Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr today visited The University of Western Australia to celebrate the awarding of one of the largest grants ever made to a centre in the area of humanities.
Researchers from the $24.25 million ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, to be directed by UWA historian, Winthrop Professor Philippa Maddern, briefed the Minister on the research to be undertaken by the Centre.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the funding reflected the strength of the University's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the flourishing of arts in the State.
"Emotions shape our mental, physical and social well-being," Professor Maddern said. "Our research will illuminate this crucial aspect of Australia's cultural and social heritage, and invigorate Australian culture through major reflective performances in drama, opera and art.
"By addressing the big question of how societies think, feel and function, it will provide greatly enhanced understandings of how to improve emotional health among modern Australians. It will train and mentor a new generation of young Australian researchers and heighten Australia's international reputation for excellence in humanities and performing arts research," she said.
The centre's funding for a seven-year international collaboration will cement Australia's place at the top of research in medieval and early modern studies. Partners include the National Gallery of Victoria, ABC Television and WA Opera. Work will focus on Europeans' emotional ideas and experiences from 1100 to 1800.
The centre's deputy director, Winthrop Professor Susan Broomhall of the School of Humanities, said understanding the history, origins and changes in emotions informed our perception of how today's societies react to social, political, environmental and other modern challenges.