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Material cultures of care and emotion in Britain and Spain, 1890-1940

Final Report Summary - HISTCARE (Material cultures of care and emotion in Britain and Spain, 1890-1940)

The study of the material culture of the emotions has change dramatically since I started to write my research project. The study of the material elements of our emotional life, once a minor trend in the history of the emotions, is becoming one of the discipline’s most vibrant research areas. An informal community of researchers interested in the materiality of feelings appeared last year. The conference “Emotional Objects: Touching Emotions in History” (London, September 2013) was this community’s main event, and thoughts were exchanged through several blogs (with my own “History on the go” among them) as well as Twitter.
Due to this new interest in the material history of emotions, my scientist in charge and I decided to slightly hasten the research and publication of theoretical material regarding this topic. In this way, we fulfilled the Training Objective (TO) 1 before planned. At the same time, my participation in this network of material historians helped me to fulfil TO2 easily. It had a strong effect on my publication record as well: I have published two papers on this topic in 2015, a book chapter will be published in 2016 and I will participate in a monographic number.
Beside this, I am developing new and interesting projects in the area of the Digital Humanities. Over the last two year I have devoted some of my time to the development of two mobile app for iOS and Android. The first one, on the history of anatomical representations on wax, is entitled Wax Eloquent, and will be released next February, and it is the result of a collaboration with several professionals and European technological firms. The second one, provisionally entitled Tender Points, is being developed in collaboration with the Unit of Family Medicine from the Hospital of La Ribera (Valencia, Spain).
Even more, I have been working on a podcast entitled “De viva voz” (“Out Loud”). “De viva voz” wants to be a tool for teachers to spread the knowledge of classical history books. Aired in Spanish, the two chapters I have produced until this date have been downloaded 100 times, and I personally know that have been recommended in some High Schools from Spain and South America. Eight more chapters will be released in the next four months.
WP1: Research. All the stages of the project are completed. During these two years, my main research objective has been to define the theoretical approach, to define the structure of my future book, and to locate and explore new sources. To do so, I have drawn from many different sources: material culture studies, sociology of interaction, medical anthropology, and nursing studies. I have simultaneously been identifying and pre-evaluating several case studies from Britain and Spain. As a result of this task, I now have a list of interesting archives and sources both in England and in Spain to be deeply explore in the next three years. In addition: 1) Two articles on the relationship between material culture and emotions were published in 2015 (Vínculos de Historia and Revista de Estudios Hispánicos); 2) A third article on the specific nature of a “Hispanic approach” to the history of the Emotions was published in Cuadernos de Historia Contemporánea in 2014; 3) Two more articles on the historical nature of care are under evaluation at this moment. Through these articles I have accomplished my publishing objectives beyond expectative. Regarding the book, and after a careful consideration with the scientist in charge, we decided to slightly change our expectations: 1. Write a book proposal for Palgrave Macmillan’s “Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions”; and 2. Apply for funds to complete the writing of the book. I am proud to say that the second task has been successfully accomplished. I have been awarded with a BBVA Foundation Scholarship.
WP2: Training. My research project comprises a Work Package specifically devoted to increase some of my abilities and skills. Specifically, we decided to strengthen the following areas: a) Teaching; b) Project Management; c) Public Engagement. My scientist in charge and I decided, following the recommendations of the referees, to slightly reduce the hours of this WP, and to redistribute it by increasing the workload during the first year.
WP3: Public Engagement. The majority of the Public Engagement Work Package was planned for the second year of the grant. As I stated in the mid-term report, Worldwrite faced some major changes in its internal structure in 2014 and we could not close an agreement before the summer. As a consequence, I changed my entire public engagement plan. I focused on two major areas: a) Digital humanities: My own approach to digital humanities is shaped by my previous interest in storytelling. I am interested in new media insofar as they can help me to explore new techniques and environments to tell stories. The abovementioned two projects I am actually developing share this primary focus in storytelling; b) Communicating the humanities. My aim is to explore some of the challenges and opportunities that facing scholars in the Humanities. I am particularly concerned with questions of communication, specifically on how to use ICTs to make Humanities research accessible to wider publics. After due considerations, I decided to focus on podcasting as a natural form of communication for academic ideas. I am producing two podcast in collaboration with “Out of the Box”, a cultural association based in Murcia (Spain).