Book launch 'Trials of the Self'
In 'Trials of the Self: Murder, Mayhem and the Remaking of the Mind, 1750-1830' (Manchester University Press), Elwin Hofman brings together the disparate histories of murder and enlightenment, prostitution and the cult of nature, sodomy and sentimentalism in order to retell the story of the making of the modern self. He argues that the history of the self needs to attend more to its class dimensions, and puts this insight into practice by examining the influence of the criminal courts in spreading and negotiating changing ideas of the self. Using criminal interrogations and witness statements, 'Trials of the Self' shows that an increasing stress on psychological depth in the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was not only important for elites, but also for common and illiterate people - sometimes even more so.

At this virtual book launch event, Elwin Hofman (KU Leuven) will talk about his new book. Dana Rabin (University of Illinois) and Inger Leemans (VU Amsterdam / KNAW) will provide comments. Chair: Tom Verschaffel (KU Leuven)

25 June 2021, 17-18h (Brussels UTC+2) / 4-5PM (London) / 11-12AM (New York) / 10-11AM (Chicago)

More information about the book: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526153142/

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