Emotional Objects is run by Alice Dolan and Sally Holloway.

Sally’s doctoral research on the material culture of romantic love initiated her interest in what objects reveal about emotions, and both she and Alice agreed that it would be an ideal topic for an interdisciplinary conference. The conference at the Institute of Historical Research in 2013 provided an invaluable opportunity to bring together people who wouldn’t otherwise meet, and spend two days talking about what we could learn by combining material culture and the emotions. Conference podcasts can be found at http://www.history.ac.uk/podcasts/emotional-objects-touching-emotions-europe-1600-1900

Sally Holloway completed her AHRC-funded PhD at Royal Holloway in 2013, supervised by Professor Amanda Vickery. She is currently an Affiliated Research Scholar at the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, and an Associate Researcher at Historic Royal Palaces. Sally has been awarded fellowships at Chawton House Library and the Australian Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, and currently teaches at Richmond and Oxford Brookes. She is co-editing a collection entitled Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions through History with Stephanie Downes and Sarah Randles of the University of Melbourne.

http://royalholloway.academia.edu/SallyHolloway Twitter: @sally_holloway

Alice Dolan is the Economic History Society Anniversary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Resarch and is researching how industrialisation affected working-class dress in England from 1800 to 1850. Her thesis ‘The Fabric of Life: Linen and Life Cycle in English Daily Life c.1678-1810’ explored the social and cultural meanings of linen and how relationships with linen were influenced by life cycle, status, gender and geography. She blogs about her research at https://alicedolan.wordpress.com/

Alice’s penultimate thesis chapter investigates how far linen was an emotional material, whether its intimate relationship with the body as underwear and bed sheets increased or diminished its emotional value. She has developed her interest in objects through work and study at the V&A, Winterthur Museum, Delaware and the Ashmolean, Oxford.

http://herts.academia.edu/AliceDolan  Twitter: @AliceDolinen

We would like to thank

The European Research Council, who funded the conference via Professor John Styles’ Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project.

The Foundling Museum, for use of the background image which displays tokens that parents left with their infants as they renounced them at the London Foundling Hospital.

Foundling Hospital Tokens © Foundling Museum.



  1. Just to let you know, I have nominated your blog for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

    You can find out more about this award in my blog post – http://hspheritage.com/2014/02/07/sisterhood/

    I hope you have the time to pass on this award to some other people 🙂

  2. […] emotions and materiality are in the process of being investigated much more widely in history (see Emotional Objects website) and though I do some reading in the area I’m still uncertain about the methodology of this kind […]

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