Embodied Emotions

Award Holder

Alistair Campbell

Higher Education Institute

Department of Drama & Centre for the History of the Emotions
Queen Mary, University of London


The Embodied Emotions project is led by Ali Campbell (QMUL, Drama) in collaboration with Thomas Dixon (Director of the QMUL Centre for the History of the Emotions), Clare Whistler (independent performance artist and opera director), and film maker Bhavesh Hindocha.


The project will use academic research and artistic practice to examine current educational policy goals and deliver innovative classroom practices.


Since 2005 the government has been promoting new initiatives to develop 'Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning' (SEAL). In April 2009, Sir Jim Rose published his Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum. One of his report's four priorities is 'Personal Development'. Under the heading 'Essentials for Learning and Life', Rose expresses the hope that the new curriculum will help children manage their own feelings and become aware of the feelings of others. He recommends role-play and drama as ways to develop these emotional skills, and makes approving mention of a project piloted in Durham enabling children to create dance sequences expressing their emotions.


Embodied Emotions will develop a an educational programme, in consultation with a primary school in East London, to help deliver such objectives as these, bringing together historians, performers, educators, and children to investigate how bodily movements and facial expressions mediate between inward feelings and the outside world.


This work will expand the community-based applied performance practice developed by Ali Campbell, in consultation with Clare Whistler, over several years. Other outcomes of Embodied Emotions will include a journal article, a series of short films, and a one-day event in August 2010. Queen Mary, University of London is an international focus for research into the emotions, thanks to its interdisciplinary Centre for the History of the Emotions, launched in November 2008.


See also:

Project poster/leaflet

QMUL press release.

Antidote blog

Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.