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Lunchtime seminar: Javier Moscoso ‘Ambition: symptoms and treatments during the early 19th century’

Wednesday 24th May, 2017

1pm, Room 6.02, Graduate Centre, QMUL, Mile End Campus

On May 24, Javier Moscoso (Spanish National Research Council) will give a paper titled ‘Ambition: symptoms and treatments during the early 19th century’


This presentation wants to contribute a small chapter to the general history of the human passions. My aims are triple: first, I would like to touch on the cultural significance of ambition during the early 19th century, understanding ambition as both a dangerous sentiment and a pathological passion. Secondly, I would like to call your attention on some of the physical and moral treatments of ambition that were explicitly or implicitly considered at the time. These will take us to explore some of the remedies prescribed in the institutions for the mentally ill, of course, but also in many other environments. Since ambition was thought to lie at the very core of recent political events, the French Restoration produced a very significant number of treatises that included very often recommendations to avoid, regulate, or restrain immoderate passionate states. From treatises on military life to tourist guides, I would like to explain not only the cultural forms in which certain bodily changes could be felt, expressed, repressed or conceptualised, but the way in which those same emotions and passions could shed some light on wider cultural phenomena.

All talks are free, booking not needed. Lunch will be provided. Read about other events we are holding this term.

The talk will take place in room 6.02, Graduate Centre, Mile End Campus, London E1 4NS. For directions to Mile End and a campus map, see bit.ly/QMcampusmap.

Please note the change in room and date from original advertisements.