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Imagining Suicide: Representation and Emotion in the Age of Sensibility

A public lecture by Eric Parisot (Flinders University) at Flinders University


Image: Isaac Cruikshank, 'Which way shall I turn me how shall I decide' (1793), British Museum

Date: Friday 14 June 2019
Time: 3pm
Venue: Noel Stockdale Room, Flinders Central Library, Flinders University
Enquiries: Katie Barclay (katie.barclay@adelaide.edu.au)

This paper will outline Parisot’s current study of representations of suicide in British fiction, drama and newspapers of the late eighteenth century, and how the varied and often conflicting public emotions they elicited and circulated helped to shape new conceptions of “suicide”. Drawing from case studies that reveal particular sets of emotional processes through representation, response, and counter-response, the paper will gesture towards the study’s emphasis on two agents of change often undervalued by histories of suicide—public emotions and the literary imagination—as well help to historicise the modern relation between suicide and media.

Dr Eric Parisot is a Senior Lecturer in English at Flinders University, and a Research Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Adelaide node). His primary interests lie in the literature and culture of the British long eighteenth century, particularly the subjects of death, suicide, the afterlife, the Gothic, and the history of emotions. Research from his current project features in Eighteenth-Century Studies, Literature Compass and the Huntington Library Quarterly. He is also the author of Graveyard Poetry (Ashgate, 2013).