Disaster, Death and the Emotions in the Shadow of the Apocalypse

The University of Melbourne, September 1st-2nd, 2012

This symposium will explore the different ways that communities and individuals understood disaster and mass death in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the impact of human emotions in shaping these understandings.


Dagmar Eichberger (Trier), John Gagné (Sydney), Sigrun Haude (Cincinnati), Fredrika Jacobs (Virginia Commonwealth), Erika Kuijpers (Leiden), David Lederer (NUI Maynooth), Dolly MacKinnon (UQ), Louise Marshall (Sydney), Una McIlvenna (Sydney), Gerrit Schenk (Heidelberg & Darmstadt), Peter Sherlock (MCD), Patricia Simons (Michigan – Ann Arbor), Jeffrey Chipps Smith (Texas at Austin), Jenny Spinks (Melbourne), Stephanie Trigg (Melbourne), Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge) and Charles Zika (Melbourne) (full program below).

Venue: Graduate House, 220 Leicester Street, The University of Melbourne

Dates: Saturday 1st   8.30 am – 6.00pm and Sunday 2 September 2012 9.00 am – 6.00 pm

Convenors: Dr Jenny Spinks, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne Prof Charles Zika, Professorial Fellow, SHAPS, and Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, The University of Melbourne

Open to the Public – Places Limited

Registration: Both Days $80 full, $40 Student/Unwaged, Single day $50 full, $25 Student/Unwaged. Lunch and morning and afternoon tea are included. For catering purposes, registrations need to be finalised by Friday 24th August.

For online registration, visit: http://ecommerce.arts.unimelb.edu.au and look under “School of Historical and Philosophical Studies”. ALL enquiries about registration should be directed to Jessica Scott – jessica.scott@unimelb.edu.au

The symposium will coincide with the exhibition ‘The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster’ at the National Gallery of Victoria (31 August 2012 – 31 January 2013), curated by Petra Kayser, Cathy Leahy, Jenny Spinks and Charles Zika. For more details see:

Symposium Website: http://www.historyofemotions.org.au/upcoming-events/disaster,-death-and-the-emotions-in-the-shadow-of-the-apocalypse.aspx

Full Program
For full abstracts see the symposium website.
Saturday 1 September
8.30 Coffee on arrival
9.00 – 9.30 Welcome, and introduction to key issues (Jenny Spinks and Charles Zika)
9.30 – 10.20 Gerrit Schenk, The University of Darmstadt and the University of Heidelberg (History), Disastro, Catastrophe, and Divine Judgement – Words, Terms, Concepts and Images for Threats to Social Order in the long Middle Ages
10.20 – 11.05 Louise Marshall, The University of Sydney (Art History): ‘God’s Executioners: Angels, Devils and the Plague in Giovanni Sercambi’s Illustrated Chronicle (1400)’
11.05 – 11.30 am morning tea
11.30 – 1.00 Dagmar Eichberger, The University of Trier and the University of Heidelberg (Art History): ‘Framing warfare and destruction in Old Testament stories and in depictions of historic events’
Erika Kuijpers, Leiden University (History): ‘Expressions of Fear, Counting the  Loss: Managing Emotions in War Chronicles in the Netherlands (1568-1648)’
1.00 – 1.50 lunch
1.50 – 4.00 John Gagné, The University of Sydney (History): ‘Bodies in the Calamità d’Italia (1494-1559): Parts, Numbers, Politics’
Jenny Spinks, The University of Melbourne (History): ‘Civil War Violence and the Collapse of the Natural Order in French Print Culture during the Wars of Religion’
Peter Sherlock, MCD University of Divinity (History): ‘War, Memory and Emotion: Commemorating the Dead in mid-seventeenth century England’
4.00 – 4.25 afternoon tea
4.25 – 5.50 Dolly MacKinnon, The University of Queensland (History): ‘”Jangled the Belles, and with fearefull outcry, raysed the secure Inhabitants”: Picturing fear, and triggering memory in the early modern East Anglian landscape’
Stephanie Trigg, The University of Melbourne (English & Theatre): ‘The Great Fire of London and the History of Emotions’
Sunday 2 September
9.30 – 11.00 Jeffrey Chipps Smith, The University of Texas at Austin (Art History): ‘The Destruction of Magdeburg in 1631: The Art of a Disastrous Victory’
Sigrun Haude, The University of Cincinnati (History): ‘The Experience of Disaster during the Thirty Years’ War: Autobiographical Writings by Religious in Bavaria’
11.00 – 11.30 morning tea
11.30 – 1.00 Patricia Simons, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Art History): ‘Desire after Disaster: Lot and his Daughters’
Fredrika Jacobs, Virginia Commonwealth University (Art History): ‘Shared Experience, Visual Diversity & Response Theory: Imaging the Catastrophic’
1.00 – 1.55 lunch
1.55 – 4.05 Charles Zika, The University of Melbourne (History): ‘Apocalyptic Disaster and Emotions in Sixteenth-Century Europe’
David Lederer, The National University of Ireland Maynooth (History): ‘Murder/Suicide in the Media during the Little Ice Age’
Una McIlvenna, The University of Sydney (Medieval & Early Modern Studies):‘Ballads of Death and Disaster: The Role of Song in Early Modern News Transmission’
4.05 – 4.30 afternoon tea
4.30 – 5.15 Alexandra Walsham, University of Cambridge (History): ‘Deciphering Divine Wrath: Providentialism and Emotion in Early Modern England’.
5 – 5.45  Wrap up (Jenny Spinks and Charles Zika)