What is it good for?

Historian of emotions Thomas Dixon completes his personal odyssey through the history, feelings, and meanings of angry emotions. In this episode, he asks whether domestic, everyday anger is the same thing as political anger, and wonders about the relationship between angry dads, angry protesters, and emotional health.

Thomas hates his own anger and dreams of a world with no anger, but learns reasons that others see it as politically essential. Backstage at the 2019 Free Thinking Festival in Sage Gateshead, Thomas talks to Matthew Dodd of BBC Radio 3 about being an angry dad, and hears from Professor Kehinde Andrews about the importance of anger for Malcolm X. In a conversation about male privilege, sexual violence, and political anger, Thomas is guided by Dr Fern Riddell towards evidence of the fury and violence of suffragettes in the 1910s.

Neuroscientist Sarah Garfinkel talks about the possibility of protesting without angry emotions, and Thomas ends up pondering whether disagreements about the necessity and value of political anger reveal underlying differences of both class and philosophy. And finally, what can a Stoic philosopher such as Seneca teach us about anger and emotional health?

Contributors: Matthew Dodd, Fern Riddell, Kehinde Andrews, Charlotte Rose Millar, Sarah Garfinkel.

The voice of Christabel Pankhurst: Karina Fernandez

Presenter: Thomas Dixon
Producer: Natalie Steed

Did you like this episode, or did it fill you with rage? Let us know what you thought by contacting us at @emotionshistory, or email emotions@qmul.ac.uk.

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The Emotions Lab