Edinburgh annual lectures

Sad Love: Beyond the Fairytale

Meet ‘philosophy’s crazy ex-girlfriend,’ Professor Carrie Jenkins, at this year’s annual joint event between the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Institute of Philosophy, as we explore the age-old question: what is love really?

What if your happy ever after… isn’t? All those promises of a Disneyfied love story nowhere to be found? Join Professor Carrie Jenkins as we explore why the pursuit of a “happy ever after” isn’t all it seems to be and why we should give sadness – and other ‘negative’ emotions – a second look. As we attempt to understand what love really is, we will ask questions like: what makes a meaningful love story, and how do people, our environment, communities, and our culture influence our understanding of love?

Professor Jenkins will encourage us to see love through the lens of eudaimonia – a love that is collaborative, creative, and dynamic, oriented towards meaning, giving room to the full spectrum of human experience and emotion.

  • Speaker

    Professor Carrie Jenkins

    Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

    Carrie Jenkins is an author and philosophy professor who grew up in Wales and now lives on the territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people (known colonially as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). Describing herself as ‘philosophy’s crazy ex-girlfriend,’ she has a distinguished track record of publication in philosophy and now works at the intersection of academic philosophy and the creative arts. Her non-fiction books include What Love Is and What It Could Be (2017, Basic Books) and Sad Love: Romance and the Search for Meaning (2022, Polity). Carrie also writes poetry and fiction. Her first novel, Victoria Sees It (2021, Penguin Random House Canada) was shortlisted for the Frye Academy Award and the BC Yukon Book Prizes.