Research Seminar: Dr David Tyrer (LJMU) – “The Politics of Phobia”

Research Seminar: Dr David Tyrer (LJMU) – “The Politics of Phobia”

Why we fear what we fear is a question that has long fascinated LJMU’s own David Tyrer. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, David studies the phenomenon of phobias from a cultural, historical, and sociological perspective.  His studies range from the depiction of phobias in pieces of art, to the sociological use of the word as a byword for hatred- such as homophobia and xenophobia. David opened his talk with a discussion of the history of phobias.  Coming from the Greek for “fear”, the term was popularised during the 19th century with many being intrinsically connected to historical events.  For example, the concept of claustrophobia and agoraphobia first materialise during the Franco-Prussian War – claustrophobia during the siege of Paris, and agoraphobia following the relief of the city. As well as their relationship to historical events, David also detailed how phobias were used as political tools.  With the modern classification of phobia occurring in 1871, the concepts then went under a medicalization during...
Read More