Passions of Thought: Opportunities and Limits of a Constitution

Elisabeth Bronfen invites colleagues to Hamburg to discuss the topic of suffering in literary history in greater depth.

“Based on my project for a dictionary of political passions, we want to devote this workshop discussion to “worry”. The double semantics of this term combines two different affects: On the one hand, the oppressive feeling of unease and anxiety, and on the other, concern for the well-being of others. However, concern can also include both at the same time, when it is a matter of caring for someone or something in the face of a worrying situation. The papers in this panel will analyze this ambivalence in relation to literary texts, musical performances, and contemporary youth culture television series. At the same time, we want to discuss more generally the fascination as well as the limits of passionate thinking and its artistic treatment.” Elisabeth Bronfen


  • Elisabeth Bronfen, Universität Zürich & New York University
    ’Tis nameless woe, I wot’: Shakespeares Leidenschaftliche Königinnen
  • Christine Lötscher, Universität Zürich
    Ökopassionen. Eco anxiety und Klimaaktivismus in der Gegenwartsliteratur
  • Heike Paul, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
    Singing Songs to the Presidents: Barbra Streisand’s Civil Sentimentalism
  • Cornelia Zumbusch, Universität Hamburg
    Gefühlsarbeit. Zu einer Literaturgeschichte der Sorge

This workshop discussion is for invited guests, but participation may be possible. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to