Experience history in action, how human emotions have changed over the centuries, and the impact it has had on Australia today.

31 March 2017


Jacqueline Van GentMartha Nussbaum has famously argued that the distinctive value of the humanities lies in their ability to cultivate empathy and the moral imagination.

Since its inception, one of the aims of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) has been to showcase the public benefit of our research through outreach engagement. Looking at our 2016 Annual Report, this is a striking feature across all of our programs and nodes. The creativity and enthusiasm of our Education Outreach Officers is something that stuns me every time I read or hear about their latest projects. One example I am personally more familiar with is the impact that CHE history of emotions research has had in the successful collaborations that underpinned the Zest Festival, and how the festival has affected the community in Kalbarri in remarkable ways over its five-year duration. It was at once a study of the emotions of the early modern global Dutch East India Company’s encounters and a contemporary heritage event that foregrounded emotional experiences and reflections across all parts of a community.

The release of the
Zest documentary led to a request from The University of Western Australia (UWA) to include our Zest project in a research impact pilot study. In light of the current academic climate and its need for ‘tangible’ outcomes, this is certainly important – CHE has many examples that demonstrate how the humanities impact on the public. Impact studies present, in fact, an argument for the advantages of establishing Centres of Excellence in humanities areas. The large research teams they assemble provide the necessary ‘infrastructure’ (our team of education officers) to organise a systematic and sustained education outreach program underpinned by leading research.

The outward-looking, international and engagement-focused attitude of CHE is an important asset that we hope to carry into the newly founded Society for the History of Emotions (SHE). The launch of SHE’s interdisciplinary journal – Emotions: History, Culture, Society (EHCS) and the inaugural SHE conference planned for December 2017 create an international platform for research, collaboration and discussion across cultures, societies and academic disciplines. The enthusiasm with which international scholars have joined the Society and the extraordinary response to EHCS’s call for papers for its first thematic issue on ‘Emotion and Change’ show that the research and the collaborations the Centre has produced are already creating a lively – and, we hope, sustainable – international intellectual community. For me, this is the best legacy we could have hoped for.

Audience response and the way we experience emotions in connection to space and objects will be explored on a grand scale at the ‘
Love: Art of Emotion, 1400–1800’ exhibition, opening at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) on 31 March 2017, and the ‘Passion, Lament, Glory’ performance at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne on 31 March and 1 April 2017.

This month we also celebrate Postdoctoral Research Fellows who have completed their fellowships and are moving on to pursue new opportunities and advance their careers. Read more below.

Jacqueline Van Gent
(Chief Investigator, The University of Western Australia)

Passion, Lament, Glory

Passion, Lament, Glory production in Melbourne at St Paul's Cathedral

Beautiful music, stunning aerial artistry and a 100-voice choir come together to explore universal themes of love, pain and redemption in the iconic St Paul's Cathedral on 31 March and 1 April 2017.

Experience a fully-realised enactment of Christ’s Passion, featuring Dean Andreas Loewe, soprano Jacqueline Porter and one of Australia’s best Baroque ensembles. This production will be running for two nights only. Tickets are still available here.

Love: Art of Emotion 14001800

Image: Master of the Stories of Helen, Antonio Vivarini (studio of), The Garden of Love (c.1465-1470), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest, 1948, 1827-4.Love, in all its facets, will be on display at the forthcoming ‘Love: Art of Emotion, 1400–1800’ NGV exhibition that opens on 31 March 2017.

This exhibition results from a collaboration between the NGV, CHE and The University of Melbourne. It features more than 200 works from the NGV’s International Collection and explores love’s manifestation across various realms of human experience, including familial relationships, religious devotion, friendship, altruism, patriotism, narcissism, materialism and nostalgia. ‘Love: Art of Emotion’ presents depictions of love’s many variations in painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, as well as in non-representational and functional objects such as costume, furniture and religious artefacts.

Some of the pieces included in the exhibition have never been displayed before and demonstrate the balance between modest and grandiose, civic and domestic, micro and macro. They range from Vivarini’s grand-scale, much-celebrated painting The Garden of Love to tiny pieces of jewellery. The exhibition also explores notions of public display and private emotion, ostentation and intimacy, performance and feeling. It considers love in relation to emotions such as desire, wonder, ecstasy, affection, compassion, envy, melancholy, longing and hope. Bringing together a diverse array of works from the medieval to the romantic period, ‘Love: Art of Emotion’ examines the shifting, multifaceted expressions of this rich and perennially relevant subject.
Listen to CHE Postdoctoral Research Fellow Angela Hesson speak to Lindy Burns on ABC 774 about ‘Love: Art of Emotion, 1400–1800’, or read her Articulation blog interview about the exhibition.

During April, CHE will be hosting a number of masterclasses associated with the exhibition in Melbourne. Click
here for more information.

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Emotions and Law: A Cross-Disciplinary Workshop

Image: Mug shot of Valerie Lowe, 15 February 1922, Central Police Station, Sydney.By Kimberley-Joy Knight (The University of Sydney)

On Friday 24 March 2017 CHE, in collaboration with the UWA Law School, hosted a cross-disciplinary workshop on emotions and law.

The workshop opened with CHE ‘History of Law and Emotions’ cluster convenors Kimberley-Joy Knight (The University of Sydney) and Merridee Bailey (The University of Adelaide). Their paper focused on the emergence of the history of emotions as a field of study and discussed the recent blossoming of scholarship on emotions and the law. A brief overview of the progression of research in the history of emotions was used as a starting point for thinking about how historians’ research can intersect with the interests of scholars working in law and connected disciplines. Two further presentations by Robyn Carroll (Law, UWA) and Jani McCutcheon (Law, UWA) introduced participants to exciting work that is being pursued on emotions within the field of legal studies. Robyn Carroll spoke about her research on apologies and suggested that emotions play an important role in settling and litigating civil disputes, while Jani McCutcheon explained how her research into Intellectual Property law examines the ways that authors and writers of fan fiction become emotionally connected to the lives of literary characters. The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion led by CHE researcher Joanne McEwan (UWA) in which potential avenues for collaboration were discussed. A number of interesting opportunities were foregrounded on topics such as emotions and incarceration, emotions and apologies, and law, literature and the emotions of intellectual property law. The workshop was one of a series of forthcoming events on law and emotions.

For more information on the activities of the ‘History of Law and Emotions’ research cluster, see our
website or subscribe to our newsletter. You can also listen to a pre-workshop discussion between Andrew Lynch, Kimberley-Joy Knight and Robyn Carroll here.

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‘News Reporting and Emotions’ Conference

Emotional reportersThe way we consume news is changing, and so are our expectations about how news should be delivered. The theory that journalists are impartial observers, objectively reporting the facts that constitute ‘news’, seems to disintegrate under scrutiny.

As the recent polarisation of news channels in the United States reminds us, news outlets have always been partisan, shaping their content to suit their audiences and their moral or political agendas. But more importantly, journalists are not machines performing an action or delivering a standardised service. They are individuals with opinions and emotions, who must sometimes perform their work in tragic and distressing situations. Their jobs involve emotion management in order to investigate and deliver stories, so is it really surprising that journalists are sometimes affected by the news they report? And, while some news audiences persist in believing that news reporters should impartially deliver facts, media scholars note that ‘recent events such as 9/11 have been seen to accelerate a trend towards embracing emotion as a legitimate part of the journalistic culture’.

So, what is the place of emotion in news reporting? In the era of the 24-hour news cycle, news reports are rapidly produced and disseminated, and journalists report ‘from the scene’, often within minutes of an incident occurring. In addition, the increasing use of online news media provides an interactive platform for audiences to not only respond to the news, but also to comment on how news should be communicated. Explore these issues and more in our recent
blog, or be part of the conversation at the ‘News Reporting and Emotions, 1100–2017, Change Program Collaboratory’ in Adelaide, 4–6 September 2017. The Call for Papers is open until 30 April 2017.

The program for this event will include four distinguished keynote speakers:
Charlie Beckett (London School of Economics), Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University), Cait McMahon (Dart Centre Asia Pacific, Melbourne) and Una McIlvenna (The University of Melbourne).

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City of Fremantle Library Lovers’ Day

Fremantle Library LoversBy Joanna Tyler (The University of Western Australia)

On Tuesday 14 February 2017, the City of Fremantle hosted its annual ‘Library Lovers’ Day’, which provides an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate love poetry on Valentine’s Day. CHE postgraduate student Bríd Phillips was invited to deliver a talk about the history of Valentine’s Day in literature.

The event was well attended, with 40 people filling nearly every seat in the venue. The poetry, delivered by local actors Nick Maclaine and Nichola Renton, ranged from Shakespeare’s sonnets to contemporary pieces by Fremantle poets from the ‘Voicebox Collective’. John Wilmot’s ‘The Imperfect Enjoyment’ and local poet Veronica Lake’s ‘Love Potion’ elicited especially enthusiastic responses from the audience.

During her talk, the audience joined Bríd on a journey that guided them through the literary evolution of Valentine’s Day, from its uncertain and distinctly unromantic beginnings as a feast day celebrating the beheading of Saint Valentine to its first known mention in literature as a day of romance in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Parliament of Fowls.

Bríd’s presentation succeeded in tying together the many poetic interpretations of love across the evening by exploring how and why we celebrate this emotion. It was a pleasure to witness such positive, vocal reactions from the audience.

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Screening Melbourne

My MelbourneDuring February 2017 CHE co-sponsored ‘Screening Melbourne’, a three-day symposium, with the Melbourne Screen Studies Group and other partners including the Ian Potter Foundation, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Experimental Media Arts, Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Centre for Contemporary Photography.

This symposium formed part of the ‘
My Melbourne’ project and focused on five primary strands of investigation: ‘Melbourne on Screen’, ‘Screen Cultures in Melbourne’, ‘Seeing Difference’, ‘Early and Silent Melbourne’ and ‘Melbourne on Page and Screen’. CHE Postdoctoral Research Fellow Samantha Dieckmann reflected on her experience as a participant:

“In some ways, undertaking a participant role in ‘My Melbourne’ was counterintuitive for me. The project highlighted how one’s relationship to identity, place and emotion can be expressed through photographic and video imagery. And while I’ve always greatly appreciated the technical mastery in, and expressive capacity of, the art form, I have a very tentative connection with it in my personal life. The notion of capturing my self-identity through the camera lens does not appeal to me, especially with the permeation of image-based social media platforms. My involvement was also curious because I am a new interstate migrant, so the notion of ‘My Melbourne’ is still embryonic and emerging.

The workshop included 10–15 participants with varying levels of experience behind the camera: some had Fine Arts degrees majoring in photography, others were enthusiasts with impressive camera gear. I had brought my iPhone. Perhaps using this as my creative tool was ironic because my issues with photography stem largely from the omnipresence of a camera-in-our-pocket, and the impact this seems to have on the spontaneity and ephemerality of lived experiences.

With this sort of reluctance in mind I thought it would be honest, and hopefully interesting, to submit photos of my Melbourne based on what was already catalogued in my iPhone camera roll. I reviewed the rare moments I indulged in capturing a moment photographically – in which my pets featured tragically often – alongside the output from my much more frequently pragmatic use of the camera. That is, a photo to remind me of a much-needed grocery item, a screen capture of my tram timetable for the next day or, as I discovered, hundreds of photos of everything wrong with my new rental property for the real estate condition report.

Somewhat to my surprise I found that this material did speak accurately to my emotional connection with Melbourne, and the combination of tentativeness, worry and excitement you can feel after migrating. The hundreds of photos of my new rental place which literally zoomed in on the details of its flaws contrasted strongly with photos of my old house in Sydney, which I took for the real estate agent there. The latter photos were taken with the best angles and lighting, showcasing the house at its best in order to increase rental interest. Sitting alongside each other, these photos almost produced a metonym for the uncertainty of voluntary migration, and the moments during the first few days of arrival when you might second-guess yourself, looking back at your old life through rose-coloured glasses.

Being part of ‘My Melbourne’ showed me that even a hesitant photographer such as myself, whose photographic practices are limited almost exclusively to using the handy iPhone camera in functional ways, has an emotional, representative and identifying connection with the catalogue of images in their pocket.”

News from the Society for the History of Emotions

Image: The Letter Writer, Frans van Mieris (I), 1680.  Copyright Rijksmuseum.The Society for the History of Emotions (SHE) and CHE will be launching a co-sponsored international series on ‘Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World’ with a ‘Cultures in Movement: New Visions, New Conceptual Paradigms’ seminar in Naples on 26 June 2017.

Alongside SHE and CHE, institutional convenors of the series include the Centre for the Study of Emotions in Cross-Cultural Exchange (Zagreb), the European University Institute (Florence), the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University (Budapest), La Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme (Université d’Aix-Marseille) and The Italian National Institute for High Mathematics (INdAM).

The first issue of Emotions: History, Culture, Society (EHCS), the journal of the Society for the History of the Emotions, will be launched in York at the ‘Powerful Emotions/Emotions and Power, c.400–1850’ conference later this year (28–29 June 2017).

The first SHE conference will be held at The University of Western Australia on 11–12 December 2017. A Call for Papers is forthcoming.

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Book Reviews

By Stephanie Tarbin (The University of Western Australia)

Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European LiteratureCarolyne Larrington, Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature (York: York Medieval Press, 2015).

Siblings are now recognised to play a vital role in the establishment of individual identity and in shaping family dynamics throughout the life course. Yet scholars of the past have focused most of their attention on vertical relationships, such as the bonds between parents and children, ties of lineage and descent, and intergenerational conflicts. Carolyne Larrington’s study of sibling emotions in medieval literature therefore makes an important contribution to our understanding of subjectivity and emotional life in the European past.

Larrington analyses vernacular genres from north-western Europe and ranges across the medieval period, 500–1500, in her thematic study of literary siblings. The introduction establishes the conceptual framework, drawing insights about sibling relationships from a range of disciplines, but especially from psychoanalytic theory and developmental psychology. The first chapter then offers a provisional outline of sibling bonds in historical sources and the pairs of chapters that follow explore clusters of emotions in sibling stories. Affection and loyalty are the focus of Chapters 2–3, while Chapters 4–5 examine sibling hatreds and rivalries. The emotions generated by sexual relationships are examined in Chapter 6, which focuses on tales of sibling incest, and Chapter 7, which analyses family dynamics when a sibling marries. The final chapter investigates forms of fictive siblinghood, particularly relations between fosterlings and sworn-siblings. Attention to gender, class and the conditions shaping (and disrupting) medieval families, as well as to the conventions of literary genres, allows Larrington to situate her analysis of enduring patterns in sibling emotions within particular social and cultural contexts.

Imaginative literature offers a rich source of evidence about how siblings felt and behaved in the medieval past. Literary depictions of brothers and sisters, Larrington suggests, engage with ‘the social and psychological pressures’ shaping medieval families and ‘highlight the anxieties and satisfactions’ that are not apparent in other surviving records (p. 16). With her reading of sibling themes informed by concepts from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology, Larrington concludes that ‘the essential parameters of brothers’ and sisters’ feelings for one another … remain unchanged’ (p. 235). Yet her insistence on specific social and cultural contexts of sibling relationships enables us to perceive how historical circumstances changed even as sibling emotional dynamics persisted. Larrington also makes some thought-provoking observations on relationships between social change and sibling interactions and suggests some answers to questions about the psychological and cultural experiences of sibling deaths during childhood.

Larrington maps out a broad terrain for sibling emotions in medieval literature, amply demonstrating her contention that stories about medieval brothers and sisters are ‘good to think with’. Scholars of emotion in the past, as well as those interested in broader social and cultural themes, will undoubtedly find a great deal to think about and many fascinating, imaginative sources to explore in this stimulating study.

Early Modern Emotions: An IntroductionSusan Broomhall, ed., Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2017).

This collection of 99 short essays, on an impressive array of topics, supplies a valuable introduction to the sprawling field of work on early modern emotions. The introduction explains that the essays share a view of emotions as ‘cultural and social practices that change over time’ (p. xxxvi) and the collection aims to provide a representative selection of current research. The contributors have expertise in a range of disciplines – history, art history, architecture studies, musicology, European languages, literary studies, theatre studies, philosophy, theology and anthropology – reflecting the different approaches and perspectives in existing studies. Broomhall’s clear, direct prose sets the tone and standard for the following entries, which provide succinct and engaging commentaries on specific topics. Entries identify key studies and suggest further reading. The volume is pitched at students and new entrants to the field, but also has a great deal to offer to scholars already working on early modern emotions. It encapsulates where early modern emotions research is ‘at’, and identifies directions for future research, laying the foundation for comparative studies beyond Europe and the early modern period (broadly defined as c.1500–1800).

Broomhall has devised a clear conceptual framework to organise the diversity of issues, perspectives and findings in the collection. Four section headings enable readers, particularly students, to understand how scholars research and write about early modern emotions. Section I focuses on key concepts and theories in emotions history, such as emotional communities (Andrew Lynch), emotional regimes (Tania Colwell), affect theory (Stephanie Trigg), performativity (Katie Barclay) and materiality (Sarah Randles).

The central sections of the book consider methodological issues. Section II examines the historical particularity of early modern emotions, as expressions and practices, with entries considering topics such as language (R. S. White), humours (Danijela Kambaskovic), the senses (Herman Roodenburg) and pain (Javier Moscoso). In Section III the authors canvas sources for, and approaches to, early modern emotions. These include seemingly ‘unemotional’ genres such as economic records (Merridee L. Bailey) and maps (Alicia Marchant), as well as more emotionally invested sources such as books (Stephanie Downes), household objects (Tara Hamling), textiles (Sally Holloway), the body (Karen Harvey) and music (Alan Maddox and Jane W. Davidson).

The final section is the largest, with eight subsections and 52 entries that show the possibilities of viewing early modern history from an emotions perspective. These essays present research findings on an enormous variety of ‘focus topics’, such as political revolutions (Michael J. Braddick), indebtedness (Elise M. Dermineur), pregnancy and childbirth (Joanne Begiato [Bailey]), civic culture (Nick Eckstein), Protestant theology (Alec Ryrie), colonialism (Donna Merwick), theories of empire (Nicole Eustace), demons (Laura Kounine), spirits (Julian Goodare), vermin (Lucinda Cole), nature (Grace Moore) and landscape (Anthony Colantuono).

This collection is more than a conventional textbook or a standard reference work. While it undoubtedly offers accessible entry points into the history of early modern emotions, its real value is as a snapshot of a dynamic scholarly conversation. The contributors are engaged in a collective project – to explore practices and meanings of emotion in early modern society and how our understandings of the past change when viewed through the lens of emotions history. The entries in this volume represent important moments of critical reflection on current knowledge, even as the next phase of inquiry is underway.

here to read a review of Raphaele Garrod’s Cosmographical Novelties in French Renaissance Prose (1550–1630): Dialectic and Discovery (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016).

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Resources: CHE Bibliography (History of Emotions)

By Stephanie Tarbin (The University of Western Australia)

Bibliography (History of Emotions) is a legacy project of the Centre that is continuing to develop as a landmark scholarly resource. Hosted on Zotero, the database has several valuable features for research on the history of emotions:
  • * Each entry is catalogued according to disciplinary focus and period, then systematically tagged for flexible searching;
  • * Each entry contains an abstract or description to help researchers identify relevant content;
  • * Recent publications are prioritised for entry to provide researchers with an up-to-date resource.
The aim of the CHE Bibliography is to create a comprehensive overview of significant literature in the history of emotions field. In its present, developmental phase, it is also helping to showcase cutting-edge research by researchers associated with CHE. Recent additions include:
  • Jennifer Radden, Melancholic Habits: Burton’s Anatomy and the Mind Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Jennifer Spinks and Charles Zika, eds, Disaster, Death and the Emotions in the Shadow of the Apocalypse, 1400–1700. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • Susan Broomhall, Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Alice Dolan and Sally Holloway, eds, ‘Emotional Textiles’, special issue of Textile: Cloth and Culture 14.2 (2016).
  • Eric Parisot, ‘The Half-Mangled Narrator: The Violence of Psychic Dissection in William Godwin’s Caleb Williams’. Studies in the Literary Imagination 48 (2016): 17–33.
  • Carolyne Larrington, ‘Learning to Feel in the Old Norse Camelot?’. Scandinavian Studies 87 (2015): 74–94.
  • Gary Schwartz and Machiel Keestra, Emotions: Pain and Pleasure in Dutch Painting of the Golden Age. Frans Hals Museum, 2015.
  • David Lemmings and Ann Brooks, eds, Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Social Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Paul Megna, ‘Langland’s Wrath: Righteous Anger Management in The Vision of Piers Plowman’. Exemplaria 25 (2013): 130–51.
The CHE (History of Emotions) Bibliography can be accessed at: https://www.zotero.org/groups/che_bibliography_history_of_emotions.
To recommend works for inclusion, please email
joanne.mcewan@uwa.edu.au or stephanie.tarbin@uwa.edu.au.

New Chief Investigators

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Gibbard and Shino Konishi as Chief Investigators at UWA for the duration of the Centre, to replace outgoing CI Yasmin Haskell.

Shino Konishi’s research focuses on the early interactions between Indigenous people and European explorers, and the way in which early European observations and representations of Indigenous Australian people, bodies and cultural practices continue to shape broader understandings of Aboriginal politics and society.

Paul Gibbard’s research focuses mainly on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers: Voltaire, Rousseau, Zola and the French political thinker and translator Octavie Belot. Since his involvement in the Baudin Legacy Project, for which he translated the journal of the botanist Théodore Leschenault de la Tour, Paul has become interested in the relations between objectivity and sensibility in the scientific writings of the French naturalists who visited Australia with the French expedition of 1800‒1804.

Yasmin Haskell will continue her affiliation with the Centre in her new role as a Partner Investigator based at the University of Bristol.

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Researcher Spotlight

By Grace Moore (The University of Melbourne)

Gordon RaeburnGordon Raeburn, one of our Postdoctoral Research Fellows based at The University of Melbourne, completed his fellowship in February this year. Gordon first joined CHE, as a member of the
Change Program, in February 2014.

His primary research project investigated communal and individual emotional responses to disasters in early modern Scotland between 1490 and 1692. He specifically studied outbreaks of plague and the massacres of Monzievaird (1490), Dunaverty (1647) and Glencoe (1692). Gordon also conducted a number of smaller research projects, including a study of emotional reactions to the Battle of Newburn Ford (1640) and a study of the links between emotions and the environment in a specific area of north-east Scotland between 1695 and the early twentieth century.

In June and July 2016 Gordon spent a month at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, as part of a Faculty Fellowship program. During this time he began a research project on emotions and religious tolerance in sixteenth-century Europe, in light of the execution of Michael Servetus in Geneva in 1553 and the subsequent debates between John Calvin and Sebastian Castellio.

In March 2016 Gordon co-organised (with Katherine Heavey from the University of Glasgow) a one-day symposium on ‘Myth and Emotion in Early Modern Europe’. He also co-convened a semester-long Honours subject on the history of emotions (with Giovanni Tarantino in 2015, and Lisa Beaven in 2016).

Gordon gave many papers and delivered several public lectures in Australia, America, Britain and Europe, including a public lecture at the Johnston Collection – a private museum in Melbourne – on Glencoe as an emotional landscape. He published two articles, a book chapter and a co-authored book during his CHE tenure. Gordon’s future plans involve continued work on early modern Scotland and further work on the history of emotions. He also plans to revisit his earlier interest in reformation theology as a means of developing his work on Europe at the time of the Reformation.

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Front Cover Image: Noel Counihan, At the Start of the March, 1932, c.1944. © Estate of Noel Counihan. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.2016 CHE Annual Report

The 2016 CHE Annual Report provides a great snapshot of the research undertaken by history of emotions researchers within Australia and by our partners overseas over the past year. Click here to view.
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Staff Announcements

Dr Amanda Krause joined CHE in February to undertake research associated with the ‘Love: Art of Emotion 1400-1800’ exhibition at the National Gallery Victoria. In particular, she is conducting research regarding gallery visitors’ responses to the exhibition. The research sits within the Shaping the Modern and Performance programs and Amanda currently works with Professor Jane Davidson on this project. Amanda completed her PhD in Psychology in 2014 at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Amanda’s PhD research focused on everyday listening habits, with an emphasis on the relationships between digital music, emerging web technologies, and social media. She is also very interested in music participation (both listening and playing) and well-being; and, while at Curtin University, collaborated on an Australian Research Council funded project concerning musical investment also with Jane Davidson. She has previously taught undergraduate research methods psychology units at Curtin University and has taught music at the primary level (pre-kindergarten through year 5). In addition to her academic interest in the social and applied psychology of music, arts and well-being, Amanda is interested in photography, aerial arts and travel.

Joanna Tyler has joined CHE as an Education and Outreach Officer at the UWA node. Joanna has a background in high school Drama and Dance teaching, and also has experience teaching English, Health and Literacy Support. She is currently studying medieval and early modern history and classics and ancient history at UWA. She has a particular interest in women’s history and the Black Death. Joanna has taught in both the public and private education sectors and worked in performing arts and arts management with many professional organisations and community groups.

Rebecca McNamara, an Honorary Research Fellow at UWA (and formerly a CHE Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at The University of Sydney), was recently appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English literature at Westmont College, an interdenominational, small liberal arts college in the beautiful foothills of Santa Barbara, California. She will join the faculty as their resident medievalist in August to teach and mentor students in years to come.

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Selected Forthcoming Events

To be, or not to be
Love: Art of Emotion, 1400–1800
Date: Friday 31 March to Sunday 18 June 2017
Time: 10am–5pm daily
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
For exhibition-related masterclasses, click


Passion, Lament, Glory
Date: Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April 2017
Time: 7.30pm
St Paul’s Cathedral, Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne
Cost: $30 Full / $15 Concession
Eventbrite online.

Public Lecture
Curator's Perspective on “Love: Art of Emotion, 1400–1800”’, by Angela Hesson
Date: Saturday 1 April 2017
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne.

Public Talk
Why We Love
Date: Saturday 1 April 2017
Time: 3.00pm
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Booking: FREE, but booking required. Book

Hamlet and Emotions: Then and Now
Date: 10–11 April 2017
St Catherine’s College, The University of Western Australia
Enquiries: Paul Megna (
Paul Megna and Bob White
Registration: FREE, but registration required. Register here.

Professional Development Seminar Series

Poetry and Emotion
Date: Monday 8 May 2017
Time: 4.30–6.00pm
Venue: The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane
Contact: Xanthe Ashburner

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

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