Drawing on insights from interdisciplinary studies of emotions, we will explore the emotional dimensions of belonging and non-belonging in periods of rapid change and the ways in which migrations shape emotional attachments.
In a world faced with the increasing mobility of people, objects and ideas, individuals develop diverse emotional attachments which are lived and expressed in myriad ways. Drawing on insights from interdisciplinary studies of emotions, this session intends to explore the emotional dimensions of belonging and non-belonging in periods of rapid change. Such changes may be caused, for example, by migrations or forced migrations which cause individual migrants and refugees to be confronted with new social and material environments. How do they maintain contact with their loved ones abroad, how do they interact emotionally with other migrants, and how do they come to trust or mistrust members of local communities? In other words, how do transnational experiences frame and shape emotional attachments? Other forms of rapid change do not necessarily cause people to move to other places, but they do radically transform their local environments. War, sudden economic deprivation or confrontations with an influx of new people, objects and ideas may generate complex emotional processes. What consequences do such transformations have for the ways in which people attach themselves to (or detach themselves from) places and people? Why do some passionately propagate or reject new ideologies? And, last but not least, how can we conceptualise emotional attachment to better understand these processes? The contributors to this session will address these and other relevant themes, aiming to contribute to the study of emotional dynamics in situations of rapid change.
The making of emotional landscapes: German World War II refugees and their changing relations to 'places of memory'