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Karen Hagemann, ‘Memory and Emotions: The Anti-Napoleonic Wars in 19th Century Historical Novels’
January 28, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
In the decades following the Anti-Napoleonic Wars of 1806 to 1815, historical novels evolved into one of the most important popular media of the memories of these wars. They reached increasingly broader audiences. These readers expected both edification and entertainment from historical novels, which should address not just the mind, but also the heart. Historical novels became a ‘school of national emotions.’ They played an important role in the construction of nineteenth-century Germans’ national identity, because people’s connection to a nation is mainly emotional, not rational. Nations are not only “imagined” but also “emotional communities.”
Karen Hagemann is the James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published widely in Modern German and European history, gender history and the history of military and war. Her most recent books include the edited volumes Gender, War, and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830 and War Memories: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in Modern European Culture; and the monograph Revisiting Prussia’s Wars Against Napoleon: History, Culture, Memory, which won the Hans Rosenberg Prize for the best book in central European history in 2016 by the Central European History Society.