The Evil, Empathy, and Finding Humanity: Lessons from the Robert E. Cormier Archive exhibit is the second in a series of three themed digital exhibits showcasing artifacts from the Robert Cormier Collection at Fitchburg State University's Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library. The 2015 exhibit Censorship and Intolerance addressed the topic of censorship, and the third and the 2020 exhibit, Twisted Intimacy, will center on the sexualization of children.

The aim of each exhibit is to highlight portions of the collection related to a core set of Cormier’s work with three novels for each digital exhibit. We imagine this exhibit as a base for developing conversations about Cormier, YA literature, and the subjects of abuse, bullying, and terrorism more broadly. Evil, Empathy, and Finding Humanity includes artifacts related to After the First Death, We All Fall Down, and Tunes for Bears to Dance To.

Robert Cormier’s work and influence in young adult literature are without question. To house his collection at Fitchburg State University is a privilege, and by digitizing portions of the collection, we encourage further scholarly work.

As you move through the exhibit, note that we have arranged materials into five collections visible from the "Browse Exhibits" on our top menu. As you open individual documents, keep in mind that clicking on a hyperlinked "tag" will bring you to a list of related documents from the archive.

Recently Added Items

Symposium poster 12 October 2016

Robert Cormier Symposium poster.png

The official symposium program includes the Instagram handle and Twitter hashtag. The sparse design includes the image of broken glass and a Robert…

Daniel Lowe's letter to Robert Cormier 20 April 2000

Daniel Letter280.jpg

Daniel Lowe writes to Robert Cormier with questions he hopes to use in an author report. He asks if Cormier was bullied or a bully in his past and if…

Wiz (possibly Craig Virden's) letter to Robert Cormier

Wiz Letter177.jpg

Wiz (likely Craig Virden) writes with what sounds like a second round of comments on a typescript of Tunes for Bears to Dance To. He speaks at length…

Stephanie Synder letter to Robert Cormier

Silver Lake Stephanie Synder lett047.tif

Stephanie formally invites Robert Cormier to visit Mrs. Anti's class and shares her faith in the author as the key to understanding a book's meaning.

Rachel Flynn letter to Robert Cormier

Silver Lake Rachel Flynn lett038.tif

Rachel shares her enthusiasm for After the First Death and her curiosity regarding points of confusion in the novel, which she hopes he will discuss…

Pamela Carpenter letter to Robert Cormier

Silver Lake Pamela Carpenter lett046.tif

Pamela writes about how Robert Cormier's After the First Death was the best of the four summer novels assigned by Mrs. Anti. She mentions the…