About BACH

Nicknamed "BACH", the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive History is an academic center and digital lab space. It strives to further the study of human cognition, emotions, and behavior, by exploring how information-processing strategies, affective cultures, and behavioral strategies have changed  through time.

As part of its mission, the center seeks to foster interdisciplinary exchange and critical approaches to histories of human behavior and cognition. To do this, the lab works to make new research findings (in fields like history, neuroscience,  biology, psychology, and economics) accessible to individuals in other disciplines. 

The center also provides resources for scholars and students interested in learning about human behavior.

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SHD GR 1H 1715 p146 - FLN Membership car

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The center's activities include:

1)  producing original historical
     research on human behavior;

 

2) sponsoring projects that
     explore new historical
     methodologies and engage
     with debates in other
     disciplines; 

3) posing research questions 
     about the project's four
     research areas (Behavior,
     Cognition, Emotions, and   
     Morality);

4) providing concise updates,
     news alerts, and analysis 
     about interdisciplinary 
     research findings;

5) bringing together scholars
     interested in the study of
     human behavior.

Activities

Scholars

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CHRISTIANE-MARIE ABU SARAH

As a behavioral historian and the director of the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive History (BACH), Dr. Abu Sarah studies emotions, decision-making, and moral cognition in social movements. An Assistant Professor of History at Erskine College and Visiting Fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin, Abu Sarah previously worked at George Mason University with Dr. Peter Stearns, whose books (including Doing Emotions History and American Behavioral History) have made him a pioneer of behavioral history and the history of emotions.

 

An avid traveler, Dr. Abu Sarah's research projects have taken her around the world. From 2009–2012, she was a Research Associate at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) in Arlington, Virginia. As part of this role, she directed behavioral science and conflict resolution courses in Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel-Palestine. She has also worked in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Cuba, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, and Vietnam. 

Her past digital history projects have included designing and programming the digital history website "Beyond Golden Age and Decline: The Legacy of Muslim Societies in Global Modernity" for the NEH Bridging Cultures Initiative and the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. For the past five years, Abu Sarah has further  served as the Managing Editor of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā (The Journal of Middle East Medievalists).

Abu Sarah holds a PhD in History from the University of Maryland, and a Master's in World History from George Mason University. She is currently working on a book manuscript and digital history project entitled “To Drink a Cup of Fire: Morality Tales and Moral Emotions in Egyptian, Algerian, and French Anti-Colonial Activism.” The project collects the police confessions, diaries, manifestos, and court cases of activists who participated in violent attacks, recording how individuals crossed the thought–action divide, navigated emotional cues, and rationalized aggressive behavior.

Want to be listed on "Behavioral History and the History of Emotions" digital history lab? We welcome new scholars! To be listed on the site, send a short bio and/or CV here.