Sif Rikhardsdottir at Ca’Foscari University | PhD seminars: 1. History of Emotion 2. Cross-Cultural Encounters and Revisionary Literary History

Seminar cycles at Ca’ Foscari University | Venice

Sif Rikhardsdottir

Professor of Comparative Literature at University of Iceland


Seminar 1: History of Emotion

This methodological seminar cycle draws on the current and rapidly expanding field of the ‘history of emotion’. The aim is to provide a critical background of the field, drawing on the various theoretical premises that have informed the development of the history of emotion, including theories within psychology, cognitive studies and linguistics. We will discuss and review the major critical approaches within the field (including Peter N. Stearns, William M. Reddy and Barbara H. Rosenwein) and query how the theoretical approach of emotion studies can be applied to literature.

The focus in the first seminar session will be on establishing an understanding of the theoretical or methodological approaches of emotion studies as a field. The second two sessions will focus on textual application where students will be encouraged to present their own application of the methodological approach to texts of their own choice, with the lead question being how we can read emotions in literature, i.e. how we can theorise literary emotionality as a methodological approach to both modern and medieval texts.

  • Session 1: Methodology of the ‘history of emotion’ within literary studies
  • Session 2: Presentation and application of the methodological approach
  • Session 3: Presentation and application of the methodological approach

Seminar parameters: Methodological seminar that aims to provide critical tools for literary analysis

  • Students will gain an understanding of the critical background of the field of the ‘history of emotion’
  • Students will get an overview of the major critics and theories
  • Students will engage critically and practically with the concept of emotion in literature/ literary emotions through text analyses

Schedule (seminar 1):
Tuesday 16.10.2018 12:15-15:30
Tuesday 13.11.2018 12:15-15:30
Tuesday 20.11.2018 12:15-15:30

The seminar will take place at Palazzo Cosulich (Aula Conferenze)


Seminar 2: Cross-Cultural Encounters and Revisionary Literary History

The field of comparative and cross-border studies in the field of literature is growing rapidly with an ever increasing focus on cultural engagements, cultural fusion and translation as a site for identity formation and cultural resistance. This seminar cycle will focus on the methodological approaches of cross-cultural studies, considering their implications for a new mode of understanding and formulating literary history, thereby contesting the frequently rigid national or linguistic borders of the field. We will consider concepts such as translatio studii et imperii and their implications for medieval practices of translation and transmission as well as reading across some of the main theoretical discussions of medieval and modern translation and cross-cultural studies. Such an approach is particularly adept for the Apennine Peninsula; the nexus for cultural mediation between East and West in the Middle Ages and the site of unparalleled cultural fusion. We will consider examples of such cultural engagements and transmission, utilising evidence from insular Britain, Normandy, Scandinavia and the medieval Kingdom of Sicily to showcase the impact of cultural fusion on national and international literary histories.

The focus of the first seminar session will be on introducing the methodological concept of cross-cultural approaches to literary studies, drawing on medieval traditions and conventions of translation and transmission and its modern realisations with examples from European literary history. The second session will aim at students utilising the theoretical tools to present their own application of those tools on medieval or early modern texts and/or revisiting literary history based on the approach. In the final session the remaining students will be expected to draw comparisons between the medieval context of cultural transmission and resistance and the modern context of global literary history and World Literatures.

  • Session 1: Methodology of cross-border critical approach within literary studies
  • Session 2: Theoretical application to query the conception of literary history
  • Session 3: Theoretical application to query the modern context of cross-border studies

Seminar parameters: Methodological and thematic seminar with the intent of deepening the understanding of the development of cross-cultural literary history

  • Students will gain an understanding of the theoretical approach, including the critical vocabulary and both medieval and modern theoretical paradigms in the field
  • Students will be expected to apply and test the critical approaches on literary examples of their own choice
  • Students will gain an understanding of the complexity and interrelations of literary production across Europe

Schedule (seminar 2):
mercoledì 31 ottobre 10:30-14
giovedì 22 novembre 12:15-15:30
giovedì 29 novembre 12:15-13:30

The seminar will take place at Palazzo Cosulich (Aula Conferenze)

Contacts: Massimiliano Bampi (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice) | m.bampi@unive.it