On this website you can learn about our members, current and past events, and the aims of our research projects into the politics of passion, the experience of emotion, and theories of feeling past and present. Our current major research focus is two grants: ‘Living with Feeling’, awarded by Wellcome Trust in 2015; and ‘Pathologies of Solitude‘, awarded by Wellcome Trust in 2017. For regular lively discussions relating to all aspects of the history of emotions, see the History of Emotions and Pathologies of Solitudes blogs , and check out our new interactive website, The Emotions Lab.

You can also listen to our most recent podcast series, ‘The Sound of Anger‘, winner of two awards at the British Podcast Awards 2020. Centre members have also contributed to a range of radio and television programmes: a selection of our recent appearances can be accessed here. 

About the Centre

The Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, launched in November 2008, is the first research centre in the UK dedicated to the history of the emotions. One of its key objectives is to provide a focus for interactions between social and cultural historians of the emotions on the one hand, and historians of science and medicine on the other. It also seeks to contribute both to policy debates and to popular understandings of all aspects of the history of emotions.

The activities of the Centre relate to research themes such as:

  • Theoretical categories: passions, affections, sentiments, feelings, emotions
  • The idea of expression: using the emotional body to read the emotional mind
  • Madness: passions and pathology in medicine and psychiatry
  • Well-being: happiness, public health, and emotions as political objects
  • Difference: how have emotions associated with different races, sexes, and sexual orientations been experienced, categorised, and controlled?
  • Religion: religious practices and regimes of emotion
  • Law: the definition, control, and punishment of passions and emotions

To join the conversation, please contact us on emotions@qmul.ac.uk.

To be added to the History of Emotions email list run by the Centre, please visit the JISCmail homepage for the list to sign up.

To discover more about the history of emotions around the world, you could visit the websites of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of the Emotions and the Centre for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute, Berlin, and the other projects and blogs listed on our links page.