University of Adelaide
I am a historian of emotions and family life, especially during a long eighteenth century. I am interested in how ideas about emotions within families have changed over time; how these ideas and people’s experiences of emotions shape the dynamics of family life, and how ideas about emotion and family are transmitted across generations. I have written about almost every type of family relationship, and on children who are fostered, cared for by institutions, or in kinship care. My new work takes a particular interest in how ideas of family shape who we think we are and how we behave in the world; I am especially interested in ‘long lineages’, that is ideas about family and identity that we pass down over many generations, perhaps for hundreds of years. I think that a lot of history and current understandings of the past is learned through the family and exploring that dynamic can help us explain how people use the past today.
The photograph here is a picture of my gran, mum and her sister (my aunt), and some of my cousins, many years ago, at my gran’s house in Scotland. Everyone in this picture is now an adult and many of us have children of our own. As the oldest grandchild, I remember when she moved into his house and later when she moved out. It was always full to the brim with ‘stuff’, as she was an avid collector of ornaments, art and interesting things. When she moved out, several of us cousins – at the right age to be starting homes of our own – were given things as she downsized. The furniture and objects we played amongst as children then helped us out on our own journey to adulthood, helping us make ‘homes’ that were both our own but reflected our family heritage.
My profile can be found at https://researchers.adelaide.edu.au/profile/katie.barclay