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Videomitschnitte der Lunch Lecture Reihe "Fear"


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less”, Marie Skłodowska Curie reportedly once said. Especially in these times, Europe seems to be more obsessed with fear than with understanding.

Fear belongs to a small set of basic, hardly controllable emotions, and is induced by real, perceived, or anticipated physical or emotional danger, especially a threat to body or life. More often, however, we fear situations that are far from life-or-death. Fear response (most notably fleeing, hiding, or freezing) has played an important part in evolution since appropriate behavioral responses to fear serve survival. There are rational and irrational fears, individual and collective fears. In post-WW II European societies, especially the societies of Western Europe, for example, fear predominantly became something very individual, and typically did not involve fear for one’s life or the lives of one’s family. But just in the course of the last two years fear seems to have been spreading fast in large parts of European societies – and not only there. Collective fears have become reality again.

What do different academic disciplines have to say on this issue? In 8 different Lunch Lectures, FRIAS Fellows from disciplines as diverse as economics, film studies, medieval studies, political theory, sociology, psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy will reflect on the role of fear, its origins, consequences and meanings, in the present and in the past.