Performative approaches to the body are increasingly influential within history, but especially in the history of emotions where it provides a model for emotions as embodied cultural phenomena. This collection grapples with this methodological approach, arguing for its uses especially in interpreting emotion on the surface of bodies—that is in gestures, facial expressions, as displayed in photographs or film, or otherwise communicated by the body to observers. As is explicitly addressed in a chapter by Rob Boddice, the collection attends to a debate in the field about whether nonlinguistic, responsive behaviors, like blushing, are biological or cultural, firmly and unsurprisingly locating them in the latter category. With an introduction, eleven chapters and an afterword, the contributors provide an array of perspectives from medieval to modern. They strongly emphasize histories of emotion that intersect with the history of medicine and the ways by which observations of the body have contributed to...

You do not currently have access to this content.