Looking at specific situations of political action, the international workshop “Concepts of Passions and Politics” – part of the Passionate Politics project – will explore how the passions are linked to politics in theories, languages, symbolic systems, and vocabularies.

3 June 2016

Common Ground
UCL Institute of Advanced Studies
South Wing, Wilkins Building
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

“Concepts of Passions and Politics” is the second workshop organised as part of our project. Until recently, where the passions received attention from political theorists and philosophers at all, it was in a negative fashion. Thought to foster injustice, intolerance and irrationality, the passions were called at best incompatible with, at worst disruptive to our prevailing ideal of politics. But the recent “affective turn” has not only begun to trouble this narrative by providing new insights into the role emotions play in decision-making, community-building and political action. It has also offered an understanding of how fruitful an interdisciplinary approach might be when we reconsider the passionate in politics and the political in the passions.

Looking at specific situations of political action, this international workshop will combine brief presentations with open discussion to address this field.


10.00-12.00:     Words, Languages, Concepts
  • Axel Körner, UCL Centre for Transnational History. Introduction: Passionate Politics and Intellectual History.
  • Kirill Levinson, Social History, HSE Moscow. Emotion concepts and conceptual history: perspectives on the challenges of translation.
  • Michael Syrotinski, French, University of Glasgow. Passion, Politics, and the Untranslatable.

DISCUSSANTAvi Lifschitz, UCL History

12.00-13:00     Lunch


13:00-15:00    Social movements and mass events
  • Charity Scribner, Comparative Literature, CUNY. After the Red Army Faction.
  • Lutz Klinkhammer, German Historical Institute in Rome. Emotional Killing? On Massacres Committed by German Armed Forces during the Occupation of Italy 1943-45.
  • Caoimhe Nic Dhaibheid, History, University of Sheffield. Emotions and Political Violence: Reflections on the Centenary of the Easter Rising.

CHAIRUta StaigerUCL European Institute

15.00-15:30     Coffee


15:30-17:30:     Gestures, actions and speech
  • Monica Mookherjee, Political Philosophy/Theory, Keele University. Recognition and Multiculturalism.
  • Antonio Sennis, UCL History. Beauty, Fame and Power.
  • Molly Andrews, Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London. Believing Others.

CHAIRDina Gusejnova, History, University of Sheffield

17:45-18:30:    Concluding roundtable discussion over wine

  • Tim Beasley-Murray, UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies
  • Michael Freeden, SOAS, University of London / Oxford
  • Dina Gusejnova, History, University of Sheffield
  • Julia Ng, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Uta Staiger, UCL European Institute

CHAIRAlessandro De Arcangelis, UCL History

Attendance to the event is free and requires no registration.

The project is convened by the UCL European Institute, the UCL Centre for Transnational History, the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Sheffield. It has been made possible by a generous grant from the UCL Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Projects, no longer in existence.