Author Archives: Agnes Arnold-Forster

The Sound of Anger

The Sound of Anger is the new Living with Feeling podcast series of features, drama, and debates about all things furious, vengeful, and irate. You can subscribe via iTunes and Apple Podcasts to find out what anger is, how it feels, and what it’s good for.

You can also subscribe and listen via our SoundCloud.

The series is produced by Natalie Steed and the two dramas, Darwin Vexed and Seneca Annoyed, are written by Craig Baxter.


BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Lecture: Feelings, and Feelings, and Feelings

Professor Thomas Dixon will give the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Lecture entitled ‘Feelings, and Feelings, and Feelings’, at 22:00 on Friday 29th March at the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at the Sage Gateshead.

Many of us still remember the images of Paul Gascoigne crying at the 1990 World Cup, Mrs Thatcher’s red eyes on leaving Downing Street, and the national mourning for Princess Diana. Over twenty years later, the tide of tears shows no sign of receding. From public inquiries to primetime TV, the Premier League to Prime Minister’s Questions, emotions seem to be everywhere in public life. With a cool head and some much-needed historical perspective, Professor Thomas Dixon opens the Free Thinking festival 2019 by showing that our emotions themselves have a history.

In recent decades, some scientists have claimed there are just five or six ‘basic emotions’, but the category of ‘emotions’ did not exist until the nineteenth century, and history reveals a much richer picture of passions, affections, and sentiments. Ranging from revolutionary feelings and the sentimental tales of Charles Dickens to the poetic rage of Audre Lorde, Thomas Dixon paints a historical panorama of emotions and ends by asking what we can learn from our ancestors about the value of stoical restraint. The lecture will be followed by an interview conducted by Matthew Sweet and questions from the Free Thinking Festival audience at Sage Gateshead.

Thomas Dixon was the first director of Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for the History of the Emotions, the first of its kind in the UK. He is currently researching anger and has explored the histories of friendship, tears, and the British stiff upper lip in books Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears and The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain.

More information can be found here and if you miss the broadcast you’ll be able to listen again here.

We’re Hiring!

We are looking to recruit an Engagement and Impact Manager to work on our Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Science Collaborative Award: ‘Living With Feeling: Emotional Health in History, Philosophy, and Experience’. The award, which began in September 2015, supports an ambitious programme of interdisciplinary research and public engagement into the history and meanings of ‘emotional health’.

As Engagement and Impact Manager, you will be responsible for ensuring the successful planning, delivery, and implementation of the engagement work of the project, working closely with the Principal Investigator, the Project Manager, and the project team. You will plan and implement initiatives promoting historically informed visions of emotional health to a range of professional and public audiences. This will include devising and delivering methods for the collection of evidence of impact for the purposes of REF impact case studies, including working with the team on the launch of a new website, a series of podcasts, and an exhibition on the theme of nursing and emotions.

For more information and how to apply please see here.

The Gut Instinct: A Social History

Centre Director, Dr Rhodri Hayward, was featured on episode 4, ‘The Disease of Civilization’, of the BBC Radio 4 Programme, ‘The Gut Instinct: A Social History’ that aired on the 27th of December 2018.

Dr Elsa Richardson, who completed her PhD at the Centre, was the series consultant.

All the episodes are available to listen to here!

Autumn 2018 Events

Over the next few months, the Centre for the History of Emotions is running a series of events. Click through to Eventbrite for further information and to book tickets.

16/11/18 – My First Death

22/11/18 – Annual Lecture: Anger, Fast and Slow

27/11/18 – Professor Jean-Jacques Courtine, Fear in an Age of Anxiety 

03/12/18 – Professor Jean-Jacques Courtine, Madness in Paris, Paris in Madness 

11/12/18 – Professor Jean-Jacques Courtine,The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. The Evil of Banality and the History of Emotions

My First Death

How do healthcare professionals cope with death? In what ways do our deaths affect them? Come along to this event at the Royal College of Nursing for a frank, candid, and informal conversation about death, dying, and mourning. Doctors, nurses, and other practitioners will each take the mic for five minutes to share their first experiences of patient death and reflect on the emotional costs of care. You will also have the opportunity to think about and discuss the issues raised in a range of interactive activities.

Doors open at 5.30 and the event will start promptly at 6pm.

Event is free to attend but booking is essential. 

This event is part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities