CFP Annual Conference 2018

Happiness in nineteenth-century Ireland

Trinity College Dublin, 28-29 June 2018


Call for Papers

This conference seeks to raise the topic of the history of emotions in nineteenth-century Ireland. It is looking for papers that address how emotion is conceptualised and understood in different cultural settings, how happiness is represented in literary, visual, and documentary forms, and the role of emotion in human action and processes of change.

The conference will focus on the personal, communal, and societal meaning of happiness in nineteenth-century Ireland. How was happiness represented? In what ways did happiness affect relationships between individuals, families, and political parties? Were pleasure and happiness expressed differently based on gender, class, religion, and ethnicity? How do visual, fictional, theatrical, and musical representations of happiness differ?  Centrally, how might the history of emotion alter traditional understandings of political movements, cultural production, and public performance?

Topics which might usefully be explored, but are by no means limited to, include:

  • Cultural prescriptions for happiness
  • Religious and philanthropic views of happiness and causes of unhappiness
  • Consumerism, material culture, and happiness
  • Emotional expression and relationships (familial, romantic, business etc…)
  • Visual and literary depictions of happiness & unhappiness
  • Celebrations, festivals, and holydays
  • Theatrical, literary, musical, and visual depictions of happiness and emotional display
  • Pleasure, joy, delight, splendour, enchantment, empathy, and kindness


Please send 200-word abstracts or panel descriptions and a brief CV by 8 January 2018 to Mary Hatfield,

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