Pain as Emotion; Emotion as Pain: Perspectives from Modern History

October 26, 2012
Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College

United Kingdom


  • The Wellcome Trust

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The conference programme is as follows:  

9.00. Welcome: Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck, University of London).

9.10. Introduction: Rob Boddice (Freie Universität).

9.30-11.00. Panel 1: Pain, Metaphor and Medicine

Chair: TBC

David Biro (State University of New York):

‘Psychological Pain: Metaphor or Reality?’.

Asa Jansson (Queen Mary, University of London):

‘From Metaphor to Emotion: Psycho-Physiology and the Creation of “Mental Pain” as a Symptom of Melancholia in Victorian Psychological Medicine’.

Sheena Culley (Kingston University):

‘Killing Pain: Aspirin and the Emotional’.

11.15-12.45. Panel 2: Second-hand Pain and the Pain of Others

ChairRob Boddice (Freie Universität).

Linda Raphael (George Washington University):

‘Imagining the Other: Two Cases of Desire and Resistance’.

Liz Gray (Queen Mary, University of London):

‘“The writhing of a worm…”: The Role of Pain in Developing Ideas of Comparative Psychology’.

James Burnham Sedgwick (Acadia University):

‘Observing Pain, Pain in Observing: Collateral Emotions in International Courts’.

12.45-14.00 Break for lunch

14.00-15.30. Panel 3: Scripting Pain in Mind and Body

ChairNoemi Tousignant (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

Whitney Wood (Wilfrid Laurier University):

‘“When I think of what is before me, I feel afraid”: Delicate Women and the Pain of Childbirth in Late-Victorian Canada’.

Daniel Grey (Wolfson College, Oxford):

‘“The agony of despair”: Pain and the Cultural Script of Infanticide in England and Wales, 1860-1960’.

Paolo Santangelo (Sapienza University of Rome):

‘The Perception of Pain in late-Imperial China’.

15.45-17.15. Panel 4: The Image of Pain

ChairFay Bound Alberti (Wellcome Trust).

Johanna Willenfelt (University of Gothenburg):

‘Documenting Bodies: Pain Surfaces’.

Columba Quigley (London Consortium):

‘Art and the Emotional Visibilisation of Pain’.

Danny Rees (Wellcome Library):

‘Down in the Mouth: Faces of Pain’.

17.15-17.30. Closing Remarks

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October 26, 2012, 10:00am BST

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