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‘Plasticized: The Proliferation of Plastics in 20th Century’ Special Collections Exhibition 

February 26, 2024August 1, 2024 EST

Bird Library, 6th floor

In the second half of the 20th century, and particularly during the American post-World War II period, plastic technology and manufacturing progressed so rapidly that scholars have deemed this period the “Great Acceleration.” During these years, the spread of plastics exploded globally both in production and consumption, forever changing how we live our lives within the material world, altering Earth’s environment and human and non-human bodies in ways just now coming to the surface of our collective understanding. Curated by Lead Curator and Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, Courtney Hicks, Plasticized: The Proliferation of Plastics in the 20th Century presents archival materials which document a selection of plastics’ former lives, aspirations, applications, and affects while also offering a glimpse into the world of those individuals and communities often invisible behind the plastic objects themselves. Featuring materials from the the Plastics collection area at Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center,  these selections provide historical traces of those who imagined, designed, worked with, consumed, promoted, marketed, and resisted this uniquely synthetic material. Explore plastic through its industrial introduction to its universal presence in our everyday lives.

This event was first published on January 17, 2024 and last updated on February 22, 2024.

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