Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives
Friday 18 October, Bath Spa University, Corsham Court campus
Keynote speaker: Dr Joanne Bailey, Oxford Brookes University
This symposium will approach the concept of intimacy and closeness from a range of neglected perspectives, addressing several fundamental themes in European history. Current strands in the history of emotions dwell on singular feelings, their production, and the influence of pathological and medical discourse on their expression. Few historians have sought meaning in the theoretical advances of Lauren Berlant and Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose work has profound implications for the way in which social and political relations are understood. The symposium will approach intimacy variously through sessions that explore the following themes: political cultures, (official, popular and subaltern); legal norms; ethnic and religious difference; and desire. The relation between interior and public modes of intimacy will be explored, through consideration of the ‘advent of intimacy as a public mode of identification and self-development’ (Berlant). A second key theme will be the concept of ‘intimate publics’ in pre-modern and modern Europe. In a similar vein, the seminal work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has offered new perspectives on the way in which intimacy operates in tandem with looking, sexuality and bodily contact.
Invited contributors will present on: gendered intimacy and personal authority in nineteenth-century England; the subversion of political intimacies in early modern intelligence networks; and the influence of medieval ecclesiasts on the policing of intimacy in local communities; the politics of sympathy; intimacy and power in early medieval Europe.
Attendance is free, as the event is sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and Bath Spa University.
Registration (for catering purposes and room size):
Please register by completing the registration form and emailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 11th October.
Dr Bronach Kane
Lecturer in Medieval History
Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion
John Percival Building, Colum Drive
Cardiff CF10 3EU
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