LIMMUD FSU Recharge Presenters 2022

What is Limmud? What are the Principles? Also, learn some of our History and more.

Polina Aronson Sociologist, journalist


Polina Aronson (Sep. 22, 1980) is a scholar and a journalist born in St.Petersburg, Russia and now living in Berlin. She holds a PhD in sociology from Warwick University (Great Britain) and is a 2013 winner of the highly competitive Einstein Fellowship (Potsdam, Germany). Polina is Debate Editor at openDemocracy and is regularly contributing to other publications, including Aeon magazine, Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) and selected independent Russian-language media outlets. She is an author of "Love DIY. How we turned into managers of our feelings" (in Russian, 2021) and an editor of a collected volume "Complex Feelings. Dictionary of a New Reality from Abuse to Toxicity" (in Russian, 2021).


The Economy of Modern Love. Are We Really Profiting From Emotional Capitalism?

How do we get more out of love? This question is central to our culture. It is the driving force of the multimillion self-help industry. It is the lead theme of prime-time talk shows. We meditate on this question on the therapist's couches. We seek an answer to it in couples’ counseling. We ponder upon it during sleepless nights. We expect love to work out - given we work on it. In fact, we are perpetually pontificated that love is work - and so we roll our sleeves up and we learn languages of love, exercise new sexual positions and make sure we give at least one hug a day.

In today’s world, when we talk about our emotions we often treat them as commodities which can be “invested” into relationships, “exchanged” and, of course, “owned”. The realm of feelings is regulated by the market logic: in our love lives we are encouraged to act as autonomous, sovereign individuals aspiring to choose ‘partners’ who will satisfy our “emotional needs” in a most suitable way. The greatest promise of this approach is that love needn’t cause pain. But what if this assumption is wrong and the more we try to get more out of love the less we are able to feel it?

This session will critically assess modern day assumptions about love and emotions, asking whether pursuit of happiness based on market-like commodification of feelings is, indeed, as ‘profitable’ for us as we would like it to be.