Celebrations, festivals, ceremonies, feasts—the semantic range comprised by the German word Fest—are temporary emotionally communities that foster long-term emotional bonds among their members. The emotions these event cultivate are specific: Christmas is about love and intimacy; Carneval and New Year’s Eve offer ecstatic escape from the everyday; funeral rituals channel sorrow; national anniversaries are exercises in pride. The division of labor is not always strict, however, and sometimes multiple emotions occur at once. The festive event is proleptic, raising hopes, making demands, and funneling enthusiasm during the period that precedes it. Participation is the norm, yet people may still refuse to take part, either tacitly or through active resistance. Guided by tradition, celebrations and festivities and the emotions connected to them are also a matter of negotiation.
Concept: Rüdiger Zill, Potsdam
Participants: Robert Pfaller, Wien; Froma Zeitlin, Princeton / Berlin; Michael Maurer, Jena; Winfried Gebhardt, Koblenz; Annalise Acorn, Edmonton; Günter Schenk, Mainz; Kelly Askew, Ann Arbor / Berlin; Bruno Preisendörfer, Berlin; Yvonne Niekrenz, Rostock; Joe Perry, Atlanta; Birgit Röttger-Rössler, Berlin