CIDRAL Public Lecture: Massimo Fusillo: 'Negative Empathy, Fear, Catharsis: An Intermedial Itinerary'
|Starts:||17:00 5 Oct 2017|
|Ends:||19:00 5 Oct 2017|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, Post 16|
This event is part of CIDRAL's programme for the 2017/18 academic year, 'Constraints of Creativity'.
Massimo Fusillo (University of L'Aquila) will deliver a public lecture entitled 'Negative Empathy, Fear, Catharsis: An Intermedial Itinerary'.
Literature on empathy has enormously increased in the last decades, especially from the point of view of neuroscience and neuroaesthetics. Scholars, however, have been focussing especially on the ethical dimension of empathy: on the identification with the victims which is also highlighted by the political use of this concept (the famous Obama’s speech). This paper focuses instead on the empathy with negative characters, which can have a strong cathartic and social function, as a discharge of destructive drives, and is often linked to the representation of fear and other strong emotions.
The paper will analyse the intersection between negative empathy and fear through various examples taken from different historical contexts, literary genres and media: Shakespeare’s Macbeth and its rich reception (especially Verdi’s operatic adaptation), Dostoevsky’s The Possessed, Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, the high quality TV fiction Breaking Bad, highlighting their focus on the themes of power, war, social terror and anxiety.
Travel and Contact Information