Dr Thomas Dixon
Location: Arts Two 2.31
Senior Lecturer in History
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7882 8425
Dr Thomas Dixon joined the School of History in 2007. His PhD (Cambridge) was a study of the history of theories of passions and emotions. Between 2000 and 2003, Dr Dixon held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cambridge, and from 2004 to 2007 he was a Lecturer in History at Lancaster University.
Dr Dixon is Director of the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions and contributes to the Queen Mary History of Emotions Blog. With Professor Ute Frevert, he is co-editor of an Oxford University Press book series, 'Emotions in History, 1500-2000'. Dr Dixon is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a former council-member of the British Society for the History of Science, as well as serving as one of the editors of Journal of Victorian Culture and on the editorial board of Nineteenth Century Studies.
Dr Dixon has pursued three related strands of research within the field of intellectual history: the history of passions and emotions; the history of debates about ‘altruism’, especially in Victorian Britain; and the history of relationships between science and religion. His ongoing research projects investigate the cultural history of modern philosophy, the history of emotional education, Stoicism and weeping.
Dr Dixon's Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction, won the 2009 Dingle Prize, awarded biennially by the British Society for the History of Science for the best book in the field accessible to a wide readership, and in 2010 he presented The End of God? A Horizon Guide to Science and Religion on BBC Four. An accompanying feature article is available on the BBC News website. A 2009 article for History Today about Darwinism and religion in Britain and America is available online as part of the Darwin Correspondence Project's resources on Darwin and religion.
A review of Dr Dixon's book The Invention of Altruism (2008) can be read online at IHR Reviews in History.
In 2011, a BBC News magazine article based on Dr Dixon's research into the history of weeping and the British 'stiff upper lip' was published in conjunction with a BBC Four programme about crying presented by Jo Brand. In 2012 Dr Dixon was the academic consultant for a three-part BBC Two series, Ian Hislop's Stiff Upper Lip: An Emotional History of Britain. In January 2013 he presented a 'Sunday Feature' on BBC Radio 3 on the cultural history of weeping.
Dr Dixon is interested in hearing from students interested in writing dissertations and theses on topics that would fall under the following headings:
- History of passions, emotions, feelings and sensibility.
- Cultural and social history of philosophy and philosophers.
- Intellectual and cultural history of modern Britain since the eighteenth century.
- History of science, medicine, psychiatry, and sexuality.
- History of religion.
‘Enthusiasm Delineated: Varieties of Weeping in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, Litteraria Pragensia: Studies in Literature and Culture 22 (2012): 59–81. Open Access. See table of contents and abstracts for whole issue here.
'Revolting Passions', Modern Theology 27 (2011): 298-312; reprinted in Faith, Rationality and the Passions, ed. Sarah Coakley (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pp. 181-195.
‘Darwin, religión y ciencia’ in Historia, Medicina, y Ciencia en Torno a Darwin (Madrid: Fundación de Ciencias de la Salud/British Council, 2008), pp. 149-62.
'Patients and Passions: Languages of Medicine and Emotion, 1789-1850', in Fay Bound Alberti (ed.), Medicine, Emotion, and Disease, 1750-1950 (Palgrave, 2006), pp 22-52.
'Religion and Science', in John Hinnells (ed), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (London: Routledge, 2005), pp 456-472; second edition (2009), pp. 509-525.
'The Invention of Altruism: Auguste Comte's Positive Polity and Respectable Unbelief in Victorian Britain', in D Knight and M Eddy (eds), Science and Beliefs: From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp 195-211.
'Agnosticism', 'Altruism' and 'Natural Theology', in Maryanne Cline Horowitz (ed), New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (New York: Scribner's, 2004).
'Herbert Spencer and Altruism: The Sternness and Kindness of a Victorian Moralist', in Greta Jones and Robert A. Peel (eds), Herbert Spencer: The Intellectual Legacy (London: Galton Institute, 2004), pp 85-124.
(ed) The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Brown (1778-1820), 8 vols. (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2003).
'Looking beyond "the rumpus about Moses and monkeys": Religion and the Sciences in the Nineteenth Century', Nineteenth-Century Studies, 17 (2003), 25-33.
‘Scientific Atheism as a Faith Tradition', Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 33 (2002), 337-59.
Victorian Values: Religion Sex, Race, and Deviance in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Level 5)
The Lives of Oscar Wilde (Level 6)