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The actuality of pictorial representations of the affects: medial and discursive constructions in the early modern period (116)

Principal Investigator:

What are the medial and discursive constructions of affects and emotions in the non-verbal expressive form of the image?

The focus of this research project is on the question of the status, function and significance of pictorial representations of emotions and, more broadly, of the specific nature of their media conditions and discursive preconditions. The idea is to produce a systematic outline of this aesthetic question in terms of media theory considering both production and reception as well as with respect to the role played by conceptions of authorship.

The aim of the project is on the one hand to analyze the manifold construction parameters of the pictorial rendering of affects and to describe them in terms of media theory, and on the other to lend this generally expressed system concrete form, precision and depth by providing a historical background and a detailed analysis of case studies. The historical framework is provided by the Early Modern period (13th to 17th centuries).

The result should be a methodological and theoretical contribution to the science of emotions from a Visual Studies perspective rooted in current debates on media history and discourse analysis.