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The History and Representation of the Emotions


This seminar explores the history and representation of human emotions across time and disciplines. The first two sessions are group discussions of common readings, convened by members of the Warwick Arts Faculty. (Readings for these sessions will all be available on reserve in the SRC, but most are also available electronically. Please contact the seminar convenor if you have any difficulty obtaining the readings). Subsequent sessions take the form of delivered papers, followed by questions. The seminar meets on Thursdays during even weeks of term (excluding reading weeks) at 5:00 in Humanities 545.

Term 1: Autumn 2003

 Thursday 9 October 2003:

Kate Astbury (Warwick, French) & Colin Jones (Warwick, History)

Discussion of William Reddy’s ‘Sentimentalism & Its Erasure: The Role of the Emotions in the Era of the French Revolution’, Journal of Modern History, 72 (March 2000), 109-152. This item is available electronically at: and on reserve in SRC.

 Thursday 23 October 2003:

Michael Bell (Warwick, English) & Margot Finn (Warwick, History)

Discussion of the Introduction of Thomas Dixon’s From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category (2003): and chapter 8 of William I. Miller’s Anatomy of Disgust. The Introduction to Dixon’s book can be downloaded from the Cambridge University Press Website at: Both it and Miller’s Disgust will also be available on reserve in the SRC.

Thursday 20 November 2003:

Anne Janowitz (Queen Mary, English)

‘Too Much Feeling! Adam Smith’s Campaign against the Sublime’

 Thursday 4 December 2003:

Murray Smith (Kent at Canterbury, Film)

‘History in and of Emotional Expression in Film’


Term 2: Spring 2004

 Thursday 15 January 2004:

Helen Hills (Manchester, Art History)

‘Affetti & Female Spirituality in Early Modern Italian Convents’

 Thursday 29 January 2004:

Martin Skinner (Warwick, Psychology)

‘Self Conscious Emotions or Emotions of Self-Consciousness’

 Thursday 26 February 2004:

Penny Gouk (Manchester, History of Medicine)

‘Managing the Passions, Refining the Nerves: Music & Medicine in 18th-century Edinburgh’

 Thursday 11 March 2004:

Emma Mason (Warwick, English Department)

‘Syrupy Pathos & Split Religion: “Feeling” Romantic to Modern’