Publication Details

Tait, P. "Introduction: analysing emotion and theorising affect." Humanities 5 .3 (2016): 70-77.


Increased interest in the study of the emotions and affect within the humanities and creative arts can be identified in Australia, where there is nationally funded interdisciplinary research into the history of emotions [1]. While the study of the emotions can be found across a number of academic disciplines, historically, it was theatrical performance that publicly displayed—as well as challenged—ideas of emotional expression in society. The philosophical complexity of theatre is described in, for example: Aristotle’s expectation of benefit to society from the arousal of pity and fear [2]; Diderot’s appreciation that good actors do not feel the emotion that they portray [3]; and Bertolt Brecht’s rejection of an audience’s uncritical emotional absorption [4]. The complexities of expressed and performed emotion continue to be relevant with the growth of communication technologies in the 21st century.



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