Emotional Cities offers an innovative account of the history of cities in the second half of the nineteenth century. Analyzing debates about emotions and urban change, it questions the assumed dissimilarity of the history of European and Middle Eastern cities during this period. The author shows that between 1860 and 1910, contemporaries in both Berlin and Cairo began to negotiate the transformation of the urban realm in terms of emotions. Looking at the
ways in which a variety of urban dwellers, from psychologists to bar maids, framed recent changes in terms of their effect on love, honor, or disgust, the book reveals striking parallels between the histories of the two cities. By combining urban history and the history of emotions, Prestel proposes a new
perspective on the emergence of different, yet comparable cities at the end of the nineteenth century.
Joseph Ben Prestel is a historian of Europe and the Middle East at Freie Universitat Berlin. He received his PhD in history from FU Berlin in 2015. Before joining FU's history department, he held a position at the research center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. He has also held fellowships at Cambridge University and the American University in Cairo.