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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Danger Discourse: neo-conformism and the fear of everything

6th February 2019, 17:30 to 18:30, Joachim Room, College of St Hild & St Bede, Dr Staci Newmahr ( State University of New York at Buffalo State)


The 20th century ushered in two devastating world wars and the Great Depression. Now, for the first time in over half a century, the citizens of the U.K. and the U.S. have enjoyed decades of relative peace. In these countries, scientific and technological progress have virtually eliminated diseases that killed millions over the centuries. Our economies are, on the whole, relatively stable, and while poverty persists, it is no longer the norm for most citizens. Yet we are arguably more afraid than any other time in history. We are having panic attacks and identifying as anxiety-disordered. We are dying of heart conditions and clinging more tightly to our children than ever. In a time uniquely characterized by the absence of major cultural trauma, we are terrified.

Civilizations have always used warnings of danger to enforce conformity. Today, however, modern technology has dramatically increased the speed, breadth and reach of the danger discourse, into every aspect of social life, and at every developmental stage. Because of these same technologies, we believe that we live in a world that embraces and celebrates diversity and difference. In this lecture, Dr Newmahr traces connections among the
culture of fear, the ideas of danger and risk, and often-invisible modern
pressures to conform.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Dr Staci Newmahr

Directions to Joachim Room, College of St Hild & St Bede

Map - College of St Hild & St Bede is denoted as building No. 30

Contact for more information about this event.