Queen's University

Titanic 100th anniversary

2012-04-17

Queen’s University Languages, Literatures and Cultures professor Jill Scott is available to talk about the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on Sunday, April 15.

Dr. Scott, who researches the social dynamics of mourning, argues that the public outrage and shock in 1912 was not just about the death of 1,514 people, but the loss of an engineering marvel on its maiden voyage.

“At the time, life expectancy was much shorter and the value placed on a human life was different. Life was short and brutal, and people were encouraged to see death as a welcome reprieve from the suffering of poverty and sickness. The real shock was the loss of the fantasy of endless technological progress. In 1912, just before the First World War, there was tremendous optimism about technology and so there was great grief at the fact that the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic, a wonder of modern engineering, was not invincible and that the ship itself was lost,” says Dr. Scott, author of Electra after Freud: Myth and Culture and A Poetics of Forgiveness.

Dr. Scott can also talk about how the social dynamics of public mourning have changed over the past century. In the Edwardian age, public displays of emotion were not acceptable and mourning was on the one hand structured by certain public rituals and in other ways a deeply private affair.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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