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The Future of Emotions: Conversations Without Borders

Date: 14‒15 June 2018
Venue: University Club of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia
Enquiries: email Pam Bond at emotions@uwa.edu.au
Call for Papers Deadline: 21 February 2018

Conference Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Andrew Lynch, Director ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, UWA
  • Associate Professor Penny Edmonds, University of Tasmania
  • Professor John Sutton, Macquarie University

Public Lecture Speaker

  • Professor Jeff Malpas, University of Tasmania

Call for papers

Scholarship on the history of emotions is now rich and varied, and informed by multiple disciplinary perspectives from the humanities. This conference celebrates the many achievements of humanities emotions research and looks to new horizons in which it can be applied, seeking contributions that lend themselves to discussion about future directions.

WHAT are the theoretical and methodological challenges and opportunities for this field? What cross- and interdisciplinary connections can humanities scholars make through history of emotions research? How does humanities emotions research inform discussions in education and training?

HOW have populations from the medieval to the present conceived of emotions in relation to nature and viewed the capacity of the non-human world to experience emotions or define those of humans? How have feeling cultures created new sociabilities with nature in the pre-industrial period or anthropocene age?

HOW has humanities emotions research informed developments of new technologies, from the emergence of print to smartphones and robots, or shifted meanings in cultural spheres such as art, performance and online community formation?

WHAT contribution can humanities emotions research make in understanding how people have adapted to changes in the world around them, from the emergence of new religious practices, encounters with previously unknown cultures or today’s post-global anxieties? How have past populations envisaged future emotional worlds and anticipated challenges and opportunities for the future? How and why do historical and contemporary populations look back with feeling to past ages? How do emotional experiences and ideas help us understand identities, communities and entities with rights and agency? What applications does humanities emotions research have in community dialogue, policy and public discourse?

The conference organisers invite proposals for a wide variety of individual or collaborative presentation forms, including 20-minute papers, panel sessions, interpretive performance or technological demonstrations, on the following (or related) themes that relate to breakthrough analyses of emotions and:

Innovative humanities methodologies for the emotions

  • Emerging theorisations
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Pedagogical developments

Emotional technologies: past, present and future

  • Print cultures
  • New media art and music
  • Robotics
  • Emoticons, smartphones and digital attachment

Emotions in worlds beyond

  • Past futures
  • Heritage
  • Post-global realities
  • Identity and community formation
  • Rights and justice
  • Public discourse

Emotions, the non-human and post-human

  • Nature
  • Animals
  • Ecologies

Proposals for papers, panel presentations and innovative communication formats are all welcome. Please send a 250-word abstract, a presentation title, and a 100-word biography (only Word documents or rtf files accepted) to emotions@uwa.edu.au by 21 February 2018.


The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions is able to offer a limited number of bursaries to Honours students, Postgraduate students and unwaged Early Career Researchers whose paper have been accepted for presentation at the conference. The bursaries are intended to partially reimburse costs associated with attending the conference.

Bursaries of up to AUD500 for Australian applicants may be awarded, based on the following criteria:

The applicant is:

  • an Honours student currently enrolled at a recognised institution OR a postgraduate student currently enrolled at a recognised institution OR an unwaged early career researcher;
  • able to demonstrate particular need of funding assistance; AND
  • has submitted a paper proposal with the application.

Applicants will be informed of the committee's decision by 2 March 2018.

About the Keynote Speakers

Penny Edmonds is ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania, and an Associate Investigator of CHE. She has qualifications in history and heritage studies, including a PhD from The University of Melbourne, and has worked in national and international museums. Her research and teaching interests include colonial/ postcolonial and Australian and Pacific-region transnational histories, experimental histories, and thinking through the expressions of the past in performances, and visual and cultural heritage. Penny is co-editor of Australian Historical Studies journal, and co-editor of Making Settler Colonial Space: Perspectives on Race, Place and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) with Tracey Banivanua Mar and Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers: Conflict, performance and commemoration in Australia and the Pacific Rim (Routledge, 2016) with Kate Darian-Smith. Penny was awarded the 2014 Academy of Social Sciences in Australian (ASSA) Paul Burke award for Panel C (History, Philosophy, Law, Political Sciences) for her 'multi-disciplinary approach to settler colonialism' and 'theoretical depth and originality'. Her new book Settler Colonialism and (Re)conciliation: Frontier Violence, Affective Performances, and Imaginative Refoundings (Palgrave, 2016) traces the transnational, performative and affective life of reconciliation and its discontents in settler societies and was recently shortlisted for the Ernest Scott Prize (2017).

Andrew Lynch is Professor in English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia, and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100–1800). He has published widely on medieval literature and its modern afterlives from 1800 to the present, with an emphasis on representations of war, peace and emotions. Recent publications include Emotions and War: Medieval to Romantic Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) with Stephanie Downes and Katrina O’Loughlin, and Understanding Emotions in Early Europe (Brepols, 2015) with Michael Champion. He is also a General Editor of the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Emotions, and Co-Editor of the journal Emotions: History, Culture, Society.

Jeff Malpas is Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania and Visiting Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University. He was founder, and until 2005, Director, of the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Ethics. He is the author or editor of 21 books on topics in philosophy, art, architecture and geography. His work is grounded in post-Kantian thought, especially the hermeneutical and phenomenological traditions, as well as in analytic philosophy of language and mind. He is currently working on topics including the ethics of place, the failing character of governance, the materiality of memory, the topological character of hermeneutics, the place of art, and the relation between place, boundary and surface.

John Sutton is Professor in Cognitive Science at Macquarie University, and an Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders. His publications include Embodied Cognition and Shakespeare's Theatre: The Early Modern Body-Mind (Routledge, 2014) with Evelyn Tribble and Laurie Johnson; Review of Philosophy and Psychology, special issue, 'Distributed Cognition and Memory Research’, with Kirk Michaelian (2013); and many articles and chapters on the philosophy of mind, memory, cognition, and the embodied mind. He is Co-Editor of the series Memory Studies (Palgrave Macmillan), and is on the editorial boards of Neuroethics, Memory Studies (Sage), Philosophical Psychology and New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science (Palgrave Macmillan).