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Mo 08.05.2023

18h00 (CET)

• online via Zoom


CCSA Talks: Biocultural City

Rob Boddice

Nikolas Rose and Des Fitzgerald begin their recent book, The Urban Brain, with the observation that ‘human neurobiology, today, requires us to think of a dynamic interplay in which human bodies and human environments constrain each other, mark each other, intermingle in an awkward, shuffling, embrace.’ What this means, for historians, is at the heart of my critical theoretical overview of the challenges and prospects for the further development of the relationship between architectural and urban history and the histories of emotions, senses, and experience. The biocultural dynamic is not only about constraint and the making of impressions; it is not only an awkward dance; it is also a productive, constructive dynamic; and in those times and places where everything moves as if so effortlessly, as if so naturally, the dynamic can appear deceptively simple, graceful, and even invisible. I want to test the historiographical validity of Rose and Fitzgerald’s already radically interdisciplinary initiative, situating it within ongoing historiographical challenges concerning intersubjective and collective emotions and experiences, and the problems of operationalizing the history of lived experience.


Rob Boddice, PhD, FRHistS, is Senior Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, Tampere University. He has previously held long-term positions at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and at the Languages of Emotion Excellence Cluster at Freie Universitaet Berlin. He is the author/editor of thirteen books, including Knowing Pain: A History of Sensation, Emotion, and Experience (Polity, 2023), Emotion, Sense, Experience (with Mark Smith) (Cambridge UP, 2020) A History of Feelings (Reaktion, 2019), and The History of Emotions (Manchester UP, 2018). This event is moderated by Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi, Goethe University Frankfurt.

CCSA Talks has been conceived as a platform to present current research projects as well as publications and discusses them with guests. The sessions will take place online via Zoom and will be held in English.

Register here in advance for the CCSA Talks