The group aspires to contribute to a better understanding of the experience of modern society in Spain by coordinating three research lines: the gender perspective in history, the emotions and the construction of subjectivities. These three working lines intersect and converge in a chronologically expansive project that encompasses the 19th and 20th centuries. It seeks theoretical-methodological renewal in a sense of both post-constructivism and revision of the linguistic turn in history. The starting point is a vision of human beings as social subjects shaped in a framework of power relationships in which bodies occupy multiple positions that define their experience. In this way, we link to the new materialisms, corporealities and studies of feelings.
A. We share the growing academic interest in the emotional dimension of experience. The importance placed on the historical study of the emotions has its starting point in a critical evaluation of the consequences of the linguistic turn and in identification of the limitations of a paradigm based on a structural concept of language that threatens to become a sort of iron cage. The proposition is based on shifting the relationship between human beings and the world from language to the emotions. This involves a shift from reason as a form of accessing the world in favour of an incarnate conception of rationality.
B. A significant number of the researchers on the team have strong backgrounds in gender history. This approach positions its historians as pioneers among scholars who study the ways difference and social inequality, as well as the veracity of scientific knowledge, are constructed in a post-structuralist framework. The capacity of the category ‘women’ in the construction of political identities or the constitution of masculine identities and their connection to other social, class or national relationships are subjects that have become a main axis of the group’s research.
C. The group’s contribution in the study of subjectivities through memory and the methodology of oral history is noteworthy. From our perspective, memory is the human faculty that constitutes subjectivity and, in this sense, analysis of memories makes it possible to access the changes people have experienced in the past. The choice of oral sources as an object of study is related to the opportunity that these represent to analyse the historical dimension of human subjectivity, and the ability to do this by linking it to the study of the emotions, experience and memory.