News and Events
ARC Centre for Excellence in History of Emotions
The University of Sydney is proud to be part of the recently announced Australian Research Council (ARC) funded â€˜Centre of Excellence in the History of Emotionsâ€™. The Centre, housed at the University of Western Australia under the Directorship of Professor Philippa Maddern, will engage Chief Investigators from the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, and Adelaide, as well as Partner Investigators from a number of international universities and from Australian cultural institutions, such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the West Australian Opera, and ABC TV. The Centre will receive ARC funding of $24.25 million over seven years, which is an acknowledgment of the depth of research talent in the fields of medieval and early modern studies in Australia. This Centre provides an exciting opportunity for Australian researchers to show the world how they can 'think big' on questions as fundamental to human nature as the history and development of emotions.
The Centre will focus its research on the medieval-early modern period 1100-1800, exploring areas such as intellectual and literary evocations of emotion, mass emotions (particularly with regard to the emerging early-modern media), emotions in artistic, dramatic, and musical performance, and the role of pre-modern European emotional regimes in the shaping of the emotional regimes in modern Australia.
Dr Juanita Ruys, ARC QEII Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies will be the Chief Investigator for the University of Sydney. â€˜My role at the Centre of Excellence will be to formulate and direct two large research projects, each of 3-4 years' duration. As I am primarily by training a medievalist, these research projects are likely to be centred on two areas; high medieval literary expressions of emotion and their confluence with emotional rhetoric inherited from the Classical world; and a study of medieval descriptions of emotional attachment (love) and sexuality/sexual activity with a view to tracing the gradual intersection of these ideas, which are initially distinct in the literature. I am also interested in emotional responses to death, particularly public death, and would like to see a further research project undertaken in that field.â€™
These research projects are likely to attract top-level researchers nationally and internationally, providing them with PhD scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships to undertake their research. In addition, over the seven years of the Centre's funding, the University of Sydney will host a number of distinguished international visiting scholars who will invigorate the research climate of the University, and who will convene a number of postgraduate advanced training seminars to help foster the research skills of Australian postgraduates in the humanities.