Seminar: The Forms of Jealousy in Early Modern Europe

Friday 8 September 2023
12:00 (AEST) online only

Bradley J. Irish – History of Emotions Seminar
(Associate Professor, Arizona State University)

In broad, prototypical terms, the English concept of “jealousy” has maintained a relatively stable meaning over the last 500 years, referring to the painful feelings triggered when one’s claim to something is threatened by a rival. Yet, relative to modern understandings of this emotion, the early modern theorization of jealousy was hypercognized: the 16th and 17th Century English discourse of jealousy had a robustness and richness that doesn’t endure to the present day. This talk will review the features of early modern jealousy, to show some of the surprising ways that the emotion was thought about in the period, with aims of demonstrating that jealousy had an oversized place in the affective world of Renaissance England.

Bradley J. Irish is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University, where
he studies the literary and cultural history of emotion in early modern England. He is
the author of Emotion in the Tudor Court: Literature, History, and Early Modern Feeling (Northwestern UP, 2018), Shakespeare and Disgust: The History and Science of Early Modern Revulsion (Bloomsbury, 2023), and the forthcoming The Universality of Emotion: Perspectives from the Sciences and Humanities (Cambridge UP, 2024), and is co-editor of Positive Emotions in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Manchester UP, 2021) and The Routledge Companion to Literature and Emotion (Routledge, 2024). He is co-Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary journal Emotion Review, and curates the digital project Sources of Early Modern Emotion in English, 1500-1700 (