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American Hysteria

Chelsey Weber-Smith

627
Followers
5.1K
Plays
American Hysteria

American Hysteria

Chelsey Weber-Smith

627
Followers
5.1K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through the lens of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of historical and modern American freak-outs, and the real social issues they act to cover up. An in-depth alternative history, the show also analyzes how issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class have informed our beliefs from the Puritans to the present.Subscribe now on Apple, Google, Spotify, or where ever you get your podcasts.

Latest Episodes

Death

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 (https://www.patreon.com/americanhysteria) . We love you all so much, thank you for being the best audience we could ever hope for <3 Consider donating to the nonprofits and organizations we mentioned in this episode. (https://audioboom.com/posts/7602307-a-message-from-the-team) Check out the new season of CBC’s Uncover: Dead Wrong (https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/uncover/id1364665348) Get two audiobooks for the price of one when you sign up for a monthly membership to Libro.fm (libro.fm/redeem/HYSTERIA) , promo code HYSTERIA Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith (http://www.chelseywebersmith.com/) Audio production by Clear Commo Studios (https://clearcommo.com/) Co-researched and written by Riley Smith And co-produced by Miranda Zickler Voice acting also by Will Rogers Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: Americanhysteriapodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast) 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

51 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Death

Wondery presents Murder in Hollywoodland

It's February 2nd 1922, and all of Hollywood is about to wake up and learn that William Desmond Taylor, the most famous film director in town, was murdered in his home last night. The investigation will shine a light on some of Hollywood's most scandalous affairs, backroom deals, and underground drug dens. This real life Murder Mystery is one of the most iconic "whodunnit" cases of the 20th century that will leave you guessing and second guessing who killed William Desmond Taylor for weeks to come. Listen today at wondery.fm/americanhysteriaMiH (http://wondery.fm/smalltownMiH)

6 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Wondery presents Murder in Hollywoodland

What We Inherit: A Brief History of American Racism

The national and international protests over the death of George Floyd have generated larger and more widespread conversations about systemic racism in the United States. We hope to use our platform to help provide context and understanding around our shared moment in history, to show how our past creates our present, and to help illuminate how anti-Black racism has been passed on through our culture and politics, changing with each generation but also very much staying the same. Here are some books by Black folks that helped create this episode that we strongly recommend for further reading: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi Choke Hold by Paul Butler Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay Find these and more on our Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast) #AmericanHysteriaBookClub This episode was put together by Chelsey Weber-Smith, Riley Smith, Rod Rodriguez, and M...

41 MIN3 w ago
Comments
What We Inherit: A Brief History of American Racism

Introducing Truth vs Hollywood

Introducing the newest Audioboom original podcast, Truth vs Hollywood. Join Film lovers David Chen and Joanna Robinson as they do a deep dive into well known films and discuss how similar they are to the actual story. Truth vs Hollywood premieres 6/12. Subscribe to Truth vs Hollywood on Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/truth-vs-hollywood/id1510582080) or wherever you listen. **Proceeds from this ad will be donated**

14 MINJUN 12
Comments
Introducing Truth vs Hollywood

A message from the team

Like many shows, we are taking a break this week. We will be back next Monday with an audio guide that we hope can provide historical context and understanding around the nation-wide protests. After that we will be back with our season finale. Please take care of yourselves and others. Here are some nonprofits and groups to support: People's Kitchen Collective (http://peopleskitchencollective.com/) Reparations (https://www.facebook.com/groups/reparations.me/) (Facebook group) Homeless Backpacks (https://homelessbackpacks.org/) GiveDirectly (https://www.givedirectly.org/)

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
A message from the team

#Gamergate

The internet hate campaign known as #gamergate began in February of 2013 when video game developer Zoe Quinn put out a simple, text-based game called Depression Quest that attempted to show players what it was like to live with this illness. After receiving positive reviews and write-ups, a swath of misogynistic trolls in the gaming community took to message boards to rail on the game they saw as a feminist, political correctness conspiracy to infiltrate their male dominated space, and the fire was only stoked by a long-winded “call out” by Zoe’s ex-boyfriend leading to mass harassment including death threats, rape threats, and the leaking of Zoe’s email, social media, phone number, home address, and nude photos. Here are the episodes to revisit and share with those who may need more context and understanding around the current protests: -Monsters (S2E5) is about how the language of the monstrous has been used to create fear around black folks. -Drugs (S1E9) is about the way sub...

26 MINJUN 1
Comments
#Gamergate

Men's Rights

In 2014, a young man named named Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree as revenge for the beautiful women who had denied him the sex he believed he was entitled to. In February of 2020, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was presented with one of the highest national honors, a man who has never shied away from his theories about the oppressive forces of “Feminazis.” There are growing subcultures of men who subscribe to the idea that is is American men, not women, who are the true victims of oppression, while at the same time, condoning and even committing violence against women. But we’ll look at the far more gentle roots of both the Involuntary Celibacy culture and Men’s Rights Movement, and how they were once spaces of support and solidarity. In order to understand the problems of toxic masculinity, we’ll have to look at all its victims, not just women, but the men that suffer under its demands as well. Please consider donating to A Call to Men (https://www.acalltomen.org/support)...

54 MINMAY 25
Comments
Men's Rights

The Curse of the Lottery

Have you ever heard of the Curse of the Lottery? The legend that most, if not all big winners eventually face everything from bankruptcy to untimely death? We’ll explore whether there is any truth to this alleged phenomenon through a handful of stories that both support and refute this modern urban legend, a kind of folkloric Monkey’s Paw story that tells us, be careful what you wish for. If you like our show, please consider donating to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/americanhysteria) for extra content each month! We can really use your support right now. Visit http://www.betterhelp.com/ah for 10% off your first month of Betterhelp online therapy Download Best Fiends (https://bestfiends.com/) FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play For 15% off your first order of Ray Con headphones, head to http://www.buyraycon.com/ah American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith (https://www.chelseywebersmith.com/) Sound production by Clear Commo Studios (htt...

31 MINMAY 4
Comments
The Curse of the Lottery

Get Rich Quick

The search for untold riches has always been at the heart of America, from its very beginning as a nation founded on the search for gold. For this episode, we’ll look at several manifestations of this hope to “get rich quick” and the psychology of luck and ritual, of dreams themselves, both dreams of the future, and dreams that predict it. We’ll start with the most modern get rich quick ideas in the style of The Secret, the 2006 self-help book that make Americans believe that all you need to do to become wealthy is to manifest it with your thoughts, and that the poor are poor because they are attracting poverty to themselves. Then we’ll look at the way that the colonies were funded by early lotteries, the strange rituals of treasure hunting, and the way the gold rush changed American psychology. We’ll look too at the stories happening in the background, the far more modest dreams of black enslaved and oppressed people, who had their own rituals and had their own dreams to get ...

53 MINAPR 27
Comments
Get Rich Quick

Introducing An Acquired Taste

Every week Bethany and Kathleen get together to chat about their lives and what's weird in the world, and they're inviting you to join them! Pull up a chair. Pour yourself something warm or strong or bubbly. There's room at the Table for everyone! Subscribe now on Apple! (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/an-acquired-taste-podcast/id1138061190)

8 MINAPR 7
Comments
Introducing An Acquired Taste

Latest Episodes

Death

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 (https://www.patreon.com/americanhysteria) . We love you all so much, thank you for being the best audience we could ever hope for <3 Consider donating to the nonprofits and organizations we mentioned in this episode. (https://audioboom.com/posts/7602307-a-message-from-the-team) Check out the new season of CBC’s Uncover: Dead Wrong (https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/uncover/id1364665348) Get two audiobooks for the price of one when you sign up for a monthly membership to Libro.fm (libro.fm/redeem/HYSTERIA) , promo code HYSTERIA Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith (http://www.chelseywebersmith.com/) Audio production by Clear Commo Studios (https://clearcommo.com/) Co-researched and written by Riley Smith And co-produced by Miranda Zickler Voice acting also by Will Rogers Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: Americanhysteriapodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast) 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

51 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Death

Wondery presents Murder in Hollywoodland

It's February 2nd 1922, and all of Hollywood is about to wake up and learn that William Desmond Taylor, the most famous film director in town, was murdered in his home last night. The investigation will shine a light on some of Hollywood's most scandalous affairs, backroom deals, and underground drug dens. This real life Murder Mystery is one of the most iconic "whodunnit" cases of the 20th century that will leave you guessing and second guessing who killed William Desmond Taylor for weeks to come. Listen today at wondery.fm/americanhysteriaMiH (http://wondery.fm/smalltownMiH)

6 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Wondery presents Murder in Hollywoodland

What We Inherit: A Brief History of American Racism

The national and international protests over the death of George Floyd have generated larger and more widespread conversations about systemic racism in the United States. We hope to use our platform to help provide context and understanding around our shared moment in history, to show how our past creates our present, and to help illuminate how anti-Black racism has been passed on through our culture and politics, changing with each generation but also very much staying the same. Here are some books by Black folks that helped create this episode that we strongly recommend for further reading: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi Choke Hold by Paul Butler Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay Find these and more on our Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast) #AmericanHysteriaBookClub This episode was put together by Chelsey Weber-Smith, Riley Smith, Rod Rodriguez, and M...

41 MIN3 w ago
Comments
What We Inherit: A Brief History of American Racism

Introducing Truth vs Hollywood

Introducing the newest Audioboom original podcast, Truth vs Hollywood. Join Film lovers David Chen and Joanna Robinson as they do a deep dive into well known films and discuss how similar they are to the actual story. Truth vs Hollywood premieres 6/12. Subscribe to Truth vs Hollywood on Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/truth-vs-hollywood/id1510582080) or wherever you listen. **Proceeds from this ad will be donated**

14 MINJUN 12
Comments
Introducing Truth vs Hollywood

A message from the team

Like many shows, we are taking a break this week. We will be back next Monday with an audio guide that we hope can provide historical context and understanding around the nation-wide protests. After that we will be back with our season finale. Please take care of yourselves and others. Here are some nonprofits and groups to support: People's Kitchen Collective (http://peopleskitchencollective.com/) Reparations (https://www.facebook.com/groups/reparations.me/) (Facebook group) Homeless Backpacks (https://homelessbackpacks.org/) GiveDirectly (https://www.givedirectly.org/)

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
A message from the team

#Gamergate

The internet hate campaign known as #gamergate began in February of 2013 when video game developer Zoe Quinn put out a simple, text-based game called Depression Quest that attempted to show players what it was like to live with this illness. After receiving positive reviews and write-ups, a swath of misogynistic trolls in the gaming community took to message boards to rail on the game they saw as a feminist, political correctness conspiracy to infiltrate their male dominated space, and the fire was only stoked by a long-winded “call out” by Zoe’s ex-boyfriend leading to mass harassment including death threats, rape threats, and the leaking of Zoe’s email, social media, phone number, home address, and nude photos. Here are the episodes to revisit and share with those who may need more context and understanding around the current protests: -Monsters (S2E5) is about how the language of the monstrous has been used to create fear around black folks. -Drugs (S1E9) is about the way sub...

26 MINJUN 1
Comments
#Gamergate

Men's Rights

In 2014, a young man named named Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree as revenge for the beautiful women who had denied him the sex he believed he was entitled to. In February of 2020, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was presented with one of the highest national honors, a man who has never shied away from his theories about the oppressive forces of “Feminazis.” There are growing subcultures of men who subscribe to the idea that is is American men, not women, who are the true victims of oppression, while at the same time, condoning and even committing violence against women. But we’ll look at the far more gentle roots of both the Involuntary Celibacy culture and Men’s Rights Movement, and how they were once spaces of support and solidarity. In order to understand the problems of toxic masculinity, we’ll have to look at all its victims, not just women, but the men that suffer under its demands as well. Please consider donating to A Call to Men (https://www.acalltomen.org/support)...

54 MINMAY 25
Comments
Men's Rights

The Curse of the Lottery

Have you ever heard of the Curse of the Lottery? The legend that most, if not all big winners eventually face everything from bankruptcy to untimely death? We’ll explore whether there is any truth to this alleged phenomenon through a handful of stories that both support and refute this modern urban legend, a kind of folkloric Monkey’s Paw story that tells us, be careful what you wish for. If you like our show, please consider donating to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/americanhysteria) for extra content each month! We can really use your support right now. Visit http://www.betterhelp.com/ah for 10% off your first month of Betterhelp online therapy Download Best Fiends (https://bestfiends.com/) FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play For 15% off your first order of Ray Con headphones, head to http://www.buyraycon.com/ah American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith (https://www.chelseywebersmith.com/) Sound production by Clear Commo Studios (htt...

31 MINMAY 4
Comments
The Curse of the Lottery

Get Rich Quick

The search for untold riches has always been at the heart of America, from its very beginning as a nation founded on the search for gold. For this episode, we’ll look at several manifestations of this hope to “get rich quick” and the psychology of luck and ritual, of dreams themselves, both dreams of the future, and dreams that predict it. We’ll start with the most modern get rich quick ideas in the style of The Secret, the 2006 self-help book that make Americans believe that all you need to do to become wealthy is to manifest it with your thoughts, and that the poor are poor because they are attracting poverty to themselves. Then we’ll look at the way that the colonies were funded by early lotteries, the strange rituals of treasure hunting, and the way the gold rush changed American psychology. We’ll look too at the stories happening in the background, the far more modest dreams of black enslaved and oppressed people, who had their own rituals and had their own dreams to get ...

53 MINAPR 27
Comments
Get Rich Quick

Introducing An Acquired Taste

Every week Bethany and Kathleen get together to chat about their lives and what's weird in the world, and they're inviting you to join them! Pull up a chair. Pour yourself something warm or strong or bubbly. There's room at the Table for everyone! Subscribe now on Apple! (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/an-acquired-taste-podcast/id1138061190)

8 MINAPR 7
Comments
Introducing An Acquired Taste

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