We are delighted to announce that this year the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Western Australia Essay Prize has been awarded jointly to Andrea Brady and David Thorley, for their contributions to Volume 1: Emotions in History.
Andrea Brady, Professor of Poetry at Queen Mary University of London, has been recognised for her excellent article, ‘The Physics of Melting in Early Modern Poetry’.
Melting is a familiar trope in early modern erotic poetry, where it can signify the desire to transform the beloved from icy chastity through the warmth of the lover’s passion. However, this Petrarchan convention can be defamiliarised by thinking about the experiences of freezing and melting in this period. Examining melting in the discourses of early modern meteorology, medicine, proverb, scientific experiments, and preservative technologies, as well as weather of the Little Ice Age and the exploration of frozen hinterlands, this essay shows that our understanding of seeming constants – whether they be the physical properties of water or the passions of love – can be modulated through attention to the specific histories of cognition and of embodiment.
David Thorley, who recently received his doctorate from the University of Durham, likewise contributed an outstanding article entitled ‘The Melancholy of Henry More’. You can also read David’s guest post on this topic on the Ceræ blog here.
This article treats Henry More’s philosophical approach to melancholy and his personal experience of the disease. Koen Vermeir argues that, in approaching the imagination philosophically, More was performing a ‘balancing act’ between addressing the subject as a medium between soul and body, and regarding it as a non-corporeal vehicle of reason and the spirit. ‘In his life’, Vermeir adds, ‘More was also performing a balancing act’: both an opponent of and subject to enthusiasm. In this article, I give closer scrutiny to that balancing act, charting the points of distinction and overlap between More’s philosophy of and encounters with melancholy. In the search for relief for his symptoms, I argue, More deployed two significant (and related) techniques: practicing philosophy and engaging in epistolary correspondence.
Although the prize committee has chosen to distinguish these two authors, we would like to recognise the high quality of the other contributions to the first volume. We are looking forward to publishing Volume 2: Transitions, Fractions and Fragments throughout 2015, and would like to remind readers that we accept non-themed submissions at any time throughout the year.
Ceræ is committed to open-access publishing, exploring the possibilities of the digital humanities, and forging a strong community of medieval and early modern scholars in the Australasian region. If you would like to support our publication of this journal, and assist us to continue offering prizes to recognise our contributors, you can make a pledge through PayPal, or contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.