This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 26 May 2020, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Location:
  • Audience: Open to staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Loneliness is described as a mental health crisis, a pandemic, with serious physical and psychological consequences. In 2018 the UK became the first country in the world to select a Minister for Loneliness. The US, Germany and Switzerland may follow suit. In the wake of another pandemic, Covid-19, the problems of loneliness have accelerated. By April 2020 half the world’s population were in lockdown, with social isolation and social distancing becoming the new normal.

Despite widespread concern about lockdown loneliness, there has been little discussion of its meanings – of the differences between loneliness and isolation, its sensory effects, the benefits and limits of social media, and the ways in which loneliness is experienced differently according to circumstance. Or, conversely, when loneliness might even be beneficial. Exploring the meanings of loneliness across times and cultures, Fay Bound Alberti asks what history might reveal about lockdown loneliness during, and after, Covid-19. 

Dr Fay Bound Alberti

Dr Fay Bound Alberti is a Reader in History at the University of York and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. 
She has published widely on the histories of emotion, the body, medicine and gender, and has researched and lectured at a number of UK universities, including University College London, Lancaster, Queen Mary University of London, and Manchester. She joined the University of York with a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship in May 2019.
As befits the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, Fay has had a diverse career, which includes co-founding the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, advising the Nuffield Institute on Bioethics on cosmetic surgery, and managing charitable funds, including the Rausing’s family fund Arcadia, and the Wellcome Trust’s Medical Humanities and Ethics scheme. 
Her books include Matters of the Heart: History, Medicine, Emotion and This Mortal Coil: The Human Body in History and Culture. Her most recent book A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion with Oxford University Press is out now. For more information see her website.