On Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 October 2012, the Department of English, German and Romance Studies at Copenhagen University will host a workshop on the role of emotions and intimacy in the history of Christian missions.
The workshop will consist of a full day on Wednesday (10am-5pm) and a half day on Thursday (10am-12pm), and will include speakers such as Professor Elizabeth Elbourne (McGill University, Canada), Inge Seiding
(Ilisimatusarfik University, Greenland), Dr Judith Becker (Mainz University, Germany) and Associate Professor Søren Thuesen (Copenhagen University), giving papers on Danish, German and British missionaries in contexts as diverse as Greenland, India, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
For more details of the questions to be addressed by the workshop speakers, see below. The full programme will be available in mid-August at http://australianstudies.ku.dk/staff/claire_mclisky/postdoctoral_project/
If you wish to attend, please register (free) for the workshop by contacting Claire McLisky before 17 September 2012.
Dr Claire McLisky
Centre for Australian Studies
Department of English, German and Romance Studies
University of Copenhagen
For some years now affect, emotion and intimacy have been an increasing site of interest for historians working in colonial history, who have identified them as integral, rather than peripheral to, colonial legislation and practice. Yet despite a burgeoning interest in the field, little has been written on the specific roles of affect and emotion in mediating the intimate in Christian mission. This is particularly surprising, given the evangelical definition of faith and salvation in emotional terms, and the emphasis that missionaries often put on regulating emotions – both their own and those of others. In this light, this workshop investigates the role of emotion, affect and the intimate in the histories of Christian missions, attempting to answer questions such as:
- What role did emotion, affect and intimacy play in the construction of colonial knowledge on Christian missions?
- What was the role of emotion, affect and intimacy in delineating social boundaries and defining social groups on Christian missions?
- How did doctrinal and denominational factors influence missionaries’ ideas about intimacy, affect and emotions, and the ways in which these ideas played out in the mission field?
- How did missionaries resolve the tensions between ideas of themselves as rational, enlightened Europeans distanced from their colonial ‘subjects’, and the intimate reality of mission life?
- To what degree were missionaries agents of emotional change in the communities they worked in? To what extent were indigenous peoples have to define and control emotion in their communities?
- How did missionaries’ ideas about emotion, intimacy and affect change over time?
- Which models (‘emotional communities’, ‘emotional regimes’, ‘emotional economies’, or others) best describe the role and function of emotions in Christian missions?
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