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Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Reception

April 22, 2024 at 4:30pm6:00pm EDT

Bird Library, 6th floor

This event has already occurred. The information may no longer be valid.

This event has been rescheduled to April 22.

Plasticized: The Proliferation of Plastics in 20th Century 

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.

Communication Access Realtime Translation will be provided. If you require an accommodation or have dietary needs, please email Max Wagh by February 19 at  


This event was first published on November 21, 2023 and last updated on March 20, 2024.

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