History Programme Seminar: A giallo in the archive: the making of Emotional Arenas
In Italian, ‘un giallo’ means a novel of the police-mystery genre, usually involving one or more murders. My recent book, Emotional Arenas: Life, Love, and Death in 1870s Italy, only involved one murder (thus far), but the processes of researching and writing it were heavily marked by events both mysterious and violent. This paper tries to do two things. First, it outlines the argument that drives and structures the book – that historical shifts in the experience and expression of emotions in a given culture can be at least partially traced via that culture’s institutions and social spaces. Second, the paper reflects on how some of the author’s key subjective experiences while writing the book ultimately shaped its argument.
Mark Seymour is Associate Professor of History at the University of Otago, and the co-editor of the journal Modern Italy. Mark’s research centre on the intersections between subjective experience and state authority – particularly marriage, gender, relationships, and sexuality. He explored these themes in his first book, Debating Divorce in Italy (Palgrave, 2007), and in numerous articles in Genesis, the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Social History, Gender and History, Rethinking History, Modern Italy, the Journal of Women’s History. With Penelope Morris and Francesco Ricatti he co-edited the volume Politica ed emozioni nella storia d’Italia (Viella, 2012), and in July 2019 he published From Sodomy Laws to Same Sex Marriage: International Perspectives since 1789, co-edited with Sean Brady. Mark’s latest monograph, Emotional Arenas: Life, Love and Death in 1870s Italy, was published by Oxford University Press in April 2020.
For further information, please contact: Dr Giacomo Lichtner (firstname.lastname@example.org).