Meanings

This program carries out fundamental research into understanding what emotions were thought to be, and how they were understood, expressed, and enacted in Europe 1100-1800.

Hamlet and his mother

Eugene Delacroix, Hamlet and His Mother, 1849. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milten de Groot (1876-1967), 1967.

Emotions lie behind all forms of human expression. They were described, performed and expressed through literature, historical documents, art, music, philosophy, and theatre in Europe, 1100-1800, in different but interrelated, interesting and important ways. The Meanings program seeks to broaden understanding of the historical perception and representation of emotions in their various forms.The mission of the Meanings Program is to ‘carry out fundamental research into understanding what emotions were thought to be, and how they were understood, expressed, and enacted in Europe from 1100 to 1800’.

‘Meanings’ has been chosen as a deliberately capacious category which is intended to be conceptually foundational and also inclusive. This intentionally reflects an overlapping body of knowledge, which is well within our inclusive understanding of methodologies based on the History of Emotions. As a result, many of the specific projects being undertaken under its umbrella are also nominated as falling into one or more of the other programs – Change, Performance and Shaping the Modern.

Overall, what emerges is that the kind of work we are doing is demonstrably collaborative and multi-disciplinary and, in terms of generating innovative study of History of Emotions, it is fully national and international in writers, comprehensive and wide ranging in subject-matter, and cumulative in contribution to knowledge.

Projects within the Meanings Program

 

Program Leader: Robert (Bob) White  (University of Western Australia)