Culture-Specific Emotions and Literature: Conceptual Modelling and New Methods in the light of literature of the Finnish North
Funded by the Research Council of Finland 2023-2027
The project studies how Finnish literature evokes emotions linked to Northern cultural and natural environment. The aim is to create a model for the study of culture-specific emotions in literature and to develop new methods for studying literature and emotions. We study culture-specific affective constellations depicted and evoked in Finnish literary texts, like the Finnish ‘sisu’ (perseverance, resilience), moods like ‘Nordic noir’, Finnish cultural loneliness, or the myth of ‘arctic hysteria’ that have shaped ideas of Northern mentality and transgenerational conceptions of emotions in the Finnish context.
The starting point for the project is an understanding of emotions as intersubjective states of the embodied mind, which rely on learned patterns of emotion expression and are shaped by available emotion vocabularies. The project builds on cognitive poetics and experiments with the inter- and multidisciplinary study of emotion, including sentiment analysis and empirical reading group studies. The project’s empirical part is realized in collaboration with the non-profit organization HelsinkiMissio and the municipal library Pedar Jalvi.