The “Languages of Emotion” cluster aims to do research into the connections between emotions and representational practices. What we feel, and how we feel it, are shaped in large measure by the words and images we use to depict our emotions. Feelings aid or hinder our acquisition of language, and in turn, language skills affect our abilities to communicate on an emotional level.
The research center “Languages of Emotion” conducts research on the interplay between emotions, media and signs in social life, in music, literature and film, or in the experience of the individual person. It brings together scholars from the humanities, the natural sciences and social sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. Researchers from disciplines as diverse as philology and neuroscience, psychology and ethnology work together closely.
The research center is based in the Department of Philosophy and Humanities - in close coordination with the Departments of Education and Psychology, Political and Social Sciences, as well as History and Cultural Studies. In addition to internal research projects, a considerable number of projects have attracted external funding. The centre works closely with renowned research institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).
Funding period: 2007–2014
The question of the interplay between signs, media and emotion is studied from various research perspectives: in everyday communication and the arts, taking into account differences between individuals and the specific form taken by this interplay in different areas of society and in different cultures. Because of this special emphasis on emotions in conjunction with semiotic practices, the humanities play a prominent role in "Languages of Emotion".
The other main areas of research include the following:
"Languages of Emotion" is funded from 2007 to 2014 by the Excellence Initiative. As from October 2012, "Languages of Emotion" is being transformed into an interdisciplinary research center. Scholarly publications and a wide range of interdisciplinary studies document the collaborative work of the researchers. This close cooperation will continue in the research center, albeit in a different form.
For further information, please see the LoE website.