Established in 2015, the Embodied Emotions research group at the University of Manchester seeks to make an original intervention into the dynamic international research field of the history of emotions. It will do so through a focus on the physical manifestation and experience of emotional states in a long historical perspective, and with a distinctive focus on collaboration with Manchester’s public collections. The Embodied Emotions group fosters a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community through a year-long programme in 2015/16 of speakers and workshops within the John Rylands Seminar on Print and Materiality in the Early Modern World at the John Rylands Library. The group supports home-grown research in this area by drawing in postgraduates, academic colleagues in humanities, and in cognate fields including neuroscience, and cultural collections staff.

The group is currently developing international partnership links with experts in the history of emotions at the University of Melbourne node of the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence in the History of Emotions 1100-1800. Current research connected to the theme of ‘embodied emotions’ at Manchester includes projects on early modern sleeping practices and emotional wellbeing; the emotional and performative dimensions of early modern ghost stories; supernatural phenomena, natural disasters and global religious iconography in early modern northern European print culture; European encounters with Asian religions; European encounters with early America; age, emotions and the English household; the emotional communities of English Protestantism in the North West; demonic possession, embodiment and the life-cycle in early modern France and England; emotion and early modern music; domestic magic and the walking dead in medieval and early modern culture; parenting, crisis, and the life-cycle in early modern England.

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