Genres of Emotion


Anthropology 297-8

Instructors:  Linda Garro & Elinor Ochs

Winter 2007

Thursday 2-4:50 Haines 314


                Phone:  (310) 206-6249                    (310) 825-0984

                                Office hours: Monday 1:30-2:45pm      Monday 1:30-2:45pm


This advanced seminar bridges psychological and linguistic anthropology to explore the notion that emotion is configured as genres. The seminar will examine how genres of emotion relate to situated social practices, identities, and ideologies, along with their expressive linguistic, somatic, and other symbolic features. Participants are expected to have completed graduate coursework in both psychological and linguistic anthropology.



¥ available on course website:  


Course Requirements:

1.     Whole Class Commentaries

Everyone in the seminar is expected to write commentaries (1 single-spaced page only) for all weeks in which readings are assigned (i.e., January 18 through February 22). Commentaries should raise and discuss one issue as it applies across 2 or more readings. Clearly indicate the page numbers when referencing passage(s) relevant to the point youÕre making. E-mail the commentaries to the instructors by 2 PM on the Tuesday preceding each class meeting. Please bring copies of the articles with you to class.


      2.   Co-Authored Writing Project/Paper

The seminar as a whole (students and instructors) will co-author a research paper entitled ÒProlegomena on Genres of Emotion.Ó  Participants will take responsibility for developing and writing specific sections of the paper during the course of the term. Draft texts should be uploaded to the Discussion Board on the class website and brought as a digital file to class for class viewing and input.


3.  Presentations

Throughout the seminar participants will be presenting their ideas and/or written drafts on themes related to the co-authored research paper, ÒProlegomena on Genres of Emotion.Ó


Definition: 1. Prolegomenon: A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity. 2. Prolegomena (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Prefatory remarks or observations.


Re: KantÕs Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics: ÒThe keyword in the title is the Greek term prolegomenon (singular) which denotes a prefatory essay or a foreword to something that is supposed to follow. Accordingly, the prolegomena (plural) are a kind of introductory examinations designed for "preparatory exercises". By spelling out what "we have to do to make a science actual if it is possible" these exercises should prepare the emergence of the only viable Metaphysics - the "scientific" one. [] 


Final Grade

Grading is based on weekly commentaries, class participation, and oral and written contributions to the collaborative writing project.



January 11         Introduction

Guest Speaker:  Merav Shohet


January 18         The Concept of Genre

v     Ferguson, Charles. 1994. ÒDialect, Register, and Genre: Working Assumptions About Conventionalization.Ó In Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Register, Douglas Biber and Edward Finegan, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, pp.15-30.

v     Briggs, Charles and Richard Bauman. 1992. Genre, Intertextuality, and Social Power. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 2(2):131-172.

v     Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1981. ÒThe Problem of Speech Genre.Ó In Speech Genres and Other Essays, Vern W. McGee, trans., Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, eds. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp.60-102.

v     Goffman, Erving. 1959.  ÒPerformancesÓ in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, pp.17-76.


Related Readings

á       Agha, Asif. 2005. Voice, Footing, Enregisterment. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15(1): 38-59.

á       Hanks, William. 1987. Discourse Genres in a Theory of Practice. American Ethnologist  14:668-692.

á       Hanks, William. 1989. Text and Textuality. Annual Review of Anthropology  18: 95-127.


January 25                Constructing Emotion?

v     Ochs, Elinor and Bambi Schieffelin. 1989. Language Has a Heart. Text 9(1): 7-25.

v     Lutz, Catherine. 1987. ÒGoals, Events and Understanding in Ifaluk EmotionTheory,Ó in Cultural Models in Language and Thought, Dorothy Holland and Naomi Quinn, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 290–312.

v     Geertz, Clifford. 2001. ÒCulture, Mind, Brain/Brain, Mind, CultureÓ in Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Models.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 203-217

v     Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1985. Honor and Sentiments of Loss in a Bedouin Society. American Ethnologist 12(2): 245-261.

v     Reddy, William M. 1997. Against Constructionism: The Historical Ethnography of Emotions. Current Anthropology 38: 327-351.


Related Readings

á       Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1986. ÒAppendix: Formulas and Themes of the Ghinnawa.Ó In Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp.261-272.

á       Abu-Lughod, Lila and Catherine Lutz. 1990. ÒIntroduction.Ó In Language and the Politics of Emotion, Catherine Lutz and Lila Abu-Lughod, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.1-23.

á       Besnier, Niko. 1990. Language and Affect. Annual Review of Anthropology 19: 419-451.

á       Besnier, Niko. 1989. Literacy and Feelings: The Encoding of Affect in Nukulaelae Letters. Text 9(1): 69-91.

á       Fessler, Daniel. 1999. ÒToward an understanding of the universality of second order emotions.Ó In Biocultural approaches to the Emotions, Alexander Hinton, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.75-116.

á       Irvine, Judith. 1990. ÒRegistering Affect: Heteroglossia in the Linguistic Expression of Emotion.Ó In Language and the Politics of Emotion, Catherine Lutz and Lila Abu-Lughod, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.126-161.

á       Lindholm, Charles. 2005. ÒAn Anthropology of Emotion.Ó In A Companion to Psychological Anthropology: Modernity and Psychocultural Change. Conerly Casey and Robert Edgerton, eds. Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp.30-47.

á       Lutz, Catherine and Geoffrey White. 1986. The Anthropology of Emotions. Annual Review of Anthropology 15: 405-436.

á       Ochs, Elinor. 1986. ÒFrom Feelings to Grammar: A Samoan Case Study.Ó In Language Socialization Across Cultures, Bambi Schieffelin and Elinor Ochs, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.251-272.

á       Reddy, William M. 1999 ÒEmotional Liberty: Politics and History in the Anthropology of EmotionsÓ Cultural Anthropology 14: 256-288.

á       Rosaldo, Michelle. 1984. ÒToward an Anthropology of Self and Feeling.Ó In Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion, Richard Shweder and Robert LeVine, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.137-157.

á       Rosaldo, Renato. 1984. ÒGrief and a HeadhunterÕs Rage: On the Cultural Force of Emotions.Ó In Text, Play, and Story: The Construction and Reconstruction of Self and Society, Edward Bruner, ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, Inc., pp.178-195.

á       White, Geoffrey. 2000. ÒRepresenting Emotional Meaning: Category, Metaphor, Schema, Discourse.Ó In Handbook of Emotions, Lewis and Haviland-Jones, eds. pp.30-44.



February 1          Genres of Emotion: Distress, Part 1

v      Feld, Steven and Aaron Fox. 1994. Music and Language. Annual Review of Anthropology 23: 25-53. (read ONLY pp39-44: features of laments)

v     Feld, Steven. 1995. ÒWept Thoughts: The Voicing of Kaluli Memory.Ó In South Pacific Oral Traditions, Ruth Finnegan and Margaret Orbell, eds. Philadelphi: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp.85-108.

v     Urban, Greg. 1988. Ritual Wailing in Amerindian Brazil. American Anthropologist 90(2): 385-400.

v     Roseman, Marina. 1990 Head, Heart, Odor, and Shadow: The Structure of the Self, the Emotional World, and Ritual Performance among Senoi Temiar. Ethos 18(3): 227-250.

v     Desjarlais, Robert. 1991. Poetic Transformation of Yolmo ÔSadnessÕ. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 15: 387-420.

v     Herzfeld, Michael. 1993. ÒIn Defiance of Destiny: Management of Time and Gender at a Cretan Funeral.Ó American Ethnologist 20(2): 241-255.


Related Readings

á       Briggs, Charles. 1992. ÒSince I am a Woman, I Will Chastise My RelativesÓ: Gender, Reported Speech, and the (Re)Production of Social Relations in Warao Ritual Wailing. American Ethnologist 19(2): 337-361.

á       Briggs, Charles. 1993. Personal Sentiments and Polyphonic Voices in Warao WomenÕs Ritual Wailing. American Anthropologist 95(4): 929-957.

á       Kuipers, Joel. 1999. Ululations from the Weyewa Highlands (Sumba): Simultaneity, Audience Response, and Models of Cooperation. Ethnomusicology 43(3): 490-507.



February 8          Genres of Emotion: Distress, Part 2

                      Guest Speaker:  Susan Perry


v     Perry, Susan. (in preparation). Chapter 5 ÒCapuchin Communication.Ó  Manipulative Monkeys: The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

v     Gustafson, Gwen, Rebecca Wood and James Green. 2000. ÒCan We Hear the Causes of InfantsÕ Crying?Ó In Crying as a Sign, a Symptom, and a Signal, Ronald Barr, Brian Hopkins, and James Green, eds. London: MacKeith Press, pp.8-22.

v     Soltis, Joseph. 2004. The Signal Functions of Early Infant Crying. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27: 443-490. (focus on pp.443-458)


Related Readings

á       Fichtel, Claudia, Susan Perry, and Julie Gros-Louis. 2005. Alarm Calls of White-faced Capuchin Monkeys:  An Acoustic Analysis. Animal Behaviour 70: 165-176.


February 15        Genres of Emotion: Distress, Part 3

              Guest Speaker:  Jason Throop

v     Throop, C. Jason. 2005. (Revised Chapter 12) ÒDysphoric Moments: A Case Study,Ó in Suffering and Sentiment: Explaining the Vicissitudes of Pain and Experience in Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, UCLA, pp.578-619.

v     Wilce, James. 1998. Eloquence in Trouble: The Poetics and Politics of Complaint in Rural Bangladesh. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 6: ÒLearning to Tell Troubles: Socialization of Crying and Troubles Telling,Ó pp.80-103.

v     Ochs, Elinor. 1988. Culture and Language Development: Language Acquisition and Language Socialization in a Samoan Village. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 8: ÒAffect, Social Control, and the Samoan Child,Ó pp.145-167.

v     Quinn, Naomi. 2005. Universals of Child Rearing. Anthropological Theory 5(4):477-516.


Related Readings

á       Lutz, Catherine. 1983. Parental Goals, Ethnospychology, and the Development of Emotional Meaning. Ethos 11(4): 246-262.

á       Schieffelin, Bambi. 1986. ÒTeasing and Shaming in Kaluli ChildrenÕs Interactions.Ó In Language Socialization Across Cultures, Bambi Schieffelin and Elinor Ochs, eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp.165-181.


February 22 Genres of Emotion: Distress, Part 4

v     Levy, Robert. 1984. ÒEmotions, Knowing and Culture.Ó In Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion, Richard Shweder and Robert LeVine, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.214-237.

v     Hollan, Douglas. 1988. Staying ÒCoolÓ in Toraja:  Informal Strategies for the Management of Anger and Hostility in a Nonviolent Society. Ethos 16(1): 52-72.

v     Wikan, Unni. 1989. Managing the Heart to Brighten Face and Soul: Emotions in Balinese Morality and Health Care. American Ethnologist 16: 294-312.

v     Brison, Karen. 1998. Giving Sorrow New Words: Shifting Politics of Bereavement in a Papua New Guinea Village. Ethos 26: 363-386.

v     Laforest, Marty. 2002. Scenes of Family Life: Complaining in Everyday Conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 34: 1595-1620.


Related Readings

á       Brenneis, Donald. 1988. Language and Disputing. Annual Review of Anthropology 17:221-237.

á       Drew, Paul and Elizabeth Holt. 1988. Complainable Matters: The Use of Idiomatic Expressions in Making Complaints. Social Problems 3(4) Special Issue: Language, Interaction, and Social Problems, pp.398-417.

á       Edwards, Derek. 2005. Moaning, Whinging and Laughing: The Subjective Side of Complaints. Discourse Studies 7(1): 5-29.

á       Goodwin, Marjorie H. 2006. The Hidden Life of Girls: Games of Stance, Status, and Exclusion. Chapter 4: ÒSocial Organization, Opposition, and Directives in the Game of Jump Rope,Ó Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp.121-155.

á       Haviland, John. 1989. ÔSure, sureÕ: Evidence and Affect. Text 9(1): 27-68.

á       Just, Peter. 1991. Going Through the Emotions: Passion, Violence, and ÒOther-ControlÓ among the Dou Donggo. Ethos 19(3): 288-312.

á       Schiffrin, Deborah. 1984. Jewish Argument as Sociability. Language in Society 13: 311-335.

á       Wellenkamp, Jane. 1988. Notions of Grief and Catharsis among the Toraja. American Ethnologist 15(3): 486-500.

á       Wikan, Unni. 1988. Bereavement and Loss in Two Muslim Communities: Egypt and Bali Compared. Social Science and Medicine 27:451-456.

á       Wilce, James. 1998. Eloquence in Trouble: The Poetics and Politics of Complaint in Rural Bangladesh. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 3: ÒSigns and Selfhood,Ò pp.34-43, and Chapter 4: ÒPersonhood: The ÒIÓ in the Complaint,Ó pp.44-79.


March 1                     Genres of Emotion:  Paper Writing Workbench (1)



March 8             NO MEETING



March 15           Genres of Emotion:  Paper Writing Workbench (2)