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


14 December 2016

From the Director

Andrew LynchI have just returned from a successful conference in Sydney that CHE shared with the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (University of Wollongong) and The Australian Sociological Association Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group. The theme was ‘Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions’. After two very full and interesting days – I had to miss a third – I have carried away some strong personal impressions.
One impression is that while sociologists often use very different methods from scholars of the past to explore emotions – we cannot interview our subjects or give them tests – their findings agree with ours on the prime role of emotions in life: in all personal and social relations; in work and leisure; in education; in law; in politics and religion; in how we experience time and place; in how we treat the environment and inhabit the world.
My other impression is that emotions are an area in which we cannot make easy distinctions between ‘historical’ and ‘contemporary’. As scholars of ‘history’, loosely speaking, we try to stay alert to difference and avoid imposing modern preconceptions on the past. Yet we are also aware that the idea of a shared ‘modernity’, as distinguished from a ‘pre-modern’ state, is in itself a fraught interpretative move, with its own unpleasant history: ‘[t]he West’s sense of its own modernity is … grounded by and through colonized bodies suffering pain for belief in that abstraction’ (Patricia Ingham and Michelle Warren, Postcolonial Moves: Medieval Through Modern, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 2).
Thousands of bodies and minds are at this moment suffering pain in Australia’s detention centres, some close by, others as distant as Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Doctors and nurses, care workers, psychologists and volunteers testify that the inmates live under conditions of isolation, anonymity, powerlessness and arbitrary control that are expressly designed to create despair, and, at least in effect, are devised to create trauma. These are people whose emotions, apart from their hoped-for deterrent effect, do not count in Australian policy. They are suffering to protect an emotional attachment to ‘Australian soil’; their pain protects the idea of an intact ‘Australia’, an entity barely a hundred years old, yet centring deep public anxiety and fear, and enabling cruelties that would otherwise be considered abhorrent.
The now longstanding tolerance by Australians of refugee suffering has a special significance for CHE, since we claim to apply our understanding of the long history of emotions ‘to improve the social, cultural and emotional welfare of modern Australians’. As long as the suffering continues, and the people are urged to deny any communality of feeling with the victims of refugee policy, I can only compare what is happening to bad instances of emotional ‘othering’ and public emotional corruption visible in our historical research. Through our work, perhaps we can help to extend and deepen considerations of what is ‘modern’ and what is ‘Australian’, and raise voices against these dangerous resurgent tendencies.
In 2016 we have seen another wonderful year of outstanding scholarship, collegiality, education and public engagement for CHE, in a myriad of ways. It has also seen us lay long-term plans for the future of our field of study, both in Australia and internationally. On behalf of the Centre, I send deep thanks to our members, associates and friends, with all good wishes for the festive season and the New Year, and look forward to the rich promise of 2017.

Andrew Lynch

CHE Biennial Research Meeting

Stephanie Downes, Thomas Dixon, Paul Megna and Kirk EssaryThe Biennial Research Meeting, 8–9 November, in Adelaide was an occasion for reflection and renewal. Members of the Centre from around Australia converged on the Hilton Hotel for a hectic program of presentations interspersed with collegial conversations.
Panel discussions led by the Centre’s Chief Investigators framed the meeting’s agenda. Peter Holbrook, Jane Davidson and David Lemmings responded to the meeting’s opening questions: ‘What have we learned about the history of emotions?’ and ‘Where should we go now?’ At the close of the meeting, Susan Broomhall, Jacqueline Van Gent, Katie Barclay and Charles Zika offered their thoughts on ‘The Practical Future of History of Emotions Research in Australia’.
At the close of the first day a screening of a preliminary cut of The Devil’s Country, produced by Juanita Ruys and Cassie Charlton, generated reflections on the interface between academic and public discourse. It was followed by a convivial conference dinner at the Hotel Richmond.
The two-day program featured thought-provoking plenary papers by CHE Partner Investigator Thomas Dixon (‘What is Anger?’) and Gary Schwarz (‘The Relationship Between Art and Emotions’). From the different perspectives of intellectual history and art history, both papers showed how humanities-directed research might usefully complicate and problematise psychological and neurological theories of emotion.
A highlight of the meeting was evidence of the rich variety of work within the Centre. Presentations by postdoctoral researchers and a vibrant poster display helped to showcase the range of research projects currently in progress. In other sessions, Education and Outreach Officers reported on recent programs, resources and the development of an online adventure game; Research Development Officers examined the new Impact and Engagement agenda within Australia, and Research Officers highlighted the Centre’s online platforms though which emotions research is reaching a wider audience.
Members of the Centre departed Adelaide with a rejuvenated sense of direction for 2017–2018. As Director Andrew Lynch announced in his welcome speech, CHE is not winding down, but is gearing up for the future.

Emotions in Legal Practices

Image: Merridee Bailey, Annalise Acorn, Hila Keren, Hugh Dillon, Kimberley KnightEmotions in Legal Practices: Historical and Modern Attitudes Compared’, an interdisciplinary conference held at The University of Sydney (USyd) from 26 to 28 September 2016, brought together scholars and legal practitioners with the aim of exploring the role of emotions in legal practices, both historically and today.

This is an important and necessary undertaking, as the papers repeatedly pointed out, because of enduring assumptions that the practice of law should be dispassionate, and that undisciplined emotions threaten to undermine the ability of judges and juries to make rational decisions. A growing body of scholarship over the past two decades has sought to question this rationalist picture by investigating the role of emotions in historical legal systems and by reassessing the role that emotions play in the modern courtroom. But, there is still a disjuncture between academic work and the practical administration of the law.

Papers at the conference explored how emotions influence, and have influenced, legal issues and processes ranging from assumptions about violence, anger, desertion and criminal culpability (Alecia Simmonds, Katie Barclay, Sarah Sorial) to the eligibility and competency of jurors (Jill Hunter); the expectations of judges regarding their own emotional investments (Sharyn Roach-Anleu and Kathy Mack); the impact of remorse on sentencing decisions (Michael Proeve, Kate Rossmanith and Steven Tudor) and the emotional impact of sentencing decisions on prisoners (Maggie Hall). Others interrogated the intersection of the law and emotions (Renata Grossi, Jason Taliadoros) and the impact of emotional expression and performance in the courtroom, literature and the media on legal narratives (Kathryn Temple, David Lemmings and Amy Milka). Poster presentations also drew attention to new work being conducted in the field of emotional and legal practice, from the treatment of alleged lunatics to the attribution of emotions to objects in criminal trials.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Annalise Acorn (University of Alberta), Hugh Dillon (Deputy State Coroner of New South Wales), Payam Akhaven (McGill University) and Hila Keren (Southwestern University). Acorn traced arguments about punishment as help back to Aristotelian ideas, and argued for the importance of affective blame. You can listen to a podcast of Acorn’s paper
here. Akhaven asked what effect labelling crimes (in this case, as genocide) has beyond conferring meaning on suffering and injustice, while Keren explored the impact of neoliberalism in delegitimising a legal engagement with emotions. Hugh Dillon, in an interview with Kimberley-Joy Knight, offered a practitioner perspective on how – as a lawyer, magistrate and coroner – he thinks about the practical aspects of recognising and managing emotions in the courtroom. Read a blog post about the conference by Dillon here.

A new CHE research cluster, ‘Legal Emotions’, will continue to facilitate research into these important questions. You can follow its progress, or find out more about papers at the conference, at #LegalEmotions.

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Art, Objects and Emotions

Reliquary bust of one of Saint Ursula’s virgins, anonymous, c. 1325 - c. 1349. Copyright Rijksmuseum.By Julie Davies (CHE Research Assistant, The University of Melbourne)

The collaboratory, ‘
Art, Objects and Emotions’, convened by Charles Zika and Angela Hesson, took place at The University of Melbourne (UMelb) on 15–16 November 2016. The event brought together scholars from around the globe to explore the manifold ways in which art and material objects depict, reflect, symbolise, communicate and regulate emotion in Europe from c.1400 to c.1800.

Papers by Elina Gertsman (Case Western Reserve University) and Corine Schleif (Arizona State University) explored the powerful spiritual, emotional and reformative impacts that religious depictions of pain and despair had on both the individuals and communities who viewed them. Lisa Beaven (UMelb) explored similar themes in secular art, highlighting the wide range of emotions experienced through the collection and viewing of horrific scenes – and through practices of covering and revealing them. Similar practices were considered by Gary Schwartz (Independent Scholar, Amsterdam) in relation to different kinds of love as embodied in a series of individual paintings found in seventeenth-century Dutch Kunstkammer paintings. Miya Tokumitsu (UMelb) and Stephanie Downes (UMelb) considered the emotional significance of decorative objects in papers exploring the emotional practices of miners who enabled the creation and purchase of beautiful objects and the communications between reader, scribe and illuminator facilitated by the emotive faces incorporated into manuscripts, respectively.

These papers were complemented by Sasha Handley (University of Manchester), Angela McShane (Victoria & Albert Museum/ University of Sheffield) and Angela Hesson (UMelb), who introduced various objects that acted as receptacles for their owners’ emotions. These papers explored how the emotional significance of a bed sheet, tobacco boxes and mourning jewellery was enhanced by their connection to specific individuals through inscriptions and/or the incorporation of the individual’s hair.

Matthew Martin (National Gallery of Victoria), Charles Zika (UMelb) and Sarah Randles (University of Tasmania) considered objects, relics and artistic pieces created in hope and celebration. Martin and Zika considered objects whose emotional significance long outlasted the events they commemorated, while Randles reflected on ephemeral, yet evocative, votive objects moulded in wax.

CHE Partner Investigator Thomas Dixon (Queen Mary, University of London), led a closing discussion that drew out these themes and facilitated further reflection on the value of interdisciplinary approaches for the history of emotions.
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Eendracht: Unity, Accepting a World of Difference

2016 Zest Festival Lady of HonourBy Melissa Kirkham (CHE Education and Outreach Officer, The University of Western Australia)

The 2016 Zest Festival opened in Kalbarri on Friday 16 September 2016 with an evening of music, Dutch costumes and a buffet inspired by Golden Age still life paintings. Zest 2016’s Lady of Honour welcomed guests for an opening speech by CHE Chief Investigator Jacqueline Van Gent (The University of Western Australia [UWA]), followed by music from the Giovanni Consort and the Perth Symphony Orchestra string quartet.

On Saturday, crowds gathered at the foreshore for the official opening of the festival, including the arrival of Nhanda message sticks on horseback and a speech by CHE Director Andrew Lynch (UWA). This was followed by the opening of the history maze and a labyrinth of historical exhibits, interpretation panels and art installations from the previous festivals.

In the days leading up to the festival, CHE Distinguished International Visitor Jette Linaa (Moesgaard Museum, Denmark) gave a presentation to primary students at Kalbarri District School about objects from the Dutch Golden Age, capturing their interest with tales of privateers and her curatorial adventures. Linaa also delighted the crowds at the festival foreshore with a history lecture on Saturday morning.

Each year the Zest Festival highlight is the Chamber of Rhetoric, and in 2016 this soared to new heights with a projection of Dutch, Nhanda and Kalbarri local faces, interspersed with portraits from the Rijksmuseum, onto the cliffs of Red Bluff. The chamber also included a filmed-on-location Welcome to Country from the Nhanda elders, a poem inspired by the Zuytdorp shipwreck written and read by local student Grace Crogan, and performances by the Giovanni Consort, the Perth Symphony Orchestra string quartet and aerialist Theaker von Ziarno.

We returned to Red Bluff the following morning to bask in the sunshine reflecting off the red rocks, as the Giovanni Consort sang a selection of baroque songs, interspersed with historical context and reflections on past festivals by CHE Director Andrew Lynch.

Andrew’s thoughtful response to the 2016 Zest Festival bought tears to a few eyes as he reflected “Just as in 2012 we are considering the impact a VOC ship left on our shores, not as a wreck like the Zuytdorp, but in the form of a plate left as a marker by the captain of the VOC ship Eendracht. History is full of markers. Both the physical, like Hartog’s plate, but also events which stand as markers in our lives. The Zest Festival will stand as a marker of Kalbarri, as a marker of what a community can accomplish when they come together to celebrate their shared heritage.”

Whilst listening to an a capella rendition of Waltzing Matilda we said an emotional goodbye to the Zest Festival, standing on the same red cliffs the Zuytdorp survivors did over 300 years ago.

Theodora: A Tale of Religious Persecution, Love and Martyrdom

Pinchgut Opera’s Sydney Season, 30 November–6 December, Angel Place, Sydney.

Handel's Theodora by Pintchgut OperaBy Jane Davidson (CHE Deputy Director, The University of Melbourne)

Robert Boyle’s novel The Martydrom of Theodora and Didymus (1687) was the source of Thomas Morell’s libretto for Georg Frideric Handel’s oratorio of 1750. The literary aim was to inspire people with the story of virtuous people, highlighting how women can be brave, rational and as generous as men. It has been argued that the libretto far surpasses the novel in terms of its presentation of ideology and affect, echoing John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) – for example, when Didymus begs for religious freedom and the separation of State and Church.

As Ruth Smith noted in Handel’s Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Theodora highlights that religious faith should not be susceptible to sectarian difference and that free will is of central importance. Handel’s settings are amazing, each da capo aria introducing a topic through a musical debate, prior to the ideas to be expressed in the singer’s words and melodies. Handel was creating music that demanded a new kind of attentiveness with its complex and subtly blended meaning of text and music. He was signaling a change in audience behaviour, for until that point audiences had been notoriously noisy and distracted by their own social interactions within the auditorium. Theodora was, unfortunately, ahead of its time and was a spectacular box office disaster, not least owing to its challenging themes as well as its demands on the audience’s attention.

But, how does such a work resonate with twenty-first century performers and audiences? Contemporary themes that relate to human rights of minorities ravaged by a dominant culture are strongly present. The compassion and depth of emotion represented through music, libretto and staging, certainly leave us to meditate on the society in which we currently live. It gains physical movement and affecting lighting in Lindy Hume’s fully staged version, as opposed to the original concert style oratorio performance.

The musical task of re-imaging this oratorio was a project supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions in the work of Artistic Director Erin Helyard and mezzo-soprano soloist Caitlin Hulcup who played the role of Irene, the leader of the Christian community of Antioch. Their goal to move their audiences through their delivery of the emotional content of this rich score was in evidence. The exquisite musicianship and strong rhetorically focused postures, gestures and musical affects had powerful impacts. As one audience member responded:

“There was so much emotion: the story, the glory of the voices, the orchestra, the conductor’s power to unite the whole. Above and beyond that, I started to reflect on the pointlessness of violence, and the horrors of conflict and intolerance.”

CHE researchers are currently analysing the results of a survey and a series of interviews with Theodora’s audience.

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Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminars

By Joanne McEwan (CHE Research Assistant, The University of Western Australia)
Emotions in Legal Practices Postradraduate Advanced Training Seminar
Earlier this year, CHE sponsored two Postgraduate Advanced Training Seminars (PATS): ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches to Law, History and Emotions’ at USyd on 29 September 2016 and ‘Gender Matters’ at UWA on 7 October 2016. Each event was linked to a major conference – ‘Emotions in Legal Practices: Historical and Modern Attitudes Compared’ and ‘Gender Worlds, 500–1800: New Perspectives’ respectively – and aimed to facilitate discussions about the application of emotions history and its intersection with other analytical frameworks.

The Sydney event was designed as a small group seminar that was attended by 15 postgraduate students and early career researchers from a range of disciplines, including history, literary studies, law, political science and art history. It was structured around four workshops, each directed by a leading scholar who explained how they engaged with emotions in their work on legal sources. Hila Keren (Southwestern Law School) began by discussing the research she undertook on the Countess of Rutland’s case in 1604, and the various emotional relationships involved in it, for her 2005 article ‘Textual Harassment: A New Historicist Reappraisal of the Parol Evidence Rule with Gender in Mind’.

This was followed by Jill Hunter (University of New South Wales), who gave an evidence lawyer’s perspective on the emotional impact that details of prior conviction might have on jurors in her discussion of her review of Mike Redmayne’s Character Evidence in the Criminal Trial. Group discussion following each of these presentations turned to issues of credibility, authenticity and the emotional investment involved in prioritising particular voices and viewpoints and silencing others. In the afternoon workshops, Kathryn Temple (Georgetown University) and David Lemmings and Amy Milka (The University of Adelaide [UAdel]), investigated the intersections of law and emotion in the eighteenth-century legal and literary works of William Blackstone and Henry Fielding.

The ‘Gender Matters’ seminar was attended by 30 postgraduate students and early career researchers, and also a number of undergraduate students. The day’s program was structured around a series of group discussions led by a panel of scholars including Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), and Susan Broomhall, Andrew Lynch, Jacqueline Van Gent, Stephanie Tarbin and Joanne McEwan (all UWA). The morning session discussed pre-circulated readings, while the afternoon sessions focused on participants’ own research projects, and the benefits and challenges of thinking conceptually about gender in new ways. While the focus of this PATS was on gender rather than emotions per se, discussion quickly turned to interdisciplinarity and to the ways in which analytical frameworks that have been used to study gender can be adapted for the study of emotions. It highlighted the fruitful – but as yet underexplored – ways in which emotions and gender history intersect, and the extent to which questions about emotions and gender resonate with scholars in the early stages of their careers.

An unintended, but fascinating and insightful, outcome of discussions at both events was the strong sense that emerged of the emotional labour committed by scholars to pursuing new interdisciplinary approaches that create space for the study of emotions.

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Game of Thrones comes to CHE

Winter is Coming book by Carolyne LarringtonBy Emma Miller (CHE Media Officer, The University of Melbourne)

The Centre has been delighted to host Professor Carolyne Larrington, from the University of Oxford, as a Distinguished International Visitor for three months from October to December 2016. During this time, her public lectures on the historical and emotional underpinnings of Game of Thrones have drawn strong public and media interest.

Professor Larrington, a medieval literature scholar and author of Winter is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones, presented a fascinating analysis of the blockbuster TV show, and the fantasy novels upon which it is based, at well-attended public lectures in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

She told audiences that Game of Thrones is far more embedded in real-life history and literature than many people think, and spoke of the clear historical precedents for many of the show’s characters, institutions and societies.

“Game of Thrones has become the most popular fantasy epic of the twenty-first century,” Professor Larrington said, “but watching it as a medieval literature scholar it is clear that author George R. R. Martin chiselled the building blocks for his imaginary world out of the real world of the past.”

Carolyne Larrington is Professor of Medieval European Literature at the University of Oxford, and teaches medieval English literature as a Fellow of St John’s College. She has published widely on Old Icelandic literature, including the leading translation into English of The Poetic Edda (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, 2014). Her other recent publications include: Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature (York Medieval Press, 2015); Emotions in Medieval Arthurian Literature, edited with Frank Brandsma and Corinne Saunders, (D. S. Brewer, 2015) and The Land of the Green Man (I. B. Tauris, 2015), exploring folklore and landscape in Great Britain. She is currently researching emotion in secular medieval European literatures, and planning a second book about Game of Thrones.

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Feeling Things in the Museum

Angela Hesson delivering a lecture at the UQ Art MuseumBy Xanthe Ashburner (CHE Education and Outreach Officer, The University of Queensland)

On 25 October 2016, The University of Queensland (UQ) node of CHE was delighted to welcome Dr Angela Hesson (UMelb), to deliver the 2016 UQ History of Emotions Lecture in Art History, ‘Feeling Things in the Museum’.

This annual public lecture, now in its fifth year, is co-presented by the UQ node and the UQ Art Museum, and since its inception has been one of the most popular events in our calendar. Hesson’s lecture examined the role of emotion in the development and display of collections, and drew upon her own experience of curating exhibitions at The Johnston Collection in Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria.

In the final days of October, the UQ node also hosted a visit by Associate Professor Vivasvan Soni (Northwestern University). Drawing on his current work about the decline of critical judgement in the eighteenth century and in our own time, A/Prof Soni presented a masterclass for students and staff that examined the origins of the crisis of judgement as well as the responses to this crisis proffered in Shaftesbury’s ‘Soliloquy; or, Advice to an Author’ (1710) and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). He also delivered an extremely popular seminar paper on the relation of judgement and liberal freedom in Kant’s Third Critique.

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All Things Old Norse and Emotions

Juggling and Dancing, a meander strip from The Icelandic Book of Drawing (1330-1550), fol. 19r (photo: Kimberley-Joy Knight)By Shane McLeod (University of Tasmania)

An ‘Old Norse and Emotions’ study day was held at USyd on 27 October 2016.

Organised by CHE Postdoctoral Research Fellow Kimberley-Joy Knight, the event comprised a small but enthusiastic group of students and current and former academic staff gathered in a round-table setting. This format was intended to facilitate discussion. Kimberley-Joy Knight opened proceedings with a session outlining some of the history of, and opportunities provided by, history of emotions approaches, particularly with regards to the study of Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian.

Carolyne Larrington (University of Oxford) was first up with a paper on emotions in Old Norse literature. Following the paper, a close reading of parts of Laxdæla Saga and the first poem of Gudrun from The Poetic Edda clearly demonstrated that emotions are not absent from Old Norse texts, as has often been supposed. My own paper looked at evidence for emotions of affection and love in the material evidence of the Viking Age, particularly in relation to the location of burials and some of the unusual objects included in graves.

Kimberley-Joy Knight’s paper combed the material and textual: inscriptions of affection, particularly concerning love, on rune sticks found in medieval Norway. The day concluded with a presentation from the UK via YouTube by professional archaeologist Flo Laino (co-written with Steve Ashby from the University of York) on the possibilities of evidence of Viking Age emotion in the practice of gift-giving, with a particular emphasis on British material in graves in Norway.

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CHE Bibliography (History of Emotions)

Understanding Emotions in Early Europe book coverBy Stephanie Tarbin (CHE Research AssIstant, The University of Western Australia)

There has been an explosion of publications in the history of emotions in the last decade. A clear sign that the field has reached a scholarly critical mass is the appearance of works billed as handbooks, companions and introductions to the field, as well as dedicated journals and books series, along with special issues of journals and edited collections on specialist topics. In this environment, the CHE Bibliography (History of Emotions) continues to develop as a scholarly resource and a legacy project of the Centre.

The database is hosted on Zotero and now contains more than 450 entries, showing how the scholarly field is developing. Recent and noteworthy additions include:
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion, edited by Peter Goldie (Oxford University Press, 2010) with articles from Louis Charland (‘Reinstating the Passions: Arguments from the History of Psychopathology’) and Peter King (‘The Emotions in Medieval Thought’);
A History of Emotions, 1200–1800, edited by Jonas Liliequist (Pickering & Chatto, 2012) with a chapter by Barbara Rosenwein (‘Theories of Change in the History of Emotions’);
The Positive Side of Negative Emotions, edited by Gerrod W. Parrott (Guildford Press, 2014);
• essays from Understanding Emotions in Early Europe, edited by Michael Champion and Andrew Lynch (Brepols, 2015);
• a special issue of Literature Compass titled Emotions and Feelings in the Middle Ages (13.6, 2016), including articles by Mary Flannery (‘Personification and Embodied Emotional Practice in Middle English Literature’) and Stephanie Downes and Rebecca McNamara (‘The History of Emotions and Middle English Literature’).

The CHE Bibliography (History of Emotions) can be accessed at:
To recommend works for inclusion in the database, please email joanne.mcewan@uwa.edu.au or stephanie.tarbin@uwa.edu.au."

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CHE 2017 Associate Investigators

Diana Barnes’s (UQ) project ‘Gender, Stoicism and the Archive’ fits within the Meanings and Change programs.
Jacqueline Clarke (UAdel) will research ‘Family Passions: Mussato’s Early-Humanist Reception of Seneca’s Thyestes and the Octavia’ as part of the Meanings program.
Len Collard’s (UWA) work on ‘A Sense of Place: Nyungar Cultural Mapping of UWA and Surrounds’ aligns with the Shaping the Modern program.
Thea Costantino (Curtin University) will be part of the Shaping the Modern program with her research on ‘Colonial Grotesque: Visual Memory in Australia, 1788–1935’.
Kate Darian-Smith (UMelb) is another Shaping the Modern contributor with her project on ‘Emotions, Memories and the Bombing of Darwin, 1942’.
Helen English (The University of Newcastle) is one of three new AIs within the Performance program with her work on ‘Black-Faced Work and Play: The Rise of Minstrelsy in the Hunter Valley, 1840–1880’.
Andrea Gaynor (UWA) will join the Shaping the Modern Project with her project on 'Frog Cities: Emotion and Conservation in Urban Australia, 1900-2010'.
Antonina Harbus (Macquarie University) will be part of the Meanings program. Her work is on ‘The Cultural and Linguistic Translation of the Vocabulary of Emotion from Latin to Old English’.
Chris Hay (National Institute of Dramatic Art) will work on a project titled ‘“As nimble jugglers that deceive the eye”: Comic Catharsis in The Comedy of Errors’ within the Performance program.
Siobhan Hodge (Murdoch University) joins the Meanings program with her work on ‘Equine Emotions and Boundaries of the Sublime: Equestrian Poetry and Art 1600–1800’.
Paul James (Western Sydney University) works on ‘Circles of Emotion: Faces of History’. He joins the Shaping the Modern program.
Jayne Knight (University of Tasmania) will be part of both the Change and Meanings programs. Her research is on ‘The Renaissance of Roman Emotions in Machiavelli’s Political Theory’.
Jodi McAlister (University of Tasmania) will look at ‘How Do We Love In The Land Down Under?: Romantic Love in Australian Popular Fiction in the Long Nineteenth Century’. This falls within the Shaping the Modern program.
Daniel Midena (UQ) will work on ‘Sincerity, Modernity and Christian Feelings in Far North Queensland, 1886–1942’, within the Shaping the Modern program.
Karen O'Brien (USyd) joins the Shaping the Modern program with her work on ‘Indigenous Petitioning’.
Eleonora Rai (UMelb) will be part of the Change program. Her research is titled ‘Politics and Emotions: The Two Faces of Jesuit Sainthood (Seventeenth-Nineteenth Centuries)’.
Karin Sellberg (UQ) will be part of the Performance and Meanings programs. Her research is on ‘Bloody Business: Circularity and Sanguinity in Early Modern Medicine and Shakespearean Drama’.
Matthew Sharpe (Deakin University) falls within the Meanings program with his work on ‘Francis Bacon on the Emotions, Rhetoric and Imagination: Between Civic and Natural Philosophy’.
Anik Waldow (USyd) is researching ‘The Experimental Self ‘ as part of the Meanings program.

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Project-to-Publication Awards

CHE Short-Term Project-to-Publication Research Fellowships

These are grants to support researchers without tenured or continuing academic employment, to undertake three- or six-month Short-Term Project-to-Publication Research Fellowships in the history of emotions. Click
here for more information.

Helen Dell: ‘Longing for the Medieval’.
Alicia Marchant: ‘Emotions, Heritage and History’.
Joanne McEwan: ‘Women’s Crime and the Changing Role of Sympathy and Support in Eighteenth-Century London’.
Sarah Randles: ‘Materiality and Emotions in Medieval Chartres’.
Bronwyn Reddan: ‘Scripting Love and Gender in French Fairy Tales, 1690–1709’.
Chris Rudge: ‘Pain, Nervousness and the Neurology of Emotion, 1650–1750’.
Nicole Starbuck: ‘French Voyagers’ Perceptions of Aborigines in Pre- and Early Colonial Australia’.

CHE Research Project-to-Publication Grants for Established Staff

These are three-month grants (full-time) designed to support tenured Australian university staff or scholars based in Australia, who have the opportunity to take leave from their normal duties to undertake a significant research project in the history of emotions. Click
here for more information about this grant.

Neil Ramsey: ‘Embodied Affect in the Romantic Era War Novel’.

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ARC Grants

The following CHE researchers were awarded ARC Discovery Project grants:
Nicholas Eckstein (USyd) was awarded $177,810 for his study on how people lived in early modern cities, using health records. In 1630, health officials ordered a door-to-door survey of every poor household in plague-stricken Florence. The surviving reports of this extraordinary ‘Visitation’ are a time-capsule of urban experience, which seldom leaves any written trace.

John Gagne (USyd) was awarded $253,000 for a project that aims to map out the social and cultural effects of paper’s introduction to Europe from 1200 to 1800. After centuries of writing on parchment, Europeans began to use paper in the late Middle Ages. The project expects to uncover how obliteration led to both opened repression and blank-slate reinvention, a powerful form of cultural creativity.

Olivia Murphy (USyd) was awarded $180,432 for her joint project with Mary Spongberg to research Jane Austen’s (1775–1817) mother’s family, the Leighs. This project will use detailed archival research to recover and reposition the Leigh family in Austen biography, and read Austen’s juvenilia and novels as informed by and contributing to this history. It aims to better understand the influence of family history on Jane Austen’s novels, contributing to our knowledge of British women’s literature and history.

Anik Waldow (USyd) was awarded $167,458 to analyse an unrecognised connection between the emergence of experience-grounded theories of the self and the rise of early modern experimentalism. The project aims to clarify the role of human agency in the advancement of knowledge, and develop a conceptual framework that allows a more nuanced and complex understanding of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences.
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Staff News

Cate Turk has joined CHE (UWA node) as a Project Officer for the Centre's ‘Rivers of Emotions’ project. Cate is a cultural geographer, currently completing a PhD about public participation and digital mapping. Her work engages critical cartography and science and technology studies approaches to examine changes in the representation of space through the use of digital mapping technologies. Cate has moved from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, where she taught units in cultural geography.

Previously Cate was based at The University of Edinburgh. She also has a background in heritage theory and practice, having worked for the Commonwealth Government and in the Pacific on world heritage policy and heritage site management.

Alicia Marchant (CHE AI 2013–14, 2016) has also started in her new role as a project officer for the ‘Rivers of Emotions’ project. Ali is based at the University of Tasmania and her work focuses on the history of emotions, heritage, materiality and dark tourism. She completed her PhD in Medieval and Early Modern History at UWA in 2012, where she examined depictions of rebellion in English chronicle narratives written between 1400 and 1580. She is the Editor of
Historicising Heritage and Emotions: The Affective Histories of Blood, Stone and Land from Medieval Britain to Colonial Australia, which is forthcoming with Routledge.

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Selected forthcoming events

Pictures of English History: From the Earliest Times to the Present Period (London: George Routledge and Sons,1868).

Call for papers

Conference: Powerful Emotions / Emotions & Power c. 400-1850
CFP Deadline: 27 January 2017
Conference Dates: 28‒29 June 2017
Venue: Humanities Research Centre, University of York, UK

Hamlet and Emotions
CFP Deadline: 28 February 2017
Conference Dates: 10–11 April 2017
St Catherine’s College, The University of Western Australia
Enquiries: Paul Megna (
Registrations: Click

A full list of forthcoming events and further details about individual events can be found on our website at http://www.historyofemotions.org.au/events.aspx

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