OpenCampus Tea-Time Talk - Creative Conversations
Speaker: Dr Richard Meek, School of Arts, University of Hull.
Sympathy is a word and a concept with a rich and fascinating history. Today we understand ‘sympathy’ as a feeling of shared suffering that can bind individuals together; yet sympathy seems to be increasingly contested in the 21st century, with the ongoing migrant crisis, political division, and a resurgent nationalism across the globe. This talk will explore the emergence of the word ‘sympathy’ in the 16th century, and considers the relevance of its original development for our own understanding of sympathy, compassion, and empathy in the present. The paper examines the early appearances of the word in a range of texts from the Renaissance, including sermons, scientific treatises, and political tracts. I go on to argue that poets and playwrights – in particular William Shakespeare – played a key role in associating the words ‘sympathy’ and ‘sympathize’ with ideas of compassion, commiseration, and fellow-feeling.
Free Admission - All welcome – Booking is required, please visit: http://libcal.hull.ac.uk/event/3302757