BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Lecture: Feelings, and Feelings, and Feelings
Project PI 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.
Jules Evans was the resident ‘philosopher guru’ for BBC Radio 4’s recent series ‘My Life As A…’. You can listen to the three episodes he featured in using BBC Iplayer.
Signs of Life: Puppetry, Emotions, Embodiment and Empathy was a symposium funded by the Leverhulme Trust which took place on Friday 20 October at QMUL. Here you can see some photos of the event. We’ll be posting the video online soon. Watch this space.
David Saunders Wellcome Secondment Fellowship
Project PhD Student, David Saunders, begins his Wellcome Secondment Fellowship at the Science Museum, London this month. The Fellowship will run from October 2017 to April 2018 and will involve working with the papers and objects of the Burden Neurological Institute Collection, with a specific focus on experimental research, gender, and emotion in mid-twentieth-century British neuroscience.
Jules Evans’ new book The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience was published by Canongate books in April 2017.
This PhD studentship on medicines as emotional objects is funded by the QMUL Life Sciences initiative and is a collaboration between Dr Deborah Swinglehurst’s NIHR-funded project, ‘Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People with Multimorbidity’, and our Wellcome-funded project, ‘Living with Feeling: Emotional Health in History, Philosophy and Experience’. The application deadline is 31 August 2017.
Read Jules Evans’ article for Aeon magazine, ‘Dissolving the Ego’.
Want to know which are the best books on ecstatic experiences? Read Jules Evans’ interview with Five Books to find out.
Miss Jules Evans’ excellent contribution to BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme on Wednesday 31 May? Never fear, you can listen again on Iplayer.
In case you missed them, here is a round up of recent reviews of books by members of the ‘Living with Feeling‘ project.
Helen Stark’s book chapter ‘”Rousseau’s Ground”: Locating a Refuge for the Libertarian Man of Feeling in Julie, or the New Heloise and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage‘ was published this week in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and British Romanticism: Gender and Selfhood, Politics and Identity.
If you missed Jules Evans asking whether art galleries and theatres can really help us come together, lose control and connect with something beyond ourselves on Start the Week on Monday 24 April 2017 you can listen again on the BBC Radio 4 website.
If you missed Professor Thomas Dixon discussing Prince Harry, the death of Princess Diana in 1997, and the history of the stiff upper lip on 18 April 2017 then you can listen to his segment on the Today progamme website.
Our latest newsletter is hot off the press…
Rhodri Hayward’s article on Busman’s stomach, ‘Busman’s stomach and the embodiment of modernity’, has been published in Contemporary British History.
Professor Thomas Dixon is among several emotions researchers from different disciplines offering their responses to an important new article by the psychologist Agnes Moors in the latest issue of Psychological Inquiry.
The Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London invites applications from outstanding post-graduate students wishing to pursue doctoral research into aspects of the histories of emotions and health. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2017
Tiffany Watt Smith has been awarded a £15,000 grant from The Leverhulme Trust to support director and designer of puppets Mervyn Millar to work on the project ‘Signs of Life’ at the Centre for nine months.
On November 15 Tiffany Watt Smith gave the keynote lecture at the Organisationen Danske Museer (Association of Danish Museums) in Vejle, Denmark, on ‘Feeling Things: Material Culture and the History of Emotions’.
Elena Carrera’s book chapter ‘Emotions and Mental Illness’ has been published in the collection The Routledge History of Disease.
Our Centre Newsletter is hot off the press.
In August Emma Sutton gave a paper at the Royal College of Nursing.
‘What is Emotional Health?’ was the launch event of the Living with Feeling grant, held on July 4 2016.