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Practising Emotions: Place and the Public Sphere


Date: 6-8 August 2015
Venue: Wyselaskie Auditorium, Uniting Church Theology College, 29 College Crescent, Parkville VIC 3052

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Please visit the CHE Vimeo channel to watch the Collaboratory sessions.

Collaboratory organisers
: Jane Davidson and Lisa Beaven

This collaboratory aims to explore how complex manifestations of emotion, and our understanding of these historically, played out in relation to public performance and the specifics of place across the last 400 years. The scope is deliberately broad aiming to explore how emotions have been distilled, rehearsed, delivered and received in the public sphere. How do theories of place and emotion intersect in the dynamics of both spontaneous and rehearsed performances in public squares, parks, city streets, open-air theatres, and landscapes?  Street performances such as music, dance, theatre and acrobatics festivals will be explored alongside trials, executions, religious festivals, services and processions, as well as political events such as uprisings, protest rallies and natural disasters. How are urban spaces reconfigured by different events? How is our perception of place changed by performative practices? Historical events and the records of these events in image, text and sound are highly varied and contested. This collaboratory provides the opportunity to interrogate what research evidence of the practice of emotions in history consists of – its processes and the complex problems of interpretation it presents, but also extents this to the kinetic and more ephemeral realm of performance. We hope to combine some of the theoretical and methodological approaches that have been developed separately for studying emotions, performance and place, to better understand and interrogate the past.