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Start the Week gets emotional at the Free Thinking Festival

The filmmaker Harriet Shawcross, US diplomat William J Burns, musician Kathryn Tickell and academic Thomas Dixon discuss the language of emotion.

Harriet Shawcross is a film-maker whose first book Unspeakable reflects on how, as a teenager, she stopped speaking at school for almost a year, communicating only when absolutely necessary. It mixes personal experience with travel diaries and interviews. Ambassador William J. Burns is known as America’s ‘secret diplomatic weapon’. Having served five presidents and ten secretaries of state, he has been central to the past four decades’ most consequential foreign policy episodes. Now retired from the US Foreign Service, he is President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has written The Back Channel: American Diplomacy in a Disordered World. Kathryn Tickell is widely acclaimed as the world’s foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes. Presenter for BBC Radio 3's "Music Planet" she has just released Hollowbone with her new band The Darkening. Thomas Dixon was the first director of Queen Mary University of London's Centre for the History of the Emotions. 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. He gave the Free Thinking Lecture 2019 which you can also find as a BBC Arts&Ideas podcast.

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51 minutes