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Talk about the passion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2010


We would like to thank the five commentators for their thorough and stimulating reflections on, and criticism of, our article. The different comments raise various issues, and we appreciate their diversity of perspectives and their analysis of problems in our attempt at a rethinking of emotion in archaeology. The comments are each in their own way highly rewarding for us, and they certainly bring concerns to the fore that we have left out. Here we identify several issues that the commentators address in different voices and with varying intensities, and would like to examine these in turn. First, we consider the question of ritual at Mount Pleasant and the absence of the quotidian from our account. Second, we engage with the worry expressed over the lack of specificity of emotions in our given scenarios. Third, the phenomenological perspective in our article is given some critical thought. Fourth, we address the important point on which several of the commentators agree: that we leave out how emotions unfold in historically specific and context-dependent situations. Finally we turn back to the issue of our vocabulary to see how it stands the test of both application and critique.

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