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Engaging the Emotions in Spanish Culture and History

Editor(s): Luisa Elena Delgado, Pura Fernández, Jo Labanyi

Rather than being properties of the individual self, emotions are socially produced and deployed in specific cultural contexts, as this collection documents with unusual richness. All the essays show emotions to be a form of thought and knowledge, and a major component of social life—including in the nineteenth century, which attempted to relegate them to a feminine intimate sphere.

The collection ranges across topics such as eighteenth-century sensibility, nineteenth-century concerns with the transmission of emotions, early twentieth-century cinematic affect, and the contemporary mobilization of political emotions including those regarding nonstate national identities. The complexities and effects of emotions are explored in a variety of forms—political rhetoric, literature, personal letters, medical writing, cinema, graphic art, soap opera, journalism, popular music, digital media—with attention paid to broader European and transatlantic implications.

Biography of Editor(s)

Luisa Elena Delgado is Professor of Spanish, Critical Theory, and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Pura Fernández is Research Professor in the Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Spain's National Research Council.
Jo Labanyi is Professor of Spanish at New York University.


  • "Constitutes a new contribution to this field of study--one that is especially welcome with regard to Spain, where the study of the history of emotions has had a late start and remains in an early phase, as the editors note in the introduction. . . . The present volume will doubtless constitute a cornerstone of and an indispensable point of reference for any future inquiry into the history of emotions in Spain."
    Journal of Modern History
  • "This impressive collection of essays is set to become a landmark text of the modern period, and its contributors represent the cutting edge of Hispanism, both within Spain and within the Anglo-American critical tradition. This is a timely volume. Emotions are not simply part of the human self, but are provoked, tempered, tolerated, and encouraged by different historical, social, and political situations and circumstances, and this collection is a way of charting a type of sociological as well as psychological history that takes account of local specificity."
    Alison Sinclair, University of Cambridge, author of Trafficking Knowledge in Early Twentieth-Century Spain: Centres of Exchange and Cultural Imaginaries and Sex and Society in Early Twentieth-Century Spain: Hildegart Rodríguez and the World League for Sexual Reform