Heimweh, nostalgia has an history

At the time of the globalization, living in another country is almost a routine. However, leaving one’s home country is not harmless.

Heimweh, or nostalgia as it was initially called, was invented by a student, Johannes Hofer with his doctoral thesis «Nostalgia, oder Heimweh » (1668). During the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, medical officers noticed that soldiers suffered from nostalgia, missing their home country.

An article was published in the French revue L'Histoire #442 (november 2017) by Thomas Dodman (Columbia University). He is the author of What Nostalgia Was. War, Empire and the Time of a Deadly Emotion (University of Chicago Press, 2017). We also recommend to read Homesickness, An American History (S. J. Matt, Oxford University Press, 2011).

This English version is a summary of the French version. The extended article in French can be read here