Feeling News: Emotions and Covid-19

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ERC BodyCapital researcher Anja Laukötter creates a blog at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Centre for Emotions bridging history and contemporary issues.

In times of crisis, emotions seem more urgent than ever. The corona pandemic of 2020, the second true global crisis of the twenty-first century after the financial crash of 2008, has brought feelings to the fore: fear of contagion and for one’s own life, but also fear for others, even those we do not know personally. Other emotions that often emerge when social, political, or natural upheavals strike include solidarity and empathy, exhaustion and grief, hope and optimism. In contemporary discourse, feelings are both maligned for imbuing debates with ‘unnecessary’ emotion and appreciated for offering a more individual perspectives. Emotions validate events and experience.


Feeling News is a blog that has been created to engage with emotions as a day-to-day occurrence and their role in current events and incidents. Complementing our academic research portal “Insights into Research”, it provides brief, prompt, and essayistic analyses and viewpoints about the verbal and visual negotiations of emotions as they appear in everyday media coverage and beyond. Building on our Center’s core supposition that emotions have a history and that they make history, contributions may be historical or contemporary, but all flesh out the topicality of emotions for our present times and their historical aetiology.


The blog is run by the Center for the History of Emotions, but publication is open to all members of the public and contributions that adhere to the netiquette and formulate a concrete argument will be considered for publication. If you are interested in replying to any entry or in proposing a piece of writing, please get in touch with the editors Kerstin Maria Pahl and Anja Laukötter.