Stephanie Trigg

Stephanie Trigg is the Program Leader for the Shaping the Modern Program and Director of the Melbourne Node of CHE.  The Shaping the Modern Program explores the legacy of emotions as they developed in Europe between 1100 and 1800, with a particular focus on the long-ranging history of pre-modern European emotional regimes as played out in colonial and modern Australia; the contact between European emotional culture and indigenous cultures of Australia and the region; modern Australian perceptions of past emotions, especially as played out in literature, drama, art and music; and the emotional dimensions of environmental history.

Stephanie's own work for the Centre is focussed on two major projects: first, the expression of emotion on the human face, in poetic, dramatic and narrative texts from Chaucer, Shakespeare and the realist novel through to graphic fiction and the novel of autism; and second, medieval, early modern and modern emotional and affective responses to two natural phenomena: fire and stone.

On 21 May 2015 Stephanie spoke at Sydney TEDx in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House before a live audience of 2300. The talk was streamed live to a worldwide audience on over 150 sites.

Stephanie’s talk was titled, ‘What does normal look like?’ She spoke about the early fifteenth-century poet Thomas Hoccleve, who suffered a nervous breakdown in 1414 and struggled to convince his friends and colleagues he had recovered. She drew comparisons between his story and the experience of anxiety and depression today: the history of social response to mental illness is remarkably consistent from the Middle Ages to contemporary culture. View her poignant talk here.


+61 3 8344 5504
The University of Melbourne Staff Profile

Research projects

Speaking Faces: Describing the Facial Expression of Emotion

Fire and Affect: Shaping Modern Emotions

Victorian Bluestone: An Affective Cultural History

Selected Publications

Prendergast, T. A. and S. Trigg. Affective Medievalism: Love, Abjection, and Discontent. Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming October 2018.

Holsinger, B. and S. Trigg, eds. ‘After Eco: Novel Medievalisms’. Special Issue, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 7.2 (2016).

Trigg, S. ‘Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London: Trauma and Emotion, Private and Public’. In Disaster, Death and the Emotions in the Shadow of the Apocalypse, 1400–1700, edited by J. Spinks and C. Zika, pp. 341–56. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Trigg, A. ‘Magna Carta in Print in the Sixteenth Century’. Papers on Parliament, Department of the Senate, Parliament of Australia, 65 (2016): 75‒83.

Trigg. S. ‘“Language in her Eye”: The Expressive Face of Criseyde/Cressida’. In Love History and Emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare: Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida, edited by Andrew James Johnston, Elisabeth Kempf and Russell West-Pavlov, pp. 94‒108. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016.

Trigg, S. Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. 978-0-8122-4391-8.

Trigg, S. and J. Cohen. ‘Fire’. postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 4. Special issue 'Ecomaterialism'. (2013): 80‒92. DOI:10.1057/pmed.2012.40.

Trigg, S. 'Langland’s Tears: Poetry, Emotion, and Mouvance'. Yearbook of Langland Studies 26 (2012): 27‒34. (Hard copy printed and published online in August 2013).

D'Arcens, L., A. Lynch and S.Trigg (eds). 'Medievalism, Nationalism, Colonialism: Introduction'. Australian Literary Studies 26.3‒4 (2011): 1-5.

D'Arcens, L., A. Lynch & S. Trigg (eds). Australian Literary Studies 26.2 (2011): 36‒53 (published in 2012). Special issue: 'Medievalism, Colonialism, Nationalism'.

Selected Presentations

Conference Paper: ‘Emotional Practices: Chaucer, Veronica and the History of Emotions’, Twenty-First Biennial International Congress of the New Chaucer Society, University of Toronto, Canada, 10–15 July 2018.

Keynote:  ‘“Ransakid” by Death: Body, Soul and Image in Hoccleve’s Learn to Die’, International Hoccleve Society conference ‘The Making of Thomas Hoccleve’, University of Manitoba, Canada, 6–8 July 2018. Invited.

Conference Paper: ‘The Changing Discourse of the Face: Silent Expressions from Medieval Poetry to Contemporary Social Media’, Third International Conference of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions ‘The Future of Emotions/Conversations Without Borders’, The University of Western Australia, 14–15 June 2018.

Plenary Presentation: ‘Sense of Touch: Absolutely Similar’, George Washington University Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute symposium ‘Touching the Past (Again)’, Washington DC, USA, 2‒3 March 2018. Invited.