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ISRE: Past and Present

In the past thirty years, the dramatic explosion of interest in emotions has become evident throughout a wide variety of disciplines as well as around the world of research and scholarship. The interdisciplinary interests of researchers and the international and cross-cultural scope of much of the recent work created a need for a society where researchers from various disciplines and cultures can come together to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern with the emotions as their central focus. To address this need, an association called the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE) was founded in 1984 with four principal objectives:

  • To provide a forum for the exchange of information of interests to its members;
  •  To foster critical discussion of new ideas and findings on emotion;
  •  To encourage collaboration on, or joint exploration of, new research areas;
  •  To organize workshops and training institutes on new techniques and paradigms.

  In the past three decades. We have convened a rich assortment of exciting meetings, both in Europe and North America, and we continue to do so. The last meeting took place in August 2013 in Berkeley, California, the next conference will be held in Europe in 2015. In virtually every instance we have attracted the best minds and the best-known names in the field as well as an increasing number of younger people who are on the way to establishing substantial careers of their own. Perhaps the most valuable outcome of these many meetings and exchanges-apart from the terrific times enjoyed by the members on each occasion-were the cross-disciplinary friendships and collaborations that have integrated what once were a dozen small and isolated pockets of research interest tucked away in the corners of various disciplines into a prominent and powerful multi-faceted research discipline.
ISRE is organized as a multi-disciplinary, international society. Meetings are alternated between continents, and the presidency and the Executive Committee are elected with the diversity of interests of the society in mind. An excellent newsletter (now on line) does not only inform the membership of ISRE news but also announces a wide variety of coming events and conferences in the field and contains articles of interest written by various researchers, typically focused on a single topic (e.g. ³jealousy,² ³nasty emotions,² ³basic emotions,² other examples?) written for the professional audience that ISRE is but also written accessibly so that members in various disciplines are kept abreast of the most exciting new views and findings in a wide range of fields. There is also a continuously up-dated website and a convenient listserve for communicating with the entire membership. Among many other things-- on-going debates, research inquiries, reference searches--- this has become an active announcement and recruitment tool for open job and research opportunities.