For our season finale, we will be exploring our ultimate human fear, our number one cognitive dissonance that arguably leads to all our American hysterias, all our archetypes, beliefs, and delusions, our moral panics. We’ll be taking at look at the historical progression of how Americans have dealt with mortality starting with a place known as the Disneyland of Death, then traveling back to learn about the Puritan idea of the Good Death, and then see how the mass casualties of the Civil War and Lincoln’s embalmed corpse changed our relationship to bodies and immortality, all the way up to the present day tech billionaires funding strange new science to live forever. But we’ll also explore how, historically, the deaths of Black people have been treated in an almost polar opposite way to the deaths of white people, and how the echoes of this reality reach into the present day. Through a psychological concept known as the Terror Management Theory, we’ll try to understand how this uniquely human knowledge of our inevitable deaths shapes our psychology, society, and culture.
We will be taking a hiatus for the summer but please stay with us, stay subscribed, follow us on social media or if you can, become a Patron. We love you all so much, thank you for being the best audience we could ever hope for <3
American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers
Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Consider donating to the nonprofits and organizations we mentioned in this episode.
This week's #AmericanHysteriaBookClub (on Instagram) Worm at the Core by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty