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David Taylor

Abstract

Andrew Mitchell’s emotional reactions to his battlefield experiences in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) are detailed in his correspondence. Mitchell was British envoy to Prussia and its ruler Frederick II from 1756 to 1771. His letters home and to friends during the war were an outlet for his emotional turmoil, often unguarded and often expressed without a framework for comprehending the significance or impact of the emotions he felt. His problems were compounded by contemporary diplomatic theory and philosophy, which actively discouraged displays of emotion, advocating self-control and the construction of an identity best equipped to achieve diplomatic ends rather than truly represent what was felt. Analysis of Mitchell’s correspondence suggests that he used letter writing to make sense of his conflicted feelings and to fashion a viable emotional identity in his difficult situation.

Helen Dell

Abstract

This essay considers the place of nostalgia in scholarly research and writing in the light of psychoanalytic theories of subjectivity and desire. The term ‘nostalgia’, coined in the seventeenth century to define a medical condition, is, despite attempts at rehabilitation, generally employed to describe a weak sentimentality incompatible with genuine research. Two writers, Walter Benjamin (a leader of the Frankfurt school of criticism) and Carolyn Dinshaw (a medievalist and queer theorist), have opened up a different path for nostalgia in the light of different temporalities. Both invoke a ‘time of the now’, in Benjamin’s words, to allow a ‘touching across time’, in Dinshaw’s. In the light of their experience of time, nostalgia can shake off its usual association with sentimentality or melancholia. Challenged by their example the essay ends with an investigation of my own research and the part nostalgia, sometimes unconscious, has played in it.

Sharon R. Krause

Abstract

This essay explores resources for motivating allegiance to international human rights, drawing in particular on the work of Jürgen Habermas and David Hume. It examines the ideal of constitutional patriotism as developed by Habermas and identifies limitations of that ideal in the international context. Hume’s concept of moral sentiment is then examined, specifically its ability to generate an impartial but affectively engaged moral standpoint with the power to motivate action, potentially with a wider reach than that of constitutional patriotism. Finally, the paper shows how a contemporary Hume-inspired form of moral sentiment might interact with and support the deliberative practices through which international human rights are interpreted and applied in practice. It concludes with remarks on the reciprocal relationship between moral sentiment and constitutional patriotism in the realm of human rights.

Jodi McAlister

Abstract

This essay analyses the declarations of love in six popular romantic novels written by female Australian writers published in the latter half of the nineteenth century. By doing so, it seeks to explore the effect of the colonial Australian setting on the ways in which romantic love is imagined and constructed in the texts. Drawing on the work of Monique Scheer, who argues that emotions are practised as well as experienced, and that fictional representations can operate as templates for these practices, this essay sheds light on the emotional and romantic history and culture of colonial Australia.

Kathryn Temple and David Lemmings

Abstract

This introduction discusses the interdisciplinary nature of the forum, the history and theory of constitutional patriotism, and the various critiques that have been applied to it. It explains how the essays in the forum advance theories of constitutional patriotism by considering it in particular historical contexts and by examining specific emotions such as love, resentment and sympathy that may be associated with it. It also discusses the methods by which emotions important to constitutional patriotism can be modelled and evoked through an understanding of various types of performance and their relationship to public understandings of patriotism. It concludes with a discussion of the ways the essays advance our understanding of constitutional patriotism and its value for solving both local and global problems involving diverse and divided populations.

Paul D. Halliday

Abstract

Magna Carta is great not because of its words; it is great because it long ago became an icon through which we envision an expanding array of rights. Lawyers ca.1600 began its transformation from text to icon. Non-lawyers took up this process, invoking the Charter-as-icon to make new demands of what law must be. Eighteenth-century caricaturists made the Charter a literal icon, by which rights of all kinds might be asserted and defended. The visual language of satire provoked emotional engagement with the Charter as the chief means for rights claiming. The Charter, its text long obscured, continues to work at a visceral level, making it the means by which people around the world claim rights as citizens of individual states and as humans under international law. In this way, a peculiarly English constitutional patriotism has produced a global idiom for asserting rights.

Kathryn Temple

Abstract

This essay explores the value of the ‘mixed emotions’ of love and resentment for constitutional patriotism through a close reading of the Declaration of Independence set in the context of first, the history of resentment, and secondly, theories of justice. After introducing the conceptual framework through a discussion of mixed emotions and constitutional patriotism, the essay turns to a discussion of the Declaration as a ‘sticky’ emotional object meant to evoke both love and resentment. A brief historical account of shifts in understandings of resentment suggests the value of this emotion as a democratic emotion related to justice. Finally, the essay offers some contemporary examples of expressions of resentment in relation to the Declaration to advocate for a redirection of resentment. It concludes by arguing that the love for democratic ideals is inseparable from the resentment inspired by failing to enact those ideals in daily life. Thus, resentment, if directed at the appropriate targets, can be a useful emotion for mobilising constitutional patriotism.

Jessie Allen

Abstract

Formal legal process is sometimes viewed as a rational intervention in bias, including the emotional biases stirred by ‘constitutional patriotism’. At the same time, critics have attacked the histrionic aspects of legal process as a trumped-up show that manipulates our emotions. I agree that adjudication is a performance, but I believe the very obvious artificiality of that performance may be its saving grace. The critique of what Jeremy Bentham called ‘theatre of justice’ ignores the way we see through the artifice of judicial process, even as we are morally and emotionally stirred by its effects. Courtroom performances do not produce objectively unbiased and uniquely correct legal outcomes. But they may provide some legitimacy for enforcing those outcomes by enacting a patently illusory ideal justice and confronting us with the gap between that ideal and our lived reality.