Dr Thomas Dixon explores history of weeping on BBC Radio 3
Dr Thomas Dixon, explored the cultural history of weeping in a ‘Sunday Feature’ on BBC Radio 3 at 7.45pm on Sunday 27 January 2013.
Dr Dixon, the director of the UK's first Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, explained: "We discussed how tears have been both an inspiration and a response to works of art, asking why we are moved to tears by drama, music, novels and films.
“Some people are very sniffy about tears and fear that crying involves only sentimentality and manipulation. I wanted to dig deeper into the cultural history of tears and discover why some have celebrated weeping as an aesthetic, intellectual, and even religious, response.”
In the programme the medieval autobiography of Margery Kempe, music by Mozart, Gluck, and Schubert, classical tragedies, and modern movies were explored to help answer these questions. Dr Dixon talked to Fiona Shaw, Pete de Bolla, Virginia Eatough, GilesFraser, Ian Bostridge, Matthew Sweet and Simon Goldhill, as well as fellow Queen Mary historian, Professor Miri Rubin.
Dr Dixon is currently writing a book, to be published next year by Oxford University Press, entitled Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears.
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