Can “Terror Management Theory” Help Us Navigate the Pandemic?

June 3, 2020
DESCRIPTION: Almost every aspect of human experience is shaped by “death anxiety,” a concept crystallized in recent decades by scholars and scientists exploring “Terror Management Theory” – none more so than Skidmore psychologist Sheldon Solomon.

Here we look at the pandemic experience and society’s Anthropocene options in this context with Solomon, Anthropocene analyst Simon Dalby, emerging scholars Katie Kish and Norman Kearney, and the playwright Karen Malpede, whose recent works focus on personal and societal challenges facing extreme climatic and biological futures. Also on hand is Susi Moser, who for decades has worked to build community and practitioner resilience in regions facing rapid climate change.

Host: Andy Revkin of Columbia University’s Earth Institute

Organizer: Dr. Katie Kish of McGill University and the Economics for the Anthropocene network.


Sheldon Solomon, Skidmore psychologist and TMT pioneer

Simon Dalby, Wilfrid Laurier University expert on Anthropocene geopolitics

Karen Malpede, author of 19 plays, with her latest, “Other Than We” and “Extreme Whether,” centering on on and societal challenges amid the climatic and biological disruption of this Anthropocene epoch.

Explore her work here:

Here’s an onstage interview I did with her after a performance of “Other Than We”:

Susanne Moser, resilience and climate adaptation consultant