Perilous Empathy on the Early Modern Frontier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The captivity narratives produced in New England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries are rich and complex sources in which to discover early modern attitudes towards empathy. Contemporary scholars including Sara Ahmed and Carolyn Pedwell have argued that empathy can be problematic, reifying and reproducing various forms of injustice under the guise of fellow feeling. On the early modern North American frontier, empathy was understood as problematic for other reasons, an undesirable response to both the captors and the captive that was often diverted, displaced, or denied in captivity narratives. By situating the captivity narratives of Hannah Swarton, Hannah Dustan, Mary Rowlandson and Elizabeth Hanson within their initial cultural contexts and contemporary theories of empathy and emotions, this essay contributes to an alternative history of empathy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-235
Number of pages22
JournalEmotions: History, Culture, Society
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Empathy
Cultural Context
Emotion
New England
Alternative History
Injustice
Captive

Cite this

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Perilous Empathy on the Early Modern Frontier. / Prince, Kathryn.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society, Vol. 2, No. 2, 29.11.2018, p. 214-235.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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