Living with Feeling

Four images of experiment on electro-physiology Credit: Wellcome Library, London. k Four images showing a male having his face stimulated by electricity in an experiment on the electro-physiological expression of passions. Photograph 19th Century By: Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne de Boulogne

In 2015 the Centre for the History of the Emotions was awarded a grant of £1.6m by the Wellcome Trust for a five-year inter-disciplinary research project entitled ‘Living With Feeling: Emotional Health in History, Philosophy, and Experience’. You can find out more on the project website.

The project, one of the first to receive a Wellcome Trust Humanities and Social Science Collaborative Award, will connect the history and philosophy of medicine and emotions with contemporary science, medical practice, phenomenology, and public policy, exploring the many varied and overlapping meanings of emotional health, past and present.

Research topics will include: the use of the passions as medical treatments; the anatomy of anger as a modern emotion; relationships between religious, philosophical and scientific forms of therapy; time-management and de-cluttering as emotional technologies; the rise of the psychologist parent; and the roles of imitation, contagion, and mirror neurons in emotional health.

A core team of humanities researchers will draw on the expertise and creativity of collaborators including neuroscientists, clinicians, dramatists, and policy experts to investigate how ideas about emotional health have changed over time, and what we can learn about managing, channelling and cultivating our emotions from historical predecessors in Europe, Britain, and America. Among our many intellectual and creative collaborators will be the Health Experiences Research Group at Oxford, and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary.

The project was launched in October 2015. To keep up with developments and learn much more about the project as it unfolds, you can visit the project websitesubscribe to our email list, read our blog, and follow us on Twitter.

The Centre for the History of the Emotions has received funding from the Wellcome Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Carnegie Trust, and the European Union. We are always keen to meet new research partners and explore collaborative funding opportunities for all career stages.