Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The unit is designed in five, two-week modules, with introduction and conclusion sessions. The modules focus on key concepts in the historical understanding, practice and expression of emotions in European tradition from 1100–1800, using relevant primary sources and significant secondary references, with reference to historical events that focused intense emotional energies, for example, the Crusades, the Reformation and the French Revolution. These concepts are drawn from and illustrated by historical documents, literary and theatrical texts, examples of visual and material culture, and examples of intellectual discourses on the emotions of various kinds.

The unit includes examination of the changing intellectual, social and cultural significance of concepts such as 'love', 'the passions' and 'empathy', and consideration of major conceptual frameworks within which the role of human emotions have been understood: physiological; psychological, philosophical/theological, political and popular. Attention is also given to the history of 'emotionology': the changing social and cultural regulation of emotional expression. Attention is paid to gendered aspects of these fields of enquiry.

As well as emphasising past understandings of emotions, the unit introduces students to a variety of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the history of emotions. It encourages reflection on the emotional factors that may affect contemporary understanding of the past, and on the continuing effects of European traditions of emotion in contemporary emotional life.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 4 elective
  • Honours option in History [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) recognise and analyse major concepts and terms in the European history of emotions, 1100–1800; (2) identify and analyse the operations of major terms and conceptual frameworks of emotion in a variety of texts from the past: historical documents, literary and theatrical texts; examples of visual culture, and examples of various intellectual discourses of emotion; (3) recognise, understand and analyse major conceptual shifts and other changes in the understanding, practice and expression of emotions in the period 1100–1800; (4) show a working knowledge of the main contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to studying emotions history; (5) give a scholarly, well-researched and illuminating oral presentation on a prepared topic and set of readings in the European history of emotions, 1100–1800; and (6) provide scholarly, well-researched and illuminating discussions of topics and readings in the European history of emotions, 1100–1800.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar attendance, preparedness and contribution; (2) a seminar presentation; and (3) essays. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kirk Essary
Unit rules
eligibility to enter Honours in the following disciplines: English and Cultural Studies.
European Studies.
or Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
or eligibility to enter Master of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week
introduction and conclusion sessions
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.