Lunchtime Work in Progress Seminars, Feb – April 2016

February 10-April 1, 2016, Queen Mary University of London

The Centre for the History of the Emotions are starting a new series of lunchtime work in progress seminars. Join us at 1pm this Wednesday, 10 February, in Arts 2:3.16 for the first in the series. All welcome, lunch  provided. Please book in advance for catering purposes on

Wednesday 10 February, 1pm (Arts Two: 3.16)

Aleksondra Hultquist (Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of the Emotions)

The Emotional Practice of the Amatory: Barker, and Haywood

This paper argues for how the genre of amatory fiction becomes the “amatory mode,” a literary technique based on a vocabulary of the passions.   Created and regulated according to the love and sex narrative, the emotions of amatory fiction—primarily desire, love, jealousy, and revenge—enable us to classify the form more precisely than current definitions, which center on specific authors, prose structures, and a political resistance to patriarchal authority. If read as a playbook in Monique Scheer’s configuration of “emotional practice”—the mobilization, designation, communication, and regulation of emotion—the genre moves to a mode.   Haywood’s The City Jilt (1726) illustrates one of the many plots of amatory fiction where love, jealousy, and revenge become the impetus for narrative structure and a redefinition of female subjectivity.  I read this work alongside of Barker’s Love Intrigues (1713) to delineate amatory fiction’s emotional, rather than formal, structure.  This cross-genre approach clarifies the emotional practices these authors developed.  While Haywood, and Barker’s fiction often seem to accomplish different literary labor, their articulation of the passions is complementary: Barker’s “patchwork narrative” examines the detriments of not understanding or engaging in passionate emotion.  Haywood’s amatory tale examines how to survive the fallout of an emotional affair without long-term emotional or social damage.  Such analysis highlights the oxymoronic realities of sex for amatory authors.   Their heroines elevate whole-hearted emotional engagement above socially prescribed roles, and, despite getting swept away by the wrong kind of love, they ultimately achieve a kind of agency and self-knowledge that is denied to characters who rebuff their passions.

For directions and a campus map, see

Further lectures in the series:

Wednesday 17 February, 1pm (Bancroft 4.24)

Jules Evans (QMUL) The decline and revival of ecstasy in western culture

Wednesday 9 March, 1pm (Arts Two: 3.16)

Two short talks from the new Project Managers in the Centre for the History of the Emotions:

Helen Stark (QMUL) A “Charnel-Vault”: Corpses in Walter Scott’s Paul’s Letters to His Kinsfolk

Sarah Chaney (QMUL) Trigger Happy: Self-harm and emotional contagion in the 21st century

Wednesday 23 March, 1pm (Arts Two: 3.16)

Sarah Marks (University of Cambridge) Was there a Communist psychiatry in Cold War Eastern Europe?

Wednesday 30 March, 1pm (Arts Two: 3.16)

Simeon Koole (University of Oxford) History of the Caress: Tactility, Teashops, and the Organisation of Desire

Monday 25 April, 1pm (Arts Two: 2.17)

Åsa Jansson, ‘Emotional Regulation’ and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Sweden, c. 1995-2010

Posted: February 09, 2016