February 2018

1 February 2018

From the Director

Andrew LynchFrom the outset, CHE’s appointment of Postdoctoral Fellows and Senior Research Fellows has been central to our aim to train the next generation of researchers in emotions history.

Over the years, ‘the postdocs’ have provided the Centre with extraordinary resources of intellectual energy, creativity and collegiality. Their internationally significant contributions to research, together with postgraduate teaching and supervision, public outreach and organisation of academic events have been outstanding, and a major part of the success of the Centre. It is very pleasing to note that so many have secured further academic positions and fellowships on the basis of their work with us. On behalf of all CHE, I send them deep thanks and best wishes for the future, wherever it may be taking them.

Andrew Lynch
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Focus on Research Fellows

We asked our completing Postdoctoral and Senior Research Fellows to reflect on the following five questions: What are your highlights of your time at CHE? What do you feel your greatest contribution was during this time? What are some of the outputs of your time at CHE? What are your future plans? How would you sum up your emotions research?

Michael BarbezatMichael D. Barbezat

The University of Western Australia

My time at CHE is full of highlights and I find myself hard pressed to single out any one. Of course, my personal highlights include securing the publication of my book, Burning Bodies: Community, Eschatology, and Identity in the Middle Ages, with Cornell University Press.

I think that the greatest contribution I’ve made is through the additional roles I’ve been able to take on, both within the Centre and at UWA. I’ve taught Honours students and advised dissertations. I’ve served as the President of the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG), and I’ve collaborated in the planning and delivery of a number of symposia, workshops and conferences. In all of these roles, I’ve met and worked with wonderful people from all levels of the academic community (professors, lecturers, students and alumni). My time with them has been a privilege, and I have learned as much as I have taught.

In addition to my Burning Bodies book, publications that will result from my time with CHE include: ‘“He Doubted That These Things Actually Happened”: Knowing the Other World in the Tractatus de Purgatorio sancti Patricii’ (in History of Religions); ‘The Corporeal Orientation: A Medieval and Early Modern Framework for Understanding Deviance Through the Object(s) of Love’, (in The Routledge Companion to Emotions in Europe, 1100–1700, edited by Susan Broomhall and Andrew Lynch); and a collection I am editing with Anne Scott, Fluid Bodies: Rethinking Expressions of Bodies and Their Fluids in Pre-Modern Literature, Theology, and Art. In addition, I have written ‘“
Pizzagate” and the Nocturnal Ritual Fantasy: Imaginary Cults, Fake News, and Real Violence’ for The Public Medievalist and have twice been featured in the CHE ‘Emotions Make History’ podcast.

I’m pursuing a number of opportunities in Canada and Europe. In this period of enormous change in the higher education sector, I’m looking for opportunities to diversify my career and maximise my impact.

My emotions research has allowed me to pursue interdisciplinary lines of inquiry and collaborate with scholars from around the world. As a scholar working in the humanities, I am interested in the human experience as it has been lived through time, and there are few other avenues to this goal as promising as the history of the emotions.

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Merridee BaileyMerridee L. Bailey

The University of Adelaide

It’s common for historians to work in our separate cells with few opportunities for ongoing interaction with colleagues. One of the pleasures of my time with CHE has been the feeling of taking part in a larger conversation with people. I’m not sure that will be easily repeated outside of the Centre. I’ve also learned a great deal from the tangential conversations I’ve had with others. Bob White gave me beautiful advice about how to write and what makes a good scholar which I won’t ever forget.

The contributions I’m proud of take different shapes. There are publications I feel a sense of achievement in having written, but there’s also been the quiet, reflective deep thinking about emotions, the nature of history, and about what matters in historical writing which I feel are of long-lasting value.

Rather than talk about my solo publications I’d like to focus on collaborative work I’ve undertaken with colleagues. Katie Barclay and I edited a collection on rituals (Emotions, Ritual and Power in Europe) and Kimberley-Joy Knight and I edited a journal special issue on law and emotions (Journal of Legal History).

I’m working on a new book on the history of meekness from the Middle Ages to the present. I’ve always been interested in the different ways morality has been understood and practiced by ordinary people. I’ve wanted to write this book for years and now is the right time to do it. I also continue to be interested in the history of law and emotions and will continue working with Kimberley-Joy Knight on this through CHE-funded workshops in 2018. I’ll be doing all of this from the UK, where I have an Associate Membership with the History Faculty at The University of Oxford.

I’ve always been a social and cultural historian of late medieval and early modern England working across a number of different fields (literary, historical, lexical) and, over the last five years, the history of emotions. I spent the first few years of my research project delving into emotions scholarship from the perspectives of the humanities and the social sciences. As I move forward with my future research projects I know that I’ll always consider the role emotions play in every historical source I look at.

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Lisa BeavenLisa Beaven
The University of Melbourne

Working as part of an amazing team at Melbourne on a day-to-day basis has been an astonishing experience.

A highlight for me was the Change collaboratory run by Charles Zika and Angela Hesson on ‘Art, Objects and Emotions, 1400–1800’ in 2016. This was only one of a number of successful conferences, but it stood out for me due to the extraordinary quality of the overseas speakers (Angela McShane, Thomas Dixon, Elina Gertsman, Corine Schleif) and their generosity in sharing ideas. Working with Associate Professor Mark Seymour (University of Otago) when he visited the Melbourne node last year was another undoubted highlight. We worked intensively to explore whether or not buildings could create emotional states, or indeed retain emotional overlays through time. I also enjoyed collaborating on the ‘Love’ exhibition at the NGV with Angela Hesson. We researched many of the objects together and co-wrote a chapter, ‘Objects of Love’, for the exhibition catalogue.

I convene the objects and emotion cluster within the Centre (with Stephanie Downes and Penelope Lee) and I think that re-focusing attention on materiality and objects has been very useful. The Melbourne-Manchester consortium grant grew out of this research cluster and is now developing into an ongoing research project with a large team of international scholars. I would also like to think my contributions to study days, conferences and public engagement more generally have been valuable. I have given papers at least 16 CHE conferences and study days and am frequently asked to speak to non-academic audiences. In 2017, I was the keynote speaker for the opening of the ‘Love’ exhibition.

Publications that will result from my time with CHE include a collection, Baroque to Neo-Baroque: Emotion and the Seduction of the Senses, edited with A. Ndalianis, and book chapters on elite patrons and collectors in Rome, art and emotion, Camillo Massimo and the court of Philip IV and objects and the body in Catholic devotional practice.

In 2018 I will return to my previous workplace, La Trobe University, to teach a new minor in Art History.

Being a part of CHE has been an invaluable experience. To be part of such a constructive and creative environment has not just been precious, it has changed me. I leave the Centre with far more diverse interests, and a more interdisciplinary focus, and with colleagues who are as passionate about early modern Europe as I am.

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JJoseph Browningoseph Browning
The University of Melbourne

Joseph Browning has been awarded a three-year fellowship with the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford, which he will take up in early 2018.

The highly coveted British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship will provide Joseph with the opportunity to undertake a large-scale ethnographic project investigating the role of nature and the environment in contemporary classical music-making. The project, ‘Vital Sounds: Mediating Nature in British Contemporary Music’, will involve extensive field work with composers, performers, sound artists and new music ensembles to see how they interact with and respond to the ever-evolving spheres of biotechnology, climate science and the environment. He will also engage with audiences to chart their response to these new musical practices.

Since 2015, Joseph has been working on CHE’s ‘
Creativity, Collaboration and Emotion in Music’ project, tracing the creative processes and role of emotion in multi-person collaborative projects. Key case studies have included Voyage to the Moon, a contemporary pasticcio opera that premiered and toured throughout Australia in early 2016, produced in collaboration with Victorian Opera and Musica Viva; and Pleasure Garden, an outdoor sound installation composed by Genevieve Lacey and Jan Bang, inspired by seventeenth-century composer and musician Jacob van Eyck.

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Kenneth ChongKenneth Chong
The University of Queensland

Highlights of my time with CHE have been participating in a Middle English Study Day at The University of Melbourne in 2016, and the ‘Art and Affect’ collaboratory we held at The University of Queensland in 2017. I also enjoyed participating in the ‘Ecstasy’ exhibition and public forum at the UQ Art Museum earlier this year.

I have contributed to the Centre during my fellowship by helping to run the CHE node at UQ, in particular by inviting and hosting speakers and convening a seminar series on ‘Belief’ for the UQ node’s ‘Forum on Literature and the Arts’. This series featured a range of medieval scholars, including Kellie Robertson (University of Maryland), Chantelle Saville (University of Auckland) and Chris Martin (University of Auckland).

Publications that have resulted from my time with the Centre include a long article on the Middle English poem Pearl, which has been accepted for publication in Studies in the Age of Chaucer. I have also delivered a number of conference papers.

Next year I will be moving back to Sydney and teaching part-time while looking for a permanent academic position.

In my research, I’ve been able to look at the connection between medieval literature and scholastic thought, especially the way that certain debates (like future contingents), or problems of classification (e.g., inarticulate signs), become pressing issues for vernacular writers working outside the universities.

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Stephanie DownesStephanie Downes

The University of Melbourne

CHE has afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with a wonderful group of researchers, with diverse interests: from local and national colleagues, to interstate and international visitors.

I have really appreciated the chance to think critically about the history of emotions in other fields and historical periods, as well from other disciplinary perspectives. This frequent contact has opened out new areas for me in my own work, and has helped me to think about the history of emotions as one which extends temporally and geographically in so many directions, with broad implications for our emotional lives in the twenty-first century.

I’m also delighted to see how far the CHE blog has come since its humble beginnings in late 2012. In setting up the blog, I especially wanted to create a platform for postdoctoral research fellows to explore their works in progress: I hoped that it might be helpful for us to be able reflect critically and metacritically on the various projects that we were working on, while we were working. That’s not at all what the blog has ended up being… but in many ways it is now so much better, having been elevated to greatness by all those who have helped to manage, reimagine and write for it since!

My plans for the immediate future at least are quite clear! My partner and I are expecting our first child in March, and I’m planning to take maternity leave from the time my CHE fellowship comes to an end in late January. I have watched with awe so many amazing colleagues – both women and men – manage thedemands of parenting and academia, and I’m looking forward to finding my own balance between the two. Even after six years with CHE, there is much left to finish, and I hope to be able to continue working on the manuscript for my current book, Textual Expressions: Reading the Face in Late Medieval Literary Culture, in parenthood.

My work on late medieval emotions has ranged far more widely than I ever imagined: from bilingual emotions and emotions in wartime, to material culture. The research that will become my monograph is more focused: it explores the fascination with faces in textual culture in the later medieval period, examining the ways in which authors, scribes and readers associated facial expressivity – both descriptive and visual – with ideas about subjectivity, society and empathy.

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Kirk EssaryKirk Essary
The University of Western Australia

The highlights of my time at CHE have been the various conferences and workshops across Australia and in Europe I have attended. CHE has an unbelievably collegial and collaborative atmosphere, which makes the experience for research fellows incredibly rich and productive.

Publications from my time with CHE, which I hope will contribute to future conversations in the field, include: ‘Clear as Mud: Metaphor, Emotion, and Meaning in Early Modern England’ (in English Studies); ‘Annotating the Affections: The Philology of Feeling in Erasmus’ New Testament Scholarship and Its Reception in Early Modern Dictionaries’ (in Erasmus Studies); ‘Enduring Erasmus: Reception and Emotion in Christian Humanism’ (in Church History and Religious Culture); ‘Fiery Heart and Fiery Tongue: Emotion in Erasmus’ Ecclesiastes’ (in Erasmus Studies); ‘Calm and Violent Passions: The Genealogy of a Distinction from Quintilian to Hume’ (with Yasmin Haskell, in Erudition and the Republic of Letters); and Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling (400-1800) (co-edited with Michael Champion and Juanita Ruys, forthcoming with Routledge).

At the end of February 2018, I will take up a position as Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at The University of Western Australia.

My research on emotions has increasingly focused on the works of Erasmus of Rotterdam, who had a lot more to say about emotion (and everything else, for that matter) than I was aware of when I first started the fellowship, and I will continue to work on Erasmus with the aim of publishing a book on emotion in his works. I’ve also been convinced of the importance of the history of the language of emotion, specifically the history of the use and translation of emotion terms. I hope to continue to work in this area as well.

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Kimberley-Joy KnightKimberley-Joy Knight

The University of Sydney

There were numerous highlights during my time at the CHE.

Two particular projects spring to mind because they were opportunities that I had not had before. The first was developing a public engagement series for senior citizens in regional NSW. This project culminated in an exhibition and book that gave a wonderful sense of shared achievement with the participants. A second highlight was interviewing the Deputy State Coroner, Hugh Dillon, at Emotions in Legal Practices: Historical and Modern Attitudes Compared. The conference, organised by Merridee Bailey and me, brought together international and interdisciplinary scholars to discuss the often-fraught relationship between emotions and the law. Hugh’s insights into emotions research from a legal perspective were fascinating and demonstrate the value of engaging with practitioners.

During the course of my postdoctoral fellowship I have published a number of articles on religious weeping, medieval material culture and emotions, and emotions and legal history. I have a forthcoming article on public engagement and the history of emotions and am completing my first monograph on religious weeping. I have also had the opportunity to curate an exhibition, co-edit a special edition of the Journal of Legal History on emotions, give a number of interviews on national radio and write for mass media outlets such as BBC History Magazine and the Conversation.

I have recently received funding with Professor John Hudson for a project on ‘Translating Cultures’. The research will take me to Iceland and the University of St Andrews to explore processes of cultural and religious translation from a combined historical and contemporary perspective. I will also continue to co-convene the ‘History of Law and Emotions’ research cluster with Merridee Bailey and John Hudson. We will host two workshops (in London and Sydney) and a conference on ‘Emotions and Forensic Rhetoric’ (University of St Andrews) in 2018.

I feel very fortunate to have been a postdoctoral research fellow with CHE. Working alongside wonderfully talented colleagues and learning about ground-breaking research at CHE conferences has deepened my understanding of emotions and stimulated my own thinking.

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Robin MacdonaldRobin Macdonald

The University of Western Australia

I’ve really enjoyed being part of a vibrant research community on a day-to-day basis. CHE is a lively place to work, and it’s been a pleasure to be surrounded by so many supportive colleagues.

My research has also benefitted from opportunities to take part in a number of CHE collaboratories, and to participate in interdisciplinary conversations with scholars from a variety of fields and with diverse research specialisms in emotions history.

I really enjoyed collaborating with colleagues in CHE and UWA art historians on a project led by Jacqueline Van Gent to create an emotions audio guide for the WA Maritime Museum exhibition, ‘Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World’.

I have a number of forthcoming articles on emotions, colonialism and encounter, and I hope to spend the next few months working on my monograph. Using spatial theory and emotions theory, it will explore the ways in which colonial encounters in New France shaped environment and vice versa. I have also edited (with Emilie K. M. Murphy and Elizabeth L. Swann) a forthcoming collection, Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, which is scheduled for publication at the beginning of May 2018.

Being part of CHE has given me the confidence to expand the parameters of my historical research, both in terms of temporal scope and methodology. I’ve particularly enjoyed working with medievalist colleagues who have encouraged me to think about the ways in which the present shapes emotional understandings of the past.

Grace MooreGrace Moore

The University of Melbourne

My five years with CHE have been the great opportunity of my career, so it’s very difficult to pin down a few highlights.

I’ve loved the outreach work we did, and found work with bushfire survivors to be especially rewarding. It was wonderful to be part of Penelope Lee and Juliette Hanson’s ‘From the Fire’ exhibition in 2015, and it was also extraordinary to be able (with Jessie Scott’s help) to push the boundaries of what an academic conference might look like with our ‘Fire Stories’ conference. It was fabulous to learn how to curate an exhibition of my own, but my period with CHE has also given me time to reinvent myself as a scholar and I’m truly grateful for the long periods of archival work it facilitated.

I hope my contribution was a combination of outreach work, scholarship and mentoring.

I wrote quite a few blog posts (I think 18) during my time with CHE, as it feels important to me to be able to communicate the work I do to a broader audience. My forthcoming scholarly publications include work on bushfires and time, campfires, families and fire and a co-edited book on the Victorian Environment. I have also co-authored a piece on a lost fragment from Branwell Brontë’s Angrian saga.

In 2018, I’m off to New Zealand, where I’ll take long service leave and finish my book, Arcady in Flames. I’ll then return to my substantive position (as Senior Lecturer in English at The University of Melbourne). I have two new book projects underway: the first is a study of Dickens and emotions. The second is a project on Trollope and ecology, with a strong history of emotions thread running through it. At the moment, it’s focused on the Antipodes (and I’ve already published several articles on Trollope, Australia and the environment, with another on Trollope and meat to appear early next year), however, I suspect it will need to expand to encompass all of Trollope’s travel writing.

My time with CHE has been transformative for me as a scholar, and to be able to bring emotions scholarship together with ecological work has taken my writing in new and (for me) fascinating directions. If you had told me when my fellowship began that I would be writing on Trollope and dingo-hunting I would have laughed, but in fact there are few issues more emotional than environmental research.

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Abaigéal WarfieldAbaigéal Warfield

The University of Adelaide

The highlight of working at CHE was engaging with such a diverse group of scholars. Intellectually, it has been very stimulating to engage with other disciplines. I especially enjoyed the symposium organised by Charles Zika and Charlotte-Rose Millar on ‘Witchcraft and Emotions’, as this is an area I am very interested in. It has been exciting to be part of an emerging field in historical studies.

During my time at CHE I became more and more fascinated by the relationship between news media and emotions. For this reason, I launched a new research cluster with Amy Milka on the topic. This ‘Emotions and Media’ cluster has been very successful and now has over 60 active members around the world. We held a workshop at The University of Adelaide for cluster members in 2016, and more recently a symposium on ‘News-Reporting and Emotions’ that brought together leading scholars in various fields and also practicing journalists. We were able to offer bursaries to emerging scholars and postgraduate students to participate. Seeing the interdisciplinary discussions at the collaboratory really opened my eyes to how journalists and historians can work together. Going forward, I hope the cluster will continue in its success.

Publications that will result from my time at CHE include a forthcoming article, ‘The Witch and the Weather: Fear of Weather Magic in German Sixteenth-Century Neue Zeitungen’ and a monograph I am working on, tentatively titled ‘Witches in the News’. I have also co-authored a number of blog posts on news, media and emotion.

In 2018 I will be returning to Europe, where I will continue work on my monograph.

Working on the construction of fear of the devil and witchcraft for three years has made me question human nature. Specifically, this research has drawn my attention to how fear is employed and constructed by people in positions of power as a means of consolidating group identity, bonding communities ‘against’ imaginary threats – both in the present and in the past.

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Call for Papers

The Future of Emotions: Conversations Without Borders
Conference Date: 14‒15 June 2018
Venue: University Club of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia
Enquiries: Pam Bond (
Call for Papers Deadline: 21 February 2018

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Selected Forthcoming Events

Mediterranean Encounters: People in Motion
Date: Monday 5 February 2018
Time: 9am–5.30pm
Venue: European University Institute (Florence), Villa Salviati, Sala degli Stemmi
Convenors: Giovanni Tarantino (
giovanni.tarantino@uwa.edu.au) and Ann Thomson (Ann.Thomson@EUI.eu).
Contact: Francesca Parenti (

Pity, Empathy and Fear: Human Rights Strategies in Anti-Torture Campaigns, 1960–1980
Date: Tuesday 6 February 2018
Time: 5.30–6.45pm
Venue: Theatre B, Ground Floor,
Old Arts Building 129, The University of Melbourne
Registrations: Online
Enquiries: Alumni Office Ph: +61 3 8344 1746 or email

Date: Wednesday 14 February 2018
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus, Victoria Road, Rydalmere, NSW
Bookings: Email
Tickets: $25/20conc.
See our events page for more dates and venues

Standing Outside the Centre: Ecstasy as a Political Act
Date: Thursday 15 February 2018
Time: 6.00–7.15pm, with refreshments to follow
The University of Queensland Art Museum, James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre, Building 11, University Drive, St Lucia QLD

The Critic as Artist
Date: Friday 16 February 2018
Time: 12–5pm (lunch included)
Venue: Boardroom,
The University of Queensland Art Museum, University Drive, St Lucia QLD
RSVP: by 14 February to uqche@uq.edu.au

Devastated Nature: The Historical Role of Creative Arts in Memorialising Natural World Loss
Date: Friday 23 February 2018
Time: 1–2pm
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA
Register: FREE event |
Register online
Enquiries: (08) 6488 3707 or lwag@uwa.edu.au

Devotion, Objects and Emotion, 1300–1700
Date: Friday 16 to Saturday 17 March 2018
Venue: Woodward Conference Centre, The University of Melbourne, 10th floor, Melbourne Law (Building 106), 185 Pelham Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Enquiries: Email Julie Davies (
daviesja@unimelb.edu.au), telephone +61 3 8344 5981.

A full list of forthcoming events and further details about individual events can be found on our

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