Philippa Maddern Prize

The Philippa Maddern Prize is awarded to the best Emotions: History, Culture, Society article of the year.

The criteria for the prize are:

  • an intellectually challenging and persuasive argument
  • persuasive application of emotion theories
  • provides a new and innovative perspective in the field of the history of emotions

Volume 2 (2018) Winner

Erin Sullivan, for her article ‘The Role of the Arts in the History of Emotions: Aesthetic Experience and Emotion as Method’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 2.1 (2018): 113–31.

Erin Sullivan’s essay ‘The Role of the Arts in the History of Emotions: Aesthetic Experience and Emotion as Method’ argues for a stronger inclusion of artistic sources (mainly literature and one might want to add others such as visual arts, music and performances) in the history of emotions. While recent and emerging histories of emotions have considerably opened up a very broad source base to show how every kind of historical document (including mercantile, medical or legal documents) are suitable for exploring historical emotions and their social dynamics, the return to the arts as a source for understanding historical meanings of emotions is very timely. With a robust field of literary scholars, art historians and scholars working in music and performance, a new dialogue between these scholars and those working with more documentary sources is now more possible than ever before.

Sullivan also reminds us in her essay that writing new histories of emotions is not carried out by emotionless scholars. As in other critical fields in the Humanities (for example on gender and race) the vantage points of scholars and their own implicit values and attitudes (including their emotional perspectives) matters and influences our choices of topics, methods and interpretations. A more explicit reflection of how we are situated in our own emotional economies, as advertised by Erin Sullivan, could open up new and exciting conversations in the field of historical emotions research.

Volume 1 (2017) Winner

Ben Gook, for his article ‘Ecstatic Melancholic: Ambivalence, Electronic Music and Social Change around the Fall of the Berlin Wall’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 1.2 (2017): 11–37.

Professor Philippa Maddern was the Founding Director and a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, and Professor of History at The University of Western Australia until her death on 16 June 2014.