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph, 9-66.

Herzog, Don.1997. “The Politics of Emotion,” Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders, 202-43.

Ellison, Julie. 1996.  “A Short History of Liberal Guilt,” Critical Inquiry 22(2): 344-71.

Boltanski, Luc, 1999. “The Politics of Pity” in Distant Suffering, 3-19.

Amat Rai 2002.  The Rule of Sympathy,  33-43.

Pandolfo, Stefania. 2007, “‘The Burning’ finitude and the politico-theological imagination of illegal migration” in Anthropological Theory 7 (3): 329-363.


Fassin, Didier, 2005, “Compassion and Repression: The Moral Economy of Immigration Policies in France,” Cultural Anthropology 20(3) 362-87.


Eligibility and Application Procedure

The class will be limited to 25 people. All PhD and RMA students are invited to apply. The class is open to students from any university, but some preference will be given to Leiden students. Copies of the reading materials will be provided to the accepted applicants and the instructor expects all participants to have read the materials before the class. There are no funds available for travel. 

Please apply using the form provided here. Required application materials include:

- a one-page CV 
- abstract about your research (500 words max)

The deadline for applications is 2 May.

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