Colloquium: Love in the time of welfare

  • Date: May 10, 2022
  • Time: 05:00 PM
  • Speaker: Jordanna Bailkin, University of Washington
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for the History of Emotions

The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, led by Prof. Dr. Ute Frevert, cordially presents its summer semester 2022 colloquium.

Jordanna Bailkin, University of Washington

Love in the time of welfare

Was the welfare state the enemy of love? During the political and economic transformations of the decades following the Second World War, many Britons worried that in usurping the caring function of the family, the state had irrevocably altered how people felt about each other, and changed their intimate lives. This talk focuses on the vexed history of the cohabitation rule, designed to keep single women and widows from claiming welfare benefits if they were in fact living with a man. The unforeseen and unpredictable consequences of this rule raised larger questions about who was allowed to feel love - and for whom - in the era of the welfare state. As our pandemic moment has prompted new debates about connection and care, vulnerability and dependence, this paper explores the state’s longer history of designating permissible and impermissible feelings.

Jordanna Bailkin is the Jere L. Bacharach Endowed Professor in International Studies and Professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches British, European, and imperial history. She is the author of The Culture of Property (Chicago, 2004), The Afterlife of Empire (Berkeley, 2012), and Unsettled (Oxford, 2018). Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently working on a book project titled Friends and Neighbors, which is about emotion and the welfare state.


Meeting number: 2742 062 8640
Meeting password: 2sWdNAfjX72

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