‘A’ is for Affeccioun: Strategies for Teaching the History of Emotions in Medieval Studies
Rebecca F. McNamara
Honorary Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
University of California, Los Angeles
In this article, I will first make a brief case for why the history of emotions is relevant for teaching the Middle Ages and how it can be introduced to students, and then I will outline three lesson plans that can be integrated into an undergraduate syllabus that includes medieval literature and culture. Scholarship on the history of emotions has grown over the last decade from a field dominated by historians to one in which scholars from faculties across the humanities participate. It is an area that is rich in interdisciplinary collaboration, with researchers in literature, linguistics, history of science and medicine, social history, art, theatre, music, and psychology sharing findings and adapting and building upon each other’s methods. Given the push in many universities (especially in the U.S.) to engage students in both interdisciplinary learning and innovative research, the history of emotions is an ideal subject area to bring into the classroom, and the growing scholarship on emotions in the Middle Ages provides learning support for teachers and students. Furthermore, the history of emotions provides scaffolding in critical thinking for students about how we interpret the past, and emotions can also serve as a hook to pique students’ interest in studying the Middle Ages.
The literature, historical writing, and art of the Middle Ages are renown for depictions of emotional extremes—from anger and violence in saints’ martyrdoms, crusades, and battles between knights errant, to stylized pronouncements of love by suitors to ladies and ladies to knights, and bloody depictions of the suffering Christ in devotional iconography. But to many students, these emotional moments or styles of the Middle Ages may seem as unfamiliar as the medieval languages that we ask students to read for class. Rather, students’ immediate conceptions of the Middle Ages and the emotions practiced by people during that period are likely informed by the current focus on medievalism in pop culture. Game of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, is a study in “Gritty Fantasy,” a depiction of an imagined medieval past in which the world was harsh, bleak, and violent. This strand of the fantasy genre aims to evoke a so-called “realistic” imagined Middle Ages, in which displays of emotion and excessive violence are deemed appropriate. Video games such as Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Bioware’s Dragon Age also draw on imagined depictions of a violent medieval past, and their use of emotions to achieve “authenticity” can be telling for how popular audiences both imagine and expect life and relationships to function in that period. It is therefore likely that students begin a medieval studies class not with a blank slate but with expectations about medieval cultural and institutional structures, gender, and emotional practice from books, television, video games, and other pop culture representations of the Middle Ages.
Focusing on emotion provides a point of convergence between the student and the medieval past, and it prompts students to think critically about the assumptions we bring to history that are based on our own knowledge and experiences. Like us, humans in the past experienced emotions, and emotional practice is evident in extant writings, art, and architecture. But the cultural contexts for these emotional practices were different. Even the concept of how the body and its emotions worked in the Middle Ages differs from our twenty-first-century conception. Indeed, our modern definition of emotion is different from what people in the Middle Ages understood as emotion— I use this prompt as a starting point when introducing the idea that emotions have a history. The following questions are also useful for generating discussion or short written responses to introduce the history of emotions in the Middle Ages: How might emotions have differed in the past, and why? What cultural knowledge, community structures, and institutions might have shaped emotional practice? How, for example, might the rituals of religious practice have called upon emotions? How might medieval political conflict have exercised emotions? What common emotional practices might have been shared by particular communities in the Middle Ages? And how, with these cultural contexts in mind, did literature, song, and art both depict and incite emotion? There is a variety of scholarship that addresses these questions that I include in my syllabus when teaching emotions, including the work of Barbara Rosenwien, William Reddy, Sarah McNamer, Piroska Nagy and Damien Bouquet, Stephanie Trigg, Monique Scheer, and Jan Plamper. These sources provide teachers and students with a theoretical and methodological introduction to the history of emotions in medieval history and literature.
None of the courses I have taught so far has been designed as a history of emotions course. But I have made a point of integrating the history of emotions into my teaching, either as a focus for a particular class, or as an exercise for thinking about another issue we are discussing in that week’s reading. I predict that the majority of teachers will be able to work the history of emotions into the classroom using a similar method—not as an entire course’s focus, but as an accompaniment to other ways of studying medieval literature and culture.
Below are three lesson plan ideas and a bibliography for the history of emotions in the Middle Ages. Because I teach English literature, the examples are drawn from exercises I have used in literature courses, but these approaches can be adapted to teaching other areas of medieval studies. Included in each lesson are learning goals and the skills and subject-knowledge that students are encouraged to develop through each. I highly recommend sharing these learning goals and skills with students prior to the lessons so that they can critically reflect on what and how they are learning.
Lesson Plan 1: Definitions and contexts: What was “emotion” in the Middle Ages?
Learning Goals: This lesson plan focuses on the language of emotion in the Middle Ages as a way for students to explore the concept that emotions have a history and to begin to identify medieval emotions and their contexts. It also provides opportunities for recognizing how emotions in the European medieval past compare with students’ own cultural experiences of emotion. I like the way that this lesson can both create a sense of connection with, and distance from, medieval literature and culture. By recognizing that emotions played a part in history and continue to do so today, students can see continuity between the medieval past and their present. However, the past becomes unfamiliar as they begin to identify medieval emotional styles and practices that differ markedly from their own experience of how emotions operate on a personal and collective level. Pointing out this tension is a productive way of crystallizing the idea that emotions are highly cultural practices that are informed by time and place. It can also serve as an inroad to larger discussions about what teleological assumptions we must undo when we study the past.
Skills Development: One of the objectives in drilling down into the vocabulary of emotions is teaching students to use the Oxford English Dictionary (OED; and its integrated Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary) and the Middle English Dictionary (MED)—tools for learning that will be beneficial for students as they encounter unfamiliar language and concepts throughout the course. I have found that students who understand and put these tools to use gain more confidence to speak up and contribute in class. If they have looked up an unfamiliar word and read its etymology and examples of its use from the period, they are better prepared to speak up during class discussion and activities, and have new ideas to offer the class as far as how the word was used elsewhere in medieval literature. These tools also help students to write more creative and informed essays. Their written work shows that they have used these dictionaries to discover the medieval meaning of the terms they are encountering and that they have cross-referenced examples from their chosen primary texts with other medieval texts they have discovered using these dictionaries. By using these language resources, students discover the variety of extant medieval literature themselves, and they tend to follow unique pathways sparked by their own interests to texts they might not have otherwise encountered in the class.
Using these tools also teaches the philological side of medieval studies—a major area of scholarship in the field. The strong focus on philology sets medieval literature apart from other periods, and it provides learning opportunities for students to develop skills they may not otherwise use frequently in literature or history courses. Philological work is analytical and technical, more objective than literary analysis. It exercises different thought processes than students tend to use when discussing or writing about a literary or historical text, and it thus provides excellent learning opportunities for students who feel more confident doing technical analysis than they do literary readings, especially any non-English majors from the STEM subjects. This lesson plan can connect some of the analytical skills that these students are developing in other classes and show them how these skills can be used for working out critical issues in the humanities.
Lesson Plan: This lesson can be done with little preparatory reading from students. However, the chapters on pride and on English words for emotions and their metaphors in the edited collection Historical Cognitive Linguistics can be assigned to upper-level classes to urge students to begin thinking about the implications of different words being used to describe emotion over time. Additionally, Thomas Dixon’s book-length study of the creation of emotions as a secular, psychological category is a more detailed account of how the concept of emotions has changed from the Middle Ages to the present. This book and excerpts from it can be useful for upper-level undergraduates or graduate students seeking further research on the changing definition and categorization of emotion.
In class, explore with students how emotion was conceptualized in the Middle Ages and how medieval writers used emotion terms. Start by prompting students to identify words that mean emotion in English, such as “emotion,” “passion,” “affection,” “feeling,” “sensibility,” “sentiment.” Open up discussion on the semantic distinctions between the words that the class has come up with—does “passion” signify something slightly different from “emotion,” is “feeling” different from “sensibility”? Do some of these words seem more about the mind or the heart? Are some oriented more towards the individual or how one feels about other people or things? Which of these words might they use more appropriately in a clinical context, a religious context, or in a literary context, and why? This discussion helps to enlarge the idea of what modern “emotion” describes—each of these words has a slightly different texture of meaning, capturing another facet of the complex idea we place under the umbrella term “emotion.”
Then divide students into groups, asking each group to look up one of these words for emotion in the MED and OED so that they can formulate what that term signified in medieval England and see examples of the different ways in which it was used. “Affeccioun,” for example, is defined in the MED as “that faculty of the soul concerned with emotion and volition; the emotional (as opposed to the intellectual) side of human nature, capacity for feeling or emotion; the capacity for desiring or willing, the will.” However, “passioun” includes in its MEDdefinition “an emotion; desire, inclination, feeling, passion; an emotion, a sin, or the desire to sin considered as an affliction….” The MED’s and OED’s excerpts from Middle English texts containing these words provide introductory literary and cultural contexts for students. Have the groups chose a few of the examples of the word’s usage in different source texts, then have them present to the class what this word signifies in the Middle Ages and examples of its use from the dictionary’s illustrative texts. Ask what these specific example sentences tell us about how this term might be conceived of as different or similar to what we think of as “emotion” today. Prompt the groups to decide amongst themselves which modern word we use to signify “emotion” might best match a medieval definition of “emotion” and why.
For more advanced classes, rather than starting from modern emotion words and working backwards to identify meanings of emotion in the medieval past, start from medieval texts and work up, still integrating the use of the MED and OED. Provide excerpts of texts from different genres that contain names for emotion (“affeccioun,” “feling,” “passioun”) as well as specific emotions (“love,” “dred,” “joy,” “anger,” “sorwe,” “pity”). Example texts include: The Lantern of Light, an early fifteenth-century Wycliffite tract that contains a brief commentary on Augustine’s “affections of the soul;” John Trevisa’s On the Properties of Things, his Middle English translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus’ De Proprietatibus Rerum, which contains references such as “colour is tokne…of passiouns of þe soule, for sodeyn paleness…is tokne of drede;”  and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, whose narrative revolves around characters displaying and hiding emotions, as when Troilus keeps silent during the exchange of Antenor for Criseyde: “Lest men sholde his affeccioun espye;/ With mannes herte he gan his sorwes drye” (IV.153-54). Here the writings of medieval theorists on passions can be helpful for thinking about how particular feelings were distinguished in certain contexts. Consider the discussion of the passions in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, the use of emotions in rhetoric in Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Poetria Nova, and the encyclopedic descriptions of emotions’ effect on a person in Trevisa’s On the Properties of Things. Using excerpts from a range of sources allows students to encounter less well-known texts, which is helpful for building students’ conceptual background of the breadth of intellectual life and writing in the Middle Ages.
Breaking students into groups with each source text, ask the groups to identify words for emotions in their texts and to create working definitions of these words with help from the OED and MED. Have them present these definitions to the class, with examples of the words being used in medieval texts. Once they have worked up from their selected texts to working definitions, discuss how those words and definitions compare with how students today—in whatever twenty-first-century cultural microcosm they find themselves in—might define and use “affeccion” or “passion” or “anger” or “sorrow” or “joy”. Draw this discussion out into a wider conversation about how the concept of emotions, and particular emotions like despair, love, and anger, have histories—their meanings and uses have changed over time. Use this conversation to prompt each group to develop a working definition of the idea of “the history of emotions,” and ask them to share their definitions with the class.
Lesson Plan 2: Medieval Language and Medieval Emotions
Learning Goals: Teaching medieval language and emotions works well in the context of source and analogue studies in upper-level literature courses, and that is how this lesson is designed. However, language and emotions can also be developed into a primary focus for a class. By integrating the study of emotions into analysis of different languages in the Middle Ages, we emphasize the idea that emotions are culturally, linguistically, and temporally situated. This, in turn, reinforces the theoretical underpinnings of the history of emotions and allows students to see how the history of emotions can be applied to different levels of medieval texts and culture.
One of the broader learning goals in this lesson is to allow students to delve into the important acts of translation that underlie so many written works in Middle English. This exercise seeks to challenge their sense of what it meant to be a writer during this period—uprooting the idea that to write necessarily meant creating new, original works and letting students discover the ways in which medieval writers copied, integrated, and adapted other sources, particularly sources in other languages. With a more developed understanding of the practice of writing via sources and analogues in the Middle Ages, students can also better identify features that distinguish medieval texts from texts in other periods.
Skills Development: This focus on emotions in different languages is an excellent way of drawing out students’ metalinguistic intelligence, especially that of multilingual students. Particularly for students who speak English as a second language and may feel (or have been made to feel) that they are at a disadvantage in other areas of English literary scholarship, this lesson positions their multilingualism as a critical advantage, and it teaches monolingual students a new way of viewing the literary or historical text. In the past, I have started this lesson by asking students who speak more than one language if there has been a time when they are describing an emotion aloud or in writing and it seems more appropriate to describe it in one language rather than another. And why do they think that distinction exists? This line of discussion serves as a springboard for guiding students to recognize the knowledge they subconsciously carry with them about how language works in their environment—both in varying socio-cultural situations and in different genres of writing. Point out that their task, then, is to apply the metalinguistic intelligence that they already have and use every day to the language employed in medieval texts.
Lesson plan: Chaucer’s Clerk’s Tale is a productive text for source and analogue study, as it is based on the folk story of Walter and Griselda which was widely adapted in the Middle Ages, including Boccaccio’s Italian and Petrarch’s Latin versions. The story, with Walter testing his wife Griselda’s patience to the point of separation from her children and banishment from his house, provides many opportunities for considering how emotions are portrayed in different ways in the analogue texts and in Chaucer’s tale. In preparation for this lesson, assign reading of the Clerk’s Tale and Boccaccio’s and Petrarch’s versions of the Walter and Griselda story. These are available in English translations, which are suited for an undergraduate class, as even the English versions allow students to recognize the implications of stories in multiple languages being synthesized in different ways by different authors. The Norton edition of The Canterbury Tales is a very accessible text for this study, containing English selections from Boccaccio and Petrarch, as well as the letter that Petrarch wrote to Boccaccio about his plans to write a (better) version of the story.
Begin class by asking students what sort of adaptation Chaucer’s tale is—a straight translation from his sources, a freer re-working? Ask in what ways Chaucer’s version differed from Boccaccio’s and Petrarch’s, focusing on what effects these changes have on Chaucer’s tale. Then, bring the discussion around to the way that emotions are portrayed in the three versions. Pass around handouts that contain selections from each of the three versions which portray emotion. Key emotion moments in Chaucer’s text include: Walter’s first instance of testing Griselda after the birth of their daughter (Clerk’s Tale, 449-515); Griselda’s reaction after Walter takes away their second child, and Walter’s continued watch for her patience to falter (645-721); Walter’s reaction after he has banished Griselda so that he can take a new wife (890-93); Griselda’s reaction upon being asked by Walter to return and prepare his house for his new wife (967-80); and Griselda’s reaction when Walter reveals to her his tests and their children (1058-110).
Separate students into groups and assign an emotion moment from the tale to each group. Have them read through the three versions of the moment and focus in particular on the ways in which Walter and Griselda are portrayed. How are emotions that are attributed to them, or the emotions that the reader might be designed to feel in response, different in each version? Are there particular words that convey emotions differently—what are they? Or, rather than a single emotion word, is it the tone of the whole selection—and what elements of the text contribute to that tone? Are the actions or dialogue in the selections different across the three versions, and is that what contributes to different emotional tones in each? After allowing them to review and discuss their assigned selections, let each group explain to the class the ways in which the versions of the story differ from each other, especially through the lens of emotions (of the characters, but also how the text might be designed to make the reader feel a certain way).
Following this detailed review of the Clerk’s Tale and its sources’ different portrayals of emotions, move the discussion to focus on the issue of emotions as conveyed in different languages. The students have been reviewing the source versions of the Clerk’s Tale in English, but they were written in Italian and Latin. What are the implications for translating and adapting emotion into a different language and culture? Ask students whether sorrow is the same as French tristesse or Latin dolor. What are the shades of meaning that might distinguish these terms and the contexts in which they are used? And how, then, is the medieval translator of language also a translator of emotion: are feelings different in Old English and Latin, in Middle English and French, Italian, or Latin? Support this discussion by asking students to describe their own experiences of conveying or understanding emotion in different languages and cultural settings.
Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess also provides opportunities for source and analogue study of Middle English with different languages. The analogues for the Book of the Duchess, the French dits amoreux of Guillaume de Machaut and Jean Froissart, are excellent places to compare terms used to depict emotion in Middle English and French. Other example texts that work well in this lesson are late medieval macaronic hymns and sermons. What might the emotional implications be of singing a hymn or listening to a sermon in multiple languages? For a class focused on the history of the Middle Ages, there are many examples in Ardis Butterfield’s Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language, and Nation in the Hundred Years War that show Middle English and French words being used together in diplomatic and government documents for particular effect. Explore how the history of emotions can comment here on the use of a word in a different language for marked effect in a diplomatic letter.
Lesson 3: Medieval Genre and Emotions
Learning Goals: When focusing on emotions in medieval genres, one of the larger learning goals is to give students an opportunity to recognize the value of analyzing texts in terms of genre. Genre is a process of critical thinking that is embedded in the very acts of writing and reading and is thus influential in the creation and interpretation of narrative. Teaching how to better understand and identify genre will aid students in a range of humanities subjects by learning one of the core underlying premises of categorization in the arts. In particular, this exercise introduces some of the distinctive genres of the Middle Ages, which may be different from the periods of writing with which students are more familiar. Recognizing periodic distinctions of genre will also prompt students to think about the specific cultural, geographic, intellectual, social, and, of course, emotional concerns that were formative for particular medieval genres.
Another learning goal in this lesson is to prompt students to think about the practice of reading in the Middle Ages. In what contexts were things read or heard (in religious services, in private spaces such as the home, in community gatherings), who read (religious clerks, lay people, women), and how does the practice of reading inform the emotional history of a text? This line of thinking opens up opportunities to consider the socio-cultural background of different genres of writing in the Middle Ages, as well as issues of access to texts that were read or heard.
Skills Development: At its core, this lesson is an exercise in critical and creative thinking, and it should prompt students to reflect upon the process of literary analysis and how it creates habits of thought that can be applied more widely to different areas of knowledge. A provocative starting point for discussing the interpretive capabilities of genre is the article by James Simpson on the “recognitional” practice of reading that informs our interpretation of texts. Assign this reading before class to introduce students to Simpson’s theory of genre recognition in literary analysis but also to provide room to discuss the wider potential of the thought processes involved in the study of the humanities. Simpson points out that this “recognitional” practice is an affective process as well as a cognitive one, thus providing opportunity for thinking about how the emotions can be seen as part of humanities inquiry itself. This kind of deep reflection on the process of literary criticism is an exercise in critical and creative thinking, and it should be pointed out as such to students so that they can understand and identify the intellectual tools that they are developing through the study of the humanities. While it is important academically for students to learn to identify features that distinguish different periods of literature and recognize analytic processes that are common methodologies in literary criticism, it is more valuable, pedagogically, that students recognize this activity as critical thinking and learn this skill well enough to apply it to other knowledge areas.
Lesson Plan: Medieval devotional poetry (especially texts from the movement known as “affective piety” from the twelfth century onward, which emphasized the humanity of Christ and encouraged sympathetic experience with Christ and the Virgin Mary) is an appropriate introduction to thinking about the history of emotions as related to genre. In preparation for this lesson, assign pre-class reading on the theorization of literary genre and on the history of emotions in medieval devotional writing. Provide students with selections from devotional poems, including Marian lyrics such as “Suete sone, reu on me” and “I syke when y singe,” and meditations on the passion of Christ such as “The Wounds and the Sins” and “Jesu, for thi muchele miht.” Give students a chance to read the selections individually or in groups and to prepare to discuss what they think the purposes of these texts are and how emotion functions as an integral part of their design and effect.
During the discussion of the selections, ask students to think about how the specific genres of devotional poetry and songs might be designed to make the reader or hearer “feel” something, and what specific emotions they might have been encouraged to feel. Prompt them to identify emotion words, but also to look more closely and decide what other parts of the text contribute to an emotional reading. For example, what is the point of view in the text—and how might a first-person point of view have a different emotional effect on the reader than a second- or third-person point of view? Does a repetitious or ritualistic form in the poem mean that the poem is any more or less effective in invoking an emotional response? What might the gender of the reader or hearer of these poems have to do with its emotional effects? What sorts of somatic responses might be encouraged by the poems: kneeling, crying?
In thinking about specific genres designed to elicit particular emotions, introduce the idea of emotion as it relates to the practice of reading. Mark Amsler has done work on what he calls “affective literacies,” and he provides useful ways of thinking through how reading practice in the Middle Ages was emotional. Sarah McNamer also discusses reading communities of women who both produced and consumed affective texts designed for devotion in Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion. Ask students to reflect upon their own reading practices, or—even more likely to evoke lively discussion—television viewing practices. How does the way that they read, or view a TV series, change the way they emotionally react to it? Do they read/view alone, or with a group, and how does their reading/viewing environment affect their response?
Other genres besides affective devotional texts that are useful for thinking about emotion as related to genre are writings that express a nostalgia for the past, such as can be found in many romance texts. One example is Malory’s famous “May passage” in the “Book of Lancelot and Guinevere” in Le Morte D’Arthur, where he writes nostalgically about people in the past being not so “changeable” and “hot and cold” as people nowadays. Jill Mann has also emphasized the interrelated nature of emotion and genre or form in romance. While romance is a broad genre, narrowing in on Breton lays, such as Sir Orfeo, can illustrate for students how emotion is an important focus that can help to identify the type of those poems. Another approach for this lesson is to direct students to focus on literary tropes that are particular to medieval genres—personification, for example, is used copiously in medieval dream visions. Mary C. Flannery has recently shown how personification in Middle English literature (using dream visions as an example) enables medieval writers to evoke and represent emotion and provides information on how emotion was perceived to operate. Also useful for this lesson plan are medieval political poems—for example, the writings around the 1381 uprising. Paul Megna’s article on “Righteous Anger Management in The Vision of Piers Plowman” collates Piers Plowman with some of the other, more “political,” poetry of that turbulent time. The TEAMS edition of Medieval English Political Writings can also serve as a useful starting point for thinking about how poems centered on politics can be affective and how they might be designed to incite particular emotions in hearers and readers.
The history of emotions is a dynamic focal point for teaching the Middle Ages. These lesson plans emphasize the temporal and cultural specificity of emotions—some of the main objectives of history of emotions scholarship. But they also highlight the significance of language, translation, the reading of genre, and other key aspects of studying writing in the Middle Ages, which can equip students with the interpretive frameworks needed to approach this period. These analytical frameworks are transferable to other periods of literature and history, but, more importantly, they provide students the opportunity to reflect upon the critical and creative thinking that is the larger pedagogical goal of studying the liberal arts.
When the component processes of literary and historical interpretation are made to stand out to students—when they can identify the specific analytical lenses that they are using to interpret a text—they become more cognizant of the critical thinking that they are doing as a student of the humanities. This conscientious critical thinking, in turn, leads students to a more nuanced self-awareness of the tools that they bring to the classroom and the processes that they can undertake to both unpack meaning and clearly express their insights in class discussion and in their writing. Furthermore, participation in the study of the history of emotions allows students to contribute knowledge to a growing field and to therefore be a collaborative part of knowledge production in this exciting area of scholarship.
 These lesson plans were developed and taught in English classes at the University of Sydney. My thanks to colleagues and students there for their reflection on my teaching and to Tom Goodmann and the TEAMS Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages for inviting me to present this work at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in May 2015.
 Collaboration and interdisciplinarity are especially encouraged by four research centers focused on the history of emotions: the Australian Research Council Centre for the History of Emotions: Europe 1100-1800, the Queen Mary University of London Centre for the History of Emotions, EMMA (Les émotions au Moyen Âge) in France, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany.
 See Helen Young, Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness (New York: Routeledge, 2016), esp. chapter 3: “The Real Middle Ages: Gritty Fantasy.”
 Barbara Rosenwein, Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006); William Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), and Reddy, The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012); Sarah McNamer, “Feeling,” in Middle English: Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature, edited by Paul Strohm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 141-57, and McNamer, Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press, 2010); Piroska Nagy and Damien Boquet, “Émotions historiques, émotions historiennes,” Écrire l’histoire 2 (2008), Nagy and Boquet’s authorized English version, trans. Greg Robinson, “Historical Emotions, Historians’ Emotions,” 5 March 2011, last accessed February 10, 2016 <http://emma.hypotheses.org/1213>; Stephanie Trigg, Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), Trigg, “Langland’s Tears: Poetry, Emotion and Mouvance,” Yearbook of Langland Studies 26 (2012): 27-48; Monique Scheer, “Are Emotions a Kind of Practice (and is That What Makes Them Have a History)? A Bourdieuian Approach to Understanding Emotion,” History and Theory 51.2 (2012): 193-220; Jan Plamper, The History of Emotions: An Introduction(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). See recent work on the history of emotions in medieval history, theology, and literature in Susan Broomhall, ed., Ordering Emotions in Europe, 1100-1800 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). For a summary of scholarship in the History of Emotions and Middle English literature and a review of how medieval literary scholarship over the last fifty years has utilized emotions, see Stephanie Downes and Rebecca F. McNamara, “The History of Emotions and Middle English Literature,” Literature Compass 13.6 (2016): 444-56.
 Małgorzata Fabiszak and Anna Hebda, “Cognitive historical approaches to emotions: Pride,” and Heli Tissari, “English words for emotions and their metaphors,” in Historical Cognitive Linguistics, edited by Margaret E. Winters, Heli Tissari, Kathryn Allan (Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010), 261-97.
 Thomas Dixon, From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). And see Dixon, “‘Emotion’: The History of a Keyword in Crisis,” Emotion Review 4.4 (2012): 338-44.
 In the MED, it is easier to search for a modern word in the definition rather than in the headword position, since Middle English spelling varies from modern spelling. Choose “boolean search” and select “within definition” or “within anywhere” to produce a list of headwords in which your word appears. Then select from that list the desired headword (such as “affeccioun”).
 “affeciǒun” (n.), def. 1, in Kurath, Hans, et al., eds. Middle English Dictionary. (University of Michigan Press, 1952-2001), online edition, last accessed February 10, 2016, <www.quod.lib.umich/m/med>.
 “passiǒun” (n.), def. 4a, in Middle English Dictionary.
 Sarah McNamer’s argument for “Feeling” as a more appropriate “medieval” word to describe emotions in the Middle Ages dovetails nicely into this exercise: see McNamer, “Feeling.”
 L. M. Swinburn, ed., The Lantern of Liȝt, EETS 151 (London: Early English Text Society by K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., 1917; rpt. 1988), 29. Available online through the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 2006), last accessed February 10, 2016, <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/AHA2749>.
 M. C. Seymour, et al., eds., On the Properties of Things, John Trevisa’s Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum, a Critical Text, Vols. 1 and 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975); vol. 3 (1988).
 Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde from L. D. Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987).
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, online edition, Corpus Thomisticum (Fundación Tomás de Aquino, 2013), Ia2ae 22-48, last accessed February 10, 2016, <http://www.corpusthomisticum.org.iopera.html>. And see Robert Miner, Thomas Aquinas On the Passions: A Study of Summa Theologiae, 1a2ae 22-48 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
 Margaret F. Nims, ed. and trans., Geoffrey of Vinsauf: Poetria Nova, Revised Edition, with Introduction by Martin Camargo (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2010).
 Seymour, On the Properties of Things.
 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue, edited by V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson, 2nd ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2005).
 All references to the Clerk’s Tale from Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Kolve and Olson. The parallel passages in the analogue stories are Francis Petrarch, The Story of Griselda, in Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Kolve and Olson, 411-12; and Giovanni Boccaccio, “From the Decameron, Tenth Day, Tenth Tale,” in Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Kolve and Olson, 402.
 The parallel passages in the analogue stories are Petrarch, Griselda, p. 413; and Boccaccio, “Decameron,” 403.
 The parallel passages in the analogue stories are Petrarch, Griselda, 404; and Boccaccio, “Decameron,” 415.
 The parallel passages in the analogue stories are Petrarch, Griselda, 404-05; and Boccaccio, “Decameron,” 416.
 The parallel passages in the analogue stories are Petrarch, Griselda, 406; and Boccaccio, “Decameron,” 417.
 See Jean Froissart’s Le Paradis d’Amours in Kristen Figg, ed., Jean Froissart: An Anthology of Narrative and Lyric Poetry (London: Routledge, 2001), and Guillaume de Machaut’s Le Jugement du Roy de Behaigne in James I. Wimsatt and William W. Kibler, eds., Rebecca A. Baltzer, music ed., Le Jugement du Roy de Behaigne and Remede de Fortune.. The Chaucer Library (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1988).
 See Richard Leighton Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962); and Patrick J. Horner, ed. and trans., A Macaronic Sermon Collection from Late Medieval England: Oxford, MS Bodley 649 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2006).
 Ardis Butterfield, The Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language, and Nation in the Hundred Years War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
 James Simpson, “Cognition is Recognition: Literary Knowledge and Textual Face,” New Literary History 44 (2013): 25-44.
 Simpson, “Cognition is Recognition,” 43-44.
 In addition to Simpson, see Julie Orlemanski, “Genre,” in A Handbook of Middle English Studies, edited by Marion Turner (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 207-221.
 For example: McNamer, “Feeling;” McNamer, “Lyrics and Romances,” in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Women’s Writing, edited by Carolyn Dinshaw and David Wallace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), esp. 199-201; McNamer, Affective Meditation; Piroska Nagy, “Religious Weeping as Ritual in the Medieval West,” Social Analysis 48.2 (2004): 119-37, esp. p. 132 on the transfer of religious weeping into “a more formalized, social process” in the later Middle Ages; Miri Rubin, Emotion and Devotion: The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2009), esp. chapter 3, “Emotions and Selves;” and see the essays in Elina Gertsman, Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History (New York: Routeledge, 2011).
 Karen Saupe, ed., Middle English Marian Lyrics (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997), nos. 34 and 47; and see further selection of lyrics on “Mary at the Foot of the Cross.” “I syke when Y singe” is also in Susanna Greer Fein, ed. and trans., David Raybin and Jan Ziolkowski, trans., The Complete Harley 2253 Manuscript, Volume 2 (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2014), no. 62.
 “The Wounds and the Sins” in George Shuffelton, ed., Codex Ashmole 61: A Compilation of Popular Middle English Verse (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2008), item 38.
 “Jesu, for thi muchele miht” in Fein, ed. and trans., Raybin and Ziolkowski, trans., The Complete Harley 2253 Manuscript, no. 61.
 Mark Amsler, Affective Literacies: Writing Multilingualism in the Late Middle Ages (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012).
 Jill Mann, “Falling in Love in the Middle Ages,” in Traditions and Innovations in the Study of Middle English Literature: The Influence of Derek Brewer, edited by Charlotte Brewer and Barry Windeatt (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2013), 88-110.
 Mary C. Flannery, “Personification and Embodied Emotional Practice in Middle English Literature,” Literature Compass 13.6 (2016): 351-61.
 Paul Megna, “Langland’s Wrath: Righteous Anger Management in The Vision of Piers Plowman,” Exemplaria 25.2 (2013): 130-51.
 James M. Dean, Medieval English Political Writings (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1996).
Amsler, Mark. Affective Literacies: Writing Multilingualism in the Late Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012.
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologiae, online edition, Corpus Thomisticum. Fundación Tomás de Aquino, 2013. Last accessed February 10, 2016. <http://www.corpusthomisticum.org.iopera.html>.
Benson, L. D., ed. The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed., (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987).
Broomhall, Susan ed. Ordering Emotions in Europe, 1100-1800. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
Butterfield, Ardis. The Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language, and Nation in the Hundred Years War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue, ed. V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2005.
Dean, James M. Medieval English Political Writings. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1996.
Dixon, Thomas. From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
____, “‘Emotion’: The History of a Keyword in Crisis.” Emotion Review 4.4 (2012): 338 -344.
Downes, Stephanie and Rebecca F. McNamara. “The History of Emotions and Middle English Literature.” Literature Compass 13.6 (2016): 444-56.
Fabiszak, Małgorzata and Anna Hebda, “Cognitive historical approaches to emotions: Pride,” in Historical Cognitive Linguistics, edited by Margaret E. Winters, HeliTissari, Kathryn Allan, 261-97. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010.
Fein, Susanna Greer, ed. and trans., David Raybin and Jan Ziolkowski, trans., The Complete Harley 2253 Manuscript, Volume 2. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2014.
Figg, Kristen. Jean Froissart: An Anthology of Narrative and Lyric Poetry. London: Routledge, 2001.
Flannery, Mary C. “Personification and Embodied Emotional Practice in Middle English Literature.” Literature Compass 13.6 (2016): 351-61
Gertsman, Elina. Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History. New York: Routeledge, 2011.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962.
Horner, Patrick J. ed. and trans. A Macaronic Sermon Collection from Late Medieval England: Oxford, MS Bodley 649. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2006.
Kurath, Hans, et al., eds. Middle English Dictionary. University of Michigan Press, 1952 2001. Online edition. Last accessed February 10, 2016. <www.quod.lib.umich/m/med>.
Mann, Jill. “Falling in Love in the Middle Ages.” In Traditions and Innovations in the Study of Middle English Literature: The Influence of Derek Brewer, edited by Charlotte Brewer and Barry Windeatt, 88-110. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2013.
Sarah McNamer, “Lyrics and Romances.” In The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Women’s Writing, edited by Carolyn Dinshaw and David Wallace, 195-209. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
____, “Feeling,” in Middle English, ed. Paul Strohm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 141-57.
____, Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania University Press, 2010.
Megna, Paul. “Langland’s Wrath: Righteous Anger Management in The Vision of Piers Plowman.” Exemplaria 25.2 (2013): 130-51.
Miner, Robert. Thomas Aquinas On the Passions: A Study of Summa Theologiae, 1a2ae 22-48. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Nagy, Piroska and Damien Boquet. “Émotions historiques, émotions historiennes.” Écrire l’histoire 2 (2008): 15-26. Nagy and Boquet’s authorized English version, trans. Greg Robinson, “Historical Emotions, Historians’ Emotions.” 5 March 2011. Accessed February 10, 2016. <http://emma.hypotheses.org/1213>.
Nagy, Piroska, “Religious Weeping as Ritual in the Medieval West.” Social Analysis 48.2 (2004): 119-37.
Margaret F. Nims, ed. and trans., Geoffrey of Vinsauf: Poetria Nova. Revised Edition, with Introduction by Martin Camargo. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2010.
Orlemanski, Julie. “Genre.” In A Handbook of Middle English Studies, edited by Marion Turner, 207-221. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2015. Last accessed February 10, 2016 <http://www.oed.com>.
Plamper, Jan. The History of Emotions: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Reddy, William. The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
____, The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Rosenwein, Barbara. Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006.
Rubin, Miri. Emotion and Devotion: The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2009.
Scheer, Monique. “Are Emotions a Kind of Practice (and is That What Makes Them Have a History)? A Bourdieuian Approach to Understanding Emotion.” History and Theory 51.2 (2012): 193-220.
Saupe, Karen, ed. Middle English Marian Lyrics. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997).
Seymour, M. C., et al., eds. On the Properties of Things, John Trevisa’s Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum, a Critical Text. Vols. 1 and 2. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press, 1975; Vol. 3, 1988.
Shuffelton, George, ed. Codex Ashmole 61: A Compilation of Popular Middle English Verse. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2008.
Simpson, James. “Cognition is Recognition: Literary Knowledge and Textual Face.” New Literary History 44 (2013): 25-44.
Swinburn, L. M., ed. The Lantern of Liȝt. EETS 151. London: Early English Text Society by K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., 1917; rpt. 1988. Available online through the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 2006. Last accessed February 10, 2016. <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/AHA2749>.
Tissari, Heli. “English words for emotions and their metaphors,” in Historical Cognitive Linguistics, edited by Margaret E. Winters, Heli Tissari, Kathryn Allan, 298-329. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010.
Trigg, Stephanie. Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
____, “Langland’s Tears: Poetry, Emotion and Mouvance.” Yearbook of Langland Studies 26 (2012): 27-48.
Wimsatt, James I. and William W. Kibler, eds. Rebecca A. Baltzer, music ed. Le Jugement du Roy de Behaigne and Remede de Fortune. The Chaucer Library. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1988.
Young, Helen. Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness. New York: Routledge, 2016.