Historical Perspectives on Loss, Grief and Pain: Call for Papers
An interdisciplinary workshop organised and funded by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh on Friday 23 May 2014.

This one-day workshop aims to explore perspectives on emotions, taking as its starting point “loss” as an historical fact and emotional response – and exploring the perceptions, depictions and constructions of responses to it.

Confirmed speakers include:

Prof Maureen Carroll, Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Dr Glenys Davies, Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

Dr Thomas Dixon, Director, Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary, University of London


We welcome papers from across the disciplines that engage with any aspect of loss and associated themes and emotions throughout history. Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • collective responses to loss of wars, crowns and governments
  • the loss of an individual through death or separation caused by migration, changes in marital, family or friendship status, and associated sadness, grief, homesickness or mourning
  • bodily loss, ailing bodies, limbs and senses, invoking pain, anger, regret or loneliness, or alternatively stoicism and acceptance
  • age-related loss, particularly responses to old age and the loss of youth
  • loss of culture, including the loss of knowledge, information or books, or destruction of heritage
  • financial or business failure, the loss of credit and reputation
  • the antonym of loss: keeping material objects and the purposes of retention
  • representations of loss and associated emotions in performance and literature
  • the subjectivity of emotional responses to loss more generally, and the social, cultural and political and economic implications of demonstrating loss-appropriate emotions

Historical, transcultural and interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged. The workshop is organised by staff from different fields within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology but we are keen to hear papers from, and engage with, other disciplines, e.g. anthropology, medicine, psychology, languages, literatures and cultures, divinity, music, history of art, the social and political sciences and heritage. Papers should be about 20 minutes long.

Please send proposals of not more than 300 words to the committee by Friday 11 April. Decisions will be advised by Thursday 17 April.

LG Canevaro

Victoria Gardner

Anna Groundwater

Ben Russell

David Silkenat

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