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Invasion! The Culture of Fear in America

Bird Library

04-29-2008 to 09-05-2008


In this lecture, Sean Quimby considers the role of fear in American life. In the post 9/11 world, we have grown accustomed to periodic “terror” alerts, but how did fear figure into the printed discourses of generations past? What, specifically, are Americans really afraid of? Quimby details the Special Collections Research Center’s ongoing project to build research collections that may help us answer these questions. Burgeoning recent scholarship has equipped us with the tools required to examine this elusive topic and, available historical resources—religious tracts, popular psychology texts, eugenics manifestos, self-help, child-rearing and comportment manuals—can help us begin to trace the lineage of fear in America.

Related lecture

Phobia: Collecting in the History of Fear, an illustrated lecture by Sean M. Quimby, Director, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University. View a recording of the lecture.