Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Nany Tomes, “Gruesome Looking Objects” Spring 2023 Colloquium Series

February 1, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Department of American Studies – Spring 2023 Colloquium Series

Gruesome Looking Objects: A New History of Lynching and Everyday Things

Nancy Tomes, a historian at Stony Brook, is visiting the National Humanities Center this year to work on a project on the history of “infodemics” a propos of COVID. She’ll be speaking to the Bullitt History of Medicine Club at the med school on Feb 1 at noon. This will be a hybrid event, so you can follow from the comfort of your own space or join us in Mary Ellen Jones bldg (with pizza). Title and abstract below.

“Panic in the Streets: Historical reflections on fear-based media messaging during acute public health crises”

Nancy Tomes, Distinguished professor of History, Stony Brook University
In public health, fear-based campaigns are regarded (rightly so) with caution and concern because their side effects of stigma and scapegoating can be so toxic. Those worries have been shaped by an awareness of the formidable power of traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV) and now the “new” social media to amplify public health messaging in unexpected and undesirable ways. In this talk, Tomes will present a brief history of what she terms the “panic problem” in American public health practice to stimulate a discussion of these questions: how do we motivate people to act in a public health crisis without inducing some degree of fear? Is there a place for healthy fear in public health messaging today and if so, what would it look like?


February 1, 2023
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm