This program deals with mass or communal emotions, in particular
mass and communal events which were emotionally driven, but had
lasting political and social implications and consequences.
Studies in this program rest on the understanding that emotional
discourses act as drivers of major cultural, social, political and
economic changes. Hence our research investigates how pre-modern
governments grappled with the thorny question of how to understand
and harness human passions and appetites as the foundation of the
Analysis of religious cultures is fundamentally important, not
only because religious appeals are centrally informed by the
affections, but also because in most past societies (and many
present ones) organised religion has shared the management of
emotions with the law and the state.
The Change Program re-conceptualises the historiography of
emotional 'development' in history, by analysing a variety of
pre-modern communal emotional genres - early printed media, legal
conventions, religious rituals and practices such as pilgrimages,
processions and witchcraft - and their power to produce historical
research projects fit within the Change Program?
Professor David Lemmings (University of Adelaide)