An Encyclopaedia of Spaces and their Emotional Contents, Lunchtime Seminar

December 14, 2016, Queen Mary University of London

Please find below details of the next History of Emotions work in progress lunchtime seminar at Queen Mary University of London.

An Encyclopaedia of Spaces and their Emotional Contents and Discontents through Time

Katrina O’Loughlin (Australian Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotion) and Penelope Woods (Lecturer in Drama, QMUL)

14th December, 1pm. Room 2.17, Arts Two.

Katrina O’Loughlin (Australian Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotion) and Penelope Woods (Lecturer in Drama, QMUL) present their project to inventory inhabited and imagined spaces and their emotional character in specific moments in history. These include, for instance: the boudoir, confession box, reliquary, tomb, carriage, nutshell, fan case, pocket, tea chest, ice house, dove cote, foyer, coffee house, battle ground, folly, asylum, agora, hermitage, tiring house, parliament, baths, piazza, class room, lying-in room, audience chamber, waiting room, balcony, bird cage, trunk.. each examined in the through the cultural and material history of its emergence at that time, in that place.

Early on in Sara Ahmed’s Cultural Politics of Emotion she refers to a common sense of ‘the feeling in the room’, qualifying this with a reflection on how the individual’s relationship to that ‘sticky object’ or site of emotion will, nevertheless, vary. In 1958 Gaston Bachelard published his influential work: La poetique de l’espace, in which he considers the contours and psychic contents of domestic spaces, wardrobes, nests, shells and corners. O’Loughlin and Woods are attempting a bold project to bring current theories of emotion, and the history of emotion, together with work in continental philosophy and cultural geography on built environments, inhabited and found spaces, to curate a detailed inventory of the emotional character and effects of specific historicised spaces. O’Loughlin and Woods propose that these spaces operate as container, lens and propagator of culturally and historically specific repertoires of emotion.

All talks are free, booking not needed. Lunch will be provided. The talk will take place in the Arts Two building (room 2.17), Mile End Campus, London E1 4NS. For directions to Mile End and a campus map, see

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Posted: December 07, 2016