Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College guest speaker to discuss use of fear in U.S. media and politics

Lycoming College guest speaker to discuss use of fear in U.S. media and politics

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Margee Kerr, Ph.D., medical sociologist at Ursinus College and the University of Pittsburgh, will deliver a lecture titled, “Hijacking fear: the use of fear in U.S. media and politics,” on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in Heim Room G-09. The lecture will explore how and why fear is used to motivate action, why we often fear the wrong things, and how we can understand our fears and make sure they are working for us. This presentation is free and open to the public.

The event is part of a series of lectures at Lycoming College that address a common theme on campus during the Fall semester 2018: “Goosebumps: The cultural and biological responses to fear.”

Kerr is an author and the co-investigator on a first-of-its-kind study that measures how the brain and body respond to “fun-scary” experiences like thrill rides, paranormal experiences, and haunted attractions. Her book “SCREAM: Chilling Adventures in the Science of fear” was published in May 2017, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Parade, Atlantic Monthly, and NPR’S Science Friday.

Kerr received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and currently teaches and conducts research on fear, specifically how and why people engage with “scary” material.

This event is sponsored by the first-year seminar class of Justin Medina-Lopez, Ph.D., The Lycoming Scholars Program, and the Keiper Recreation Center.