A theatre of emotions: the affective landscape of nineteenth-century British surgery


  • Dr Michael Brown

    University of Roehampton

Project summary

Historians have generally emphasised the importance of emotional detachment and affective restraint in surgical practice. However, this project suggests that the affective repertoire of the nineteenth-century operating theatre was more complex than this, and involved a wide variety of feelings from fear and anxiety to pity and sympathy. It explores the place of emotion in both historical and contemporary surgery through a range of historical and literary sources and methodologies, encompassing both the military and civil worlds.