Emotional Codes and Affective Expressiveness in Modern Dictatorships "Rausch und Diktatur II"

Emotional Codes and Affective Expressiveness in Modern Dictatorships "Rausch und Diktatur II"

Arpad von Klimo and Malte Rolf
Vom - Bis
11.12.2003 - 13.12.2003
Rolf, Malte

Emotional Codes and Affective Expressiveness in Modern Dictatorships "Rausch und Diktatur II"

An International Conference at Humboldt-University, Berlin
11 - 13 December 2003

Arpad von Klimo and Malte Rolf

Call For Papers

Until recently emotional phenomena like sexual affects, mass-enthusiasm, drunkenness, drug abuse, extreme violence and other expressions of psychological background have only rarely been considered as important aspects for the explanation of modern dictatorships. Some approaches of late 19th and early 20th Century, which had strong influences on totalitarian thinkers themselves, should no longer be regarded as mere explanations of contemporaries witch lacked distance and rational understanding. Nationalism studies have recently shown some interest in emotional aspects of political interaction. The history of emotions in dictatorships, however, is still waiting to be written. Images of fanatic masses or excessive violence show how vital the interpretation of ecstatic emotions for the explanation of modern dicatorships truly is.

Since 2001 we have discussed with specialists in the fields of history, sociology, political science, anthropology and psychology, how the emotional aspects of modern dictatorships, mainly focusing on National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union, could be studied. In the course of these discussions we asked, whether the German concept Rausch, which contains different aspects of extreme emotional behavior (ecstasy, mass enthusiasm, sexual euphoria, frenzy of violence, drug intoxication, etc.) is applicable for the analysis of some central characteristics of modern dictatorships. Participants discussed topics like sexual euphoria surrounding the cults of Mussolini and Hitler, outbursts of collective violence attempts to use music for mass manipulation, the dialectic character of drunkenness during Stalin's rule, and totalitarian ideas of emotional rule. Some of these papers will be published soon (Zeitschrift fuer Geschichtswissenschaften, November 2003).

In the forthcoming conference, which will take place in Berlin (11-13 December) this year, we plan to continue the discussions and expand the fields of study. We are looking especially for scholars interested in topics regarding: drug abuse in totalitarian dictatorships (i. e. the role alcohol played in the process of dissolution of the Soviet system), the intellectual history of the ideology of emotional mass manipulation; youth, sports, mass culture and the politics of emotions in dictatorships; and anthropological, psychological, and medical aspects of mass emotions. Conference languages will be English and German. The proceedings of the meeting are to be published by the organizers.

Deadline for submission of abstracts (not more than one page): 1 June 2003.



For further information please contact: Arpad von KLIMO (FU Berlin): aklimo@zedat.fu-berlin.de; Malte ROLF (HU Berlin): malterolf@web.de.