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Schedule of upcoming events

On this page, we advertise the research activities that are of interest to members and friends of Thumos, especially the Thumos seminar, which is the main research activity of our group. Thumos seminars take place on Thursdays, 16h15-17h45 at the Bastions (room B214). Archives of the seminar are available here.

Members of the Swiss Doctoral School in Affective Sciences get credits if they participate to the seminar and their travel expenses can be reimbursed within Switzerland.

We also indicate events that may be of interest to students of the emotions or that happen on the same day : 

  • The CISA Lecture series take place on Tuesday, 12h15-13h15 at the Campus Biotech (seminar room will be communicated by email to the members).
  • The Quodlibeta takes place on Wednesday, 14h15-16h00 at the Bastions (room B101).
  • The Phileas talks usually takes place on Thursday in place of the Quodlibeta at the Bastions, 18h15-20h00.


Spring 2022

February 24, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni (Geneva)



March 3, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Margherita Arcangeli (Paris, in collaboration with Jérôme Dokic)

Affective Memory. A Little Help From Our Imagination

When we remember a past situation, the emotional import of the latter often transpires in a modified form at the phenomenological level of our present memory. When it does, we experience what is sometimes called an “affective memory.” Theorists of memories have disagreed about the status of affective memories. Sceptics claim that the relationship between memory and emotion can only be of two types: either the memory is about a past emotion (the emotion is part of what is remembered), or it causes a present emotion (the emotion is a separable effect of the memory). We argue that there is a third option, which points to an emotional way of representing the past situation. Drawing from Peter Goldie’s account of mental narratives, we show that three levels of mental perspective are involved in memories: the perspective of the represented subject (the character, if there is one), the perspective of the representing subject (the author), and the intermediary perspective of the narrator (who may remain virtual). Affective memories are cases in which the narrator’s emotional perspective has direct implications for the author’s emotional perspective, even if the former typically differs from the latter.

March 10, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Eric Cullhed (Uppsala)

On the Deeply Moving and the Merely Touching


March 17, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Jonas Blatter (Bern)


March 24, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Juliette Vazard (Genève)

March 31, 2022 – Thumos Seminar



April 7, 2022 – Thumos Seminar (exceptionally in Bâtiment Colladon)

Justin D'Arms (Columbus)


April 14, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Todd Cain (Lancaster)


April 28, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Edgar Phillips (Paris)


May 5, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Hanno Sauer (Utrecht)

On Moral Progress


May 12, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Maria Silvia Vaccarezza (Genoa, in collaboration with Ariele Niccoli)

Let the donkeys be donkeys: in defense of inspiring envy

Once upon a time, Aesop says, there was a donkey who wanted to be a pet dog. The pet dog was given many treats by the master and the household servants, and the donkey was envious of him. Hence, the donkey began emulating the pet dog. What happened next? The story ends up with the donkey beaten senseless, chased off to the stables, exhausted and barely alive. Who is to blame for the poor donkey’s unfortunate fate? Well, there could be disagreement upon this, but I think emulation is to blame. And it’s on the kinds of envy-related emulation that I focus on in this talk.
More analytically, I aim at vindicating the role of envy for moral exemplars within an exemplarist character educational framework. In the first section, I recall the central tenets of an exemplarist account of moral progress, and highlight how negative emotions, in general, have suffered a bad press within character education, with exemplarism being no exception. Then I provide a brief outline of standard strategies of defending envy by appealing to useful taxonomies of envy (e.g., Taylor 1988; Protasi 2016; Fussi 2018). After that, I put forward my 'Donkey Objection' by recalling Aesop’s fable on "foolish imitation", so as to show that when envy triggers mere emulation, it can bear devastating effects such as conformism and a lack of self-worth and personal integrity.
In response to this objection, I bring into play a distinction between two rival forms of imitation—emulation and inspiration—and I coin the label of "inspired envy" for those forms of imitation by inspiration triggered by envy that lead to self-improvement avoiding morally detrimental consequences.

May 19, 2022 – Thumos Seminar

Ronnie De Sousa (Toronto)

May 26, 2022 – No seminar (Ascension)