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20 Words for Joy ... Feelings Around the World.: Aatish Taseer, Veronica Strang and Thomas Dixon at the Free Thinking Festival.

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We talk about “human emotion” as if all people, everywhere, feel the same. But three thinkers with an international perspective discuss how the expression and interpretation of emotions differs around the world. China specialist and Radio 3 presenter Rana Mitter hosts this Free Thinking Festival discussion.

Aatish Taseer is a writer and journalist who was born in London, grew up in New Delhi and now lives in Manhattan. His first novel, The Temple-Goers was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. His latest book is The Twice Born: Life and death on the Ganges. Among other publications he has written for Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.

Thomas Dixon was the first director of Queen Mary University of London's Centre for the History of the Emotions, the first of its kind in the UK. He is currently researching anger and has explored the histories of friendship, tears, and the British stiff upper lip in books Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears and The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain. You can hear his Free Thinking Festival Lecture here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0756nqp

Veronica Strang is an environmental anthropologist at Durham University who has researched with indigenous communities in Australia for many years. Her book Uncommon Ground: Landscape, Values and the Environment is about understanding people’s emotional and imaginative attachments to places. She recently assisted the United Nations with research exploring cultural and spiritual values in relation to water.

Producer: Zahid Warley

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