Exhibiting negative feelings: writing a history of emotions in German history museums
Museum and Society
University of Leicester
This article moves beyond recent work on visitor emotions to ask: How are the emotions of past eras (and more particularly of twentieth-century Germany) historicized in history exhibitions? How can the academic field of the history of emotions – which, in Germany, has been galvanized by the study of National Socialism and its legacies – make the transition from the written investigations of historical scholarship to the multi-modal displays of public history? These questions are of particular relevance to German exhibitions about communist East Germany and its collapse because emotions are understood to be a key field of contestation in this recent period of German history. Using exhibitions about East Germany as source material, the article considers how academic disciplines and the institution of the museum constitute emotions as discursive objects.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the University of Leicester via the URL in this record
Vol. 14 (3), pp. 397-411