CFP: Emotion, Ritual and Power in Europe: 1200 to the Present, Adelaide, Feb 2014

Closing date for proposals: 31st August 2013

Emotion, Ritual and Power in Europe: 1200 to the Present,
ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: Europe, 1200-1800,
University of Adelaide,
11-12 February 2014.  

The relationship between emotion, ritual and power has been at the heart of anthropological research for over a century, yet it is only recently that the emotions, rather than the ritual, have moved to the centre of the academic debate. This shift in focus has been motivated both by Renato Rosaldo’s observation that some rituals are designed to manage emotions (such as grief), as much as rituals are designed to create emotion in the participants. Equally, the growth of the field of emotionology has led to greater complexity in the understanding of how emotions work in cultural context. The relationship between ritual and the creation, maintenance and destabilisation of power has not gone unexplored given the centrality of ritual to religious practice and to institutional structures, yet the place emotion plays in the relationship between ritual and power has received less attention, particularly in an historical context. This collaboratory, hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, will explore the nature of these relationships, seeking to better understand how emotions act within ritual to inform balances of power. We are particularly interested in the ways that rituals and emotions have changed over time, and the ways that rituals, emotions and power have been implicated in processes of change and continuity.

Papers are now sought that address this theme within a European context, or explore European emotions in a global context, between 1200 and the present day. Within the bigger conference theme, papers may wish to explore, but are not limited to:
• the relationship between rituals and routines and where these cross over;
• where rituals happen – the household, the street, sacred spaces, institutions – and its implications;
• the emotional resonances of objects and texts (including visual culture and architecture) in rituals;
• types of rituals – rites of passage, religious ceremonies, state-sponsored spectacles – and their emotional contexts;
• individual emotions v. collective emotions, and participant v. audience emotions;
• rituals that inform different types of power, including personal, familial, community, institutional and national;
• the interplay of facets of identity, such as gender, class and ethnicity in ritual;
• the dynamics and performance of ritual and how it is informed by emotion or in turn creates emotion;
• rituals and change over time v. rituals as static/traditional;
• and boredom as emotion in ritual contexts.

Rituals could include: public and private executions; coronations and state rituals; religious rites (baptism, weddings, confirmation); rituals associated with festivals; food and cleanliness rituals; family rituals, such as household prayers, bedding rituals, and childbirth rituals. Interdisciplinary perspectives are particularly welcome.

It is intended that the proceedings of this collaboratory will be published as an edited collection.

Call for papers: 31 August 2013
Notification of acceptance: 20 September 2013
Full papers for circulation: 13 January 2014
10-15 min presentations of full papers: 11-12 February 2014

Abstracts of no more than 500 words, and a short bio, should be emailed to both Merridee Bailey,, and Katie Barclay, by the deadline of the 31 August 2013. Questions or queries can also be addressed to the above.

Visit the website at,-ritual-and-power-in-europe-1200-to-the-present.aspx?page=2


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