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Hysteria! cover art

Hysteria!

By: Phoebe Bennett,Nick Minter
Narrated by: Alice Lowe
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  • Summary

  • Hysteria! presents tales of howling nuns, fainting schoolgirls, witches, wombs, online panics and threats – both imagined and real. Crossing decades and continents, and from personal panics to societal scares, Alice Lowe explores hysterical behaviour. Come join the delirium....

    Hysteria is a word that regularly gets misused. It gets attached to everything from overly emotional behaviour to moral panics, via stock market crashes, stampedes, viral videos and more. It's often used – pejoratively – about women, and it shares its roots with the ancient Greek word for womb. The story of hysteria touches on issues of stigma, gender, morality and power. But how do we separate mass psychogenic illness from mere emotional excess?

    Filmmaker, actress and writer Alice Lowe has long been fascinated by the grey area between behavioural control and abandon. In this six-part series, she explores what we really mean when we talk about frenzies, fevers, manias and panics – both individually and throughout society.

    Produced by Wisebuddah for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all6 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Film, Nuns and Deathly Dances
    Jul 24 2019

    Cinema thrives on hysterical characters, especially when they inhabit closed environments such as convents or girls schools. But what can we make of the dozens of people who died during a dancing epidemic in medieval France?

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    34 mins
  • Ep. 2: Witches, Wombs and Women
    Jul 24 2019

    Hysteria shares its etymological roots with the ancient Greek word for womb. Does that explain why women are still more likely than men to be accused of hysterical behaviour?

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    25 mins
  • Ep. 3: Spirits, Angels and Seances
    Jul 24 2019

    Death – or being in close proximity to death – encourages unusual social behaviour. From the birth of Spiritualism to WW1 and beyond, how are our beliefs shaped by the people we lose?

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    28 mins

What listeners say about Hysteria!

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Love love love!

I really enjoyed this! I just wish there were more episodes! Thought the narration was excellent too. Genuinely just wish there was more. Such an interesting topic and really got me thinking.

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7 people found this helpful

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interesting

it was interesting and informative would listen to it again enjoyed it will pass it on

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Thought Provoking

Fascinating topic and I enjoyed the way they covered the very strange historical stuff through to the forms it takes in modern life. Thought provoking

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7 people found this helpful

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meowing nuns to demons and anti vax

loved it! It started with meowing nuns and ends with combining demons and antivax hysteria (the fact the last episode combines demons and anti vax was hilarious to me.) I very much enjoyed this series

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6 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful and thought-provoking

Interesting topic, well researched and very well presented.I felt the first couple of episodes seemed a bit unfocused and lacking depth (although that could be down to a scarcity of early source material or just wanting to provide a grounding for the later events), but the later episodes were excellent and honestly changed my opinion about the "reality" (if that's the right word) of mass hysteria.

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Fantasticly entertaining and informative

Really enjoyed listening. Made me want to look into the issues further and link it to gender performativity theory.

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Best listen since West Cork

Loved this. Alice Lowe's Hysteria is intelligent and entertaining with great narration. Interesting content, fascinating investigation and best thing I've listened to since the superb West Cork. More please.

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Historical significance

Interestingly shows how the word 'hysteria' has evolved from antiquity to present day mass panics.

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Love this, insightful and humourous.

Well researched, a wide range of experts and topics covered. Fascinating and handled with great sensitivity and insight.

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A fascinating look at a lesser known phenomenon

Alice Lowe masterfully blends historical and contemporary accounts with eyewitness testimony and expert opinion. brilliant.

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