Luisa Passerini Examines Changing Concepts of Love

In the last Washington History Seminar for the spring, Luisa Passerini, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Turin, examines “Changing Concepts of Love since the Eighteenth Century” on Monday, May 17, at 4:00. This seminar is co-sponsored by the National History Center and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Between 1770 and the mid-twentieth century, Europeans believed they had invented and continued to have an exclusive monopoly on courtly and romantic love as the highest form of relations between men and women. But this view was challenged in the 1960s when romantic love came to be seen as a universal sentiment that can be found in all cultures. These changing concepts of love, which endure to the present, will be analyzed in light of historical examples, mainly drawn from the 1930s and 1940s.

Luisa Passerini is also the External Professor of History at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and Visiting Professor at Columbia University. Her most recent books are Love and the Idea of Europe (2009) and Sogno di Europa (2009).

Click here to watch a video presentation of the seminar.

This is part of the weekly history seminar that aims to facilitate the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives. Click here to see a complete listing of the schedule of speakers and topics, as well as videos of the presentations.