Centre for the History of Emotions Book Launch

Arts Hall, Old Arts Building Level 1, The University of Melbourne

All welcome to the book launch of three recent publications from the University of Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions:

Singing Death, edited by Helen Dell and Helen Hickey to be launched by Stephanie Trigg (CHE, The University of Melbourne)

Death is an unanswerable question for humanity, the question that always remains unanswered because it lies beyond human experience. Music represents one of the most profound ways in which humanity struggles, nevertheless, to accommodate death within the scope of the living by giving a voice to death and the dead and a voice that responds. This book engages with the question of how music expresses and responds to the profound existential disturbance that death and loss present to the living. Each chapter offers readers an encounter with music as a way of speaking or responding to human mortality. Each chapter, in its own way, addresses these questions: How are death and the dead made present to us through music? How does music, as composed, performed and heard, respond to the brute fact of death for the living, the dying and the bereaved? These questions are addressed from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives: musicology, ethnomusicology, literature, history, philosophy, film studies, psychology and psychoanalysis. Singing Death also covers a wide range of musical genres from medieval love song to twenty-first-century horror film music. The collection is accompanied by a website including some of the music associated with each of its chapters.

Witchcraft, the Devil, and Emotions in Early Modern England by Charlotte-Rose Millar to be launched by Charles Zika (CHE, The University of Melbourne)

This book represents the first systematic study of the role of the Devil in English witchcraft pamphlets for the entire period of state-sanctioned witchcraft prosecutions (1563‒1735). It provides a rereading of English witchcraft, one which moves away from an older historiography which underplays the role of the Devil in English witchcraft and instead highlights the crucial role that the Devil, often in the form of a familiar spirit, took in English witchcraft belief. One of the key ways in which this book explores the role of the Devil is through emotions. Stories of witches were made up of a complex web of emotionally implicated accusers, victims, witnesses, and supposed perpetrators. They reveal a range of emotional experiences that do not just stem from malefic witchcraft but also, and primarily, from a witch’s links with the Devil. This book, then, has two main objectives. First, to suggest that English witchcraft pamphlets challenge our understanding of English witchcraft as a predominantly non-diabolical crime, and second, to highlight how witchcraft narratives emphasized emotions as the primary motivation for witchcraft acts and accusations.

Merchants and Explorers: Roger Barlow, Sebastian Cabot & Networks of Atlantic Exchange, 1500-1560 by Heather Dalton to be launched by Peter Sherlock (Vice-Chancellor, University of Divinity)

In the early sixteenth century, a young English sugar trader spent a night at what is now the port of Agadir in Morocco, watching from the tenuous safety of the Portuguese fort as the local tribesmen attacked the ‘Moors’. Having recently departed the familiar environs of London and the Essex marshes, this was to be the first of several encounters Roger Barlow was to have with unfamiliar worlds. Barlow’s family were linked to networks where the exchange of goods and ideas merged, and his contacts in Seville brought him into contact with the navigator, Sebastian Cabot. Merchants and Explorers follows Barlow and Cabot across the Atlantic to South America and back to Spain and Reformation England. Heather Dalton uses their lives as an effective narrative thread to explore the entangled Atlantic world during the first half of the sixteenth century. In doing so, she makes a critical contribution to the fields of both Atlantic and global history. Although it is generally accepted that the English were not significantly attracted to the Americas until the second half of the sixteenth century, Dalton demonstrates that Barlow, Cabot, and their cohorts had a knowledge of the world and its opportunities that was extraordinary for this period. She reveals how shared knowledge as well as the accumulation of capital in international trading networks prior to 1560 influenced emerging ideas of trade, ‘discovery’, settlement, and race in Britain. In doing so, Dalton not only provides a substantial new body of facts about trade and exploration, she explores the changing character of English commerce and society in the first half of the sixteenth century.

For more details see: http://www.historyofemotions.org.au/events/book-launch

To RSVP email che-melb-admin@unimelb.edu.au by Friday 18 August