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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Сholera Riots in Staraia Russa in 1831. People and the Authorities: Actions, Motives, Concerns
In press

Belan M.

Slavonic and East European Review. 2024. Vol. 102. No. 2.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Border in Ingria in 1617–1618

Adrian Selin.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2024. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

History and Anthropology of Emotions

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
1 year, 3, 4 module


Course Syllabus


Emotion is an aspect of the human condition that may appear universal - yet the ways that it has been conceptualized and dealt with around the world are strikingly different. Anthropologists, sociologists, and recently also historians have drawn attention to the socially constructed and changing nature of the experience and expression of emotion. Moreover, emotions not only have history – they make history by motivating human action and influencing social, political, and economic developments. The history and anthropology of emotions have been described as one of the fastest-growing fields within the humanities, yet there is still a clear lack of attention toward this area in most college and university courses. This graduate seminar seeks to fill in this gap and offers an introduction to the history and anthropology of emotions with a focus on the Soviet and post-Soviet experience. Along with a close examination of classic texts in the history and anthropology of emotions, the students will be introduced to various ways of writing it, including a focus on the emotional regimes, emotional communities, emotional practices, and emotional styles. We will then explore the applications of these genres to the (post)Soviet case by examining various texts focusing on the key events and themes of (post)Soviet history as well as on particularly important emotions. The seminar will emphasize the development of skills essential to the profession — active reading; effective communication; critical, creative, and independent thinking; teamwork; global awareness; and lifelong learning. Students with different regional and chronological specializations are encouraged to bring this knowledge to the class and to comment on similarities, differences, connections, and entanglements within the history and anthropology of emotions. Prior exposure to the field is not necessary, but the participants are expected to be familiar with historical and/or anthropological methods and primary source analysis. The seminar will be taught in English, but there will be additional material (primary sources as well as secondary literature) available for students with advanced proficiency in Russian. For some sessions, the readings will be supplemented by audio-visual material (music, movies, images).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To become familiar with the history and anthropology of emotions framework (that has been described as one of the fastest-growing fields within the humanities) and its applications to the (post)Soviet case.
  • To develop the ability to think critically about the history and anthropology of emotions, its major genres, themes, and analytical practices, past and present.
  • To become familiar with specific sources, methods, and approaches in the study of emotions in the (post)Soviet society.
  • To develop skills essential to the profession in oral presentation and debate, research, and writing.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to discuss academic literature during a seminar and participate in a group discussion in English
  • Students will be able to analyze and compare the views of different authors on the same subject
  • Students will be able to create and deliver a persuasive presentation based on required readings and additional literature
  • Students will be able to read analytically academic literature for seminars, summarize it, highlight the main arguments, and critically evaluate them
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Classic texts in the history and anthropology of emotions
  • Soviet and post-Soviet emotions
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Perusall
    For additional info on the grading algorithm, contact the instructor. All Perusall annotations and questions have to be submitted by the deadline (usually, 9am Moscow time on the day of the seminar). Late submissions will not be considered.
  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Participation in polls, quizzes, and other interactive activities (e.g., via Poll Everywhere or Kahoot) during both lectures and seminars is expected and will be graded.
  • non-blocking Group presentation
    Usually, the presentation would be graded as a group project for which one grade is issued to all the participants. Time limit for the presentation is set at 20 minutes and can be extended for up to 40 minutes (this has to be negotiated with the instructor before the seminar!). Failure to observe the agreed-upon time limit will result in a 1 point penalty.
  • non-blocking Essay
    A student chooses one question out of three and produces a written answer (1-2 pages long). Failure to produce an essay that is at least 0,5 page long will result in an additional 1 point penalty. Failure to submit the essay by the agreed-upon deadline will result in an additional 1 point penalty for every day the essay is late.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 4th module
    0.25 * In-class participation + 0.25 * Essay + 0.25 * Group presentation + 0.25 * Perusall


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Eustace, N., Lean, E., Livingston, J., Plamper, J., Reddy, W. M., & Rosenwein, B. H. (2012). AHR Conversation: The Historical Study of Emotions. American Historical Review, 117(5), 1487–1531. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/117.5.1487
  • Plamper, J., & Tribe, K. (2015). The History of Emotions : An Introduction (Vol. First edition). Oxford, United Kingdom: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=929154
  • Revolutionary dreams : utopian vision and experimental life in the Russian Revolution, Stites, R., 1989
  • Rosenwein, B. H., & Cristiani, R. (2018). What Is the History of Emotions? Malden, MA: Polity. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1652082

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Lazier, B., & Plamper, J. (2012). Fear : Across the Disciplines. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=829337
  • The Stalin cult : a study in the alchemy of power, Plamper, J., 2012