The history of emotions is a new approach to social history, and this book is the first in English to systematically examine emotions in Colonial Mexico. It is easy to assume that emotions are a given, unchanging aspect of human psychology. But the emotions we feel reflect the times in which we live. People express themselves within the norms and prescriptions particular to their society, their class, their ethnicity, and other factors. The essays collected here chart daily life through the study of sex and marriage, love, lust and jealousy, civic rituals and preaching, gambling and leisure, prayer and penance, and protest and rebellion.
The first part of the book deals with how individuals experienced emotions on a personal level. The second group of essays explores the role of the state in guiding and channelling the expression and the objects of emotions.
Javier Villa-Flores is an associate professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, he has written Carlo Ginzburg: el historiador como teorico and Dangerous Speech: A Social History of Blasphemy in Colonial Mexico.