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Research Approaches: Performance History and History of Emotions



Research Approaches Thumbnail Final
The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

The Department of Performance Studies,
The University of Sydney

Performance History and History of Emotions

Date:               Tuesday 29 July 2014
Time:               9.30am to 5.00pm
Venue:             Rex Cramphorn Studio, Level 1, Woolley Building,
                         The University of Sydney
Registration:   Registration is free but coffee and lunch will be at participants’ own cost. 
Email:              Penelope Woods to register and receive a reading pack
                        by Wednesday 23 July 2014.

Download flyer and program

This Research Approaches Study Day brings together performance studies academics and practitioners to consider the challenges of writing histories of performance and emotion and to explore what strategies and approaches we might uniquely bring to bear on these overlapping projects of past performance and past emotions.

This is an open workshop and roundtable which invites participants from music, theatre, dance or other social history backgrounds through history and across performance cultures. Each session will be chaired and introduced by a distinguished researcher in the field and then opened up to discussion. Registered participants will be sent a small reading pack to facilitate the cross-period, cross-medium dialogue.


  • Monique Scheer, ‘Are Emotions A Kind of Practice (And is That What Makes Them Have a History)? A Bourdieuian Approach to Understanding Emotion’, History and Theory 51.2 (2012), 193-220.
  • Diana Taylor, ‘Performance and/as History’, TDR, 50.1 (2006), 67-86.
  • Suzanne G. Cusick ‘“There was not one lady who failed to shed a tear”: Arianna's lament and the construction of modern womanhood’, Early Music, 21 (1994), 21-41.

Draft Program:

9.30am   WELCOME

9.45am   What is Emotion? How Does it Operate in Performance? Does it Have a History?
                Chair: Una McIlvenna, CHE, The University of Sydney

10.30am  COFFEE

10.45am  An Emotions History of the Rehearsal Room? Creativity, Skill, Dramaturgy and Emotion 
                Chairs: Mary Luckhurst, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne
                         & Laura Ginters, The University of Sydney

11.45am  The Vestiges of Emotion: Anecdote, Gossip OR Whose Archive is it Anyway?
                Chair: Glen McGillivray, The University of Sydney

12.45pm  LUNCH

2.00pm     Audience and Emotion - Problematic Assumptions, Theory and Evidence
                 Chair: Penelope Woods, CHE, The University of Western Australia

3.00pm     The Place of Practice? A Workshop on Early Modern Performance and Emotional Excess
                 Workshop Leader: Bridget Escolme, Queen Mary, University of London

4.30pm     Roundtable Discussion of Approaches and Next Steps

5.00pm      CLOSE

Other confirmed roundtable contributors:

Andrew Lawrence-King
Alan Maddox

Marriage Commemoration Monteith with arms of Gibbs and Nelthorpe, Glass Horsley Park, Essex, 1700.  Held by the Metropolitan Museum of art, OASC.