Institute of Advanced Studies

Public Lecture by Susan Broomhall


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A History of Emotions in 100 Objects

A public lecture by Susan Broomhall, Future Fellow, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, UWA

Susan BroomhallEmotions not only underpin historical events but also produce and shape objects in profound ways. But do emotions also have a history of their own? This lecture explored a story of changing emotional expressions and practices across time through selected objects in the WA Museum's History of the World in 100 Objects exhibition from the British Museum. Focussed particularly upon medieval and early modern objects, it investigated how the historical evidence of these artefacts can respond to a key debate among current scholars about the universal or culturally-constructed nature of emotions.

Susan Broomhall is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, based at The University of Western Australia. She has written widely on gender and emotions in early modern Europe. Her recent research has analysed medieval and early modern objects and emotions, particularly as they are presented in modern museum, heritage and tourism environments.

This lecture was part of a series of talks designed to compliment the WA Museum exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects. The exhibition will be on show from 13 Feb 2016 – 18 Jun 2016.

Other lectures in the series:

6 April, 6-7pm: The Beginning of String – Associate Professor Jane Balme, Archaeology Discipline Chair, UWA

19 May, 6-7pm: A Short History of Images in Islamic Art – Dr Stefano Carboni, Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Adjunct Professor of Islamic Art, UWA