Emotions help hold societies together. They are experienced personally but they are always
products of a broader way of living. More than physiological, emotions are bodily sensations
interpreted through stories about ourselves and our world. Emotions are always, in part,
products of culture. As such they are products of history that, to be better understood,
demand historical examination.
The proposed research would investigate how politically consequential emotional
constellations like loneliness, anger, fear and sentimentality have been socially constructed
through media within the broader context of European modernisation. Loneliness, for
example, has been shaped not only by the privatisation of the bourgeois home in the
eighteenth century but also by the unobtainable romance of the sentimental novels that
accompanied it. Instagram can similarly distort social expectations today.
Relationships between media and emotion need to be understood in the context of a total
way of living. Understanding how emotions have been shaped by culture and values in the
historical long term can facilitate the transformations in culture and values that we need
Student requirements for this project
A prospective student for this project should have a 2.1 degree, or higher, in a Humanties
or Social Sciences discipline.
A successful applicant will be self-motivated, organised and have good written
communication skills. Applicants will be requested to supply a curriculum vitae and a brief
Please submit applications to:
Dr Edward Brennan
School of Media
Tel: 00 353 (0)1 220 55 02