The Emotional Object: Seminar/Workshop of Interest @ The University of Western Australia

“The Emotional Object: The Materiality of Friendship, Longing and Trust Among Dutch Migrants in Denmark and Beyond”, Dr Jette Linaa (Moesgaard Museum, Denmark)

Date: Monday 12 September, 2016
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Venue: Philippa Maddern Seminar Room, Arts 1.33, The University of Western Australia
Registration: This is a free event but places are limited due to the venue. Please RSVP to Pam Bond if you wish to attend.

This seminar/workshop is organised by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, in conjunction with the Discipline of Archeology at The University of Western Australia, with objects kindly supplied by the Western Australian Museum.

The presence of foreign material culture is abundantly documented in many Danish archaeological publications, and written sources speak clearly of large and influential diaspora communities, mainly of German and Dutch origin, occupying elite positions in many Scandinavian urban centers. Especially the 16th century saw a marked increase, and up to one third of the citizens of the larger cities were of foreign origin around 1600.

Nevertheless, foreign objects (books, paintings and prints and porcelain cups as well as Italian and Spanish majolica plates and jars) have rarely been seen in an ethnic/cultural framework as representing evidence of the emotions of these foreigners, negotiation feelings of loss, community, friendship and trust through the use and exchange of objects. In Danish historical archaeology these objects have seen as evidence of trade; the presence of immigrants has barely been investigated and the emotional significance of these objects are so far under researched. This seminar challenges this by focusing on the emotional value of these objects as tokens of friendship, longing and trust based on the following research questions:

  • Who possessed the objects?
  • What were the emotional value of these objects?
  • How did the emotional value formed over time and how is this mirrored in the material culture that we know from history and archaeology?
  • How did the emotional objects negotiate feelings of longing, friendship and trust in the migrant worldview?

Dr. Jette Linaa is a curator in Historical Archaeology at Moesgaard Museum, Denmark and a lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, University of Aarhus and at the Department of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southern Denmark. She is currently the head of the Danish Council for Independent Research/Humanities project: Urban Diaspora: Diaspora Communities and Materiality in Early Modern Urban centres (2014-2017). This cross-national and cross-disciplinary research project unites 14 archaeologists, historians and scientists from 10 universities and museum in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands in the first large-scale effort to explore the materiality of migration in Scandinavia and beyond 1400-1700.