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Fellow 2023/2024Katie Barclay

Fellowship Term: 10/2023 – 02/2024

Katie Barclay is Professor, Head of Historical and Classical Studies, and Director of the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender at the University of Adelaide. She was Deputy Director of the ARC Centre for Excellence in the History of Emotions from 2019 to 2022. Barclay studied at the University of Glasgow and worked in the UK at the Institute of Historical Research, university of Warwick and Queen’s University, Belfast, before emigrating to Australia. Barclay writes widely in the area of the History of Emotions, gender and family life. Her books include Caritas: Neighbourly Love and the Early Modern Self (Oxford, 2021), Academic Emotions: Feeling the institution (Cambridge, 2021), The History of Emotions: A Student Guide to Sources and Methods (London, 2020), Men on Trial: Performing Emotion, Embodiment and Identity in Ireland, 1800-1845 (Manchester, 2019) and Love, Intimacy and Power: Marriage and Patriarchy in Scotland, 1650-1850 (Manchester, 2011). This project emerges from the research that explores how children and families build futures in times of significant crises.

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In the Spotlight: Katie Barclay

Katie Barclay

How to Feel Safe at the End of the World: Safety and Security for Early Modern Families

This project aims to understand how early modern communities created conditions to feel safe during times of significant and existential crisis, revealing how ideas of safety, security and hope for the future were conceived and enacted in practice. It does this using a case study of early modern European families, considering how families and children imagined futures for themselves during events like famine, plague, war, the ‘Little Ice Age’, and as part of millenarian movements (groups who believed the end of the world was nigh). It brings methodologies from the History of Emotions to consider the emotional and wellbeing dimensions of living through uncertainty and imagining safety and security. A key research focus I show families persisted in challenging times and built resilience within the next generation. The project also explores how this cultural history can inform parents, teachers, children and youth to manage anxiety, build hope and improve their life opportunities. This historical perspective on a contemporary problem has the benefit of supporting families struggling with today’s changing world. Findings will be disseminated through a monograph, and a series of articles and book chapters.