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British Psychoanalytic Association
Dr George Makari with Discussant, Marion Schoenfeld
Over the last few years, it has been impossible to ignore the steady resurgence of xenophobia. The European migrant crisis and immigration from Central America to the United States have placed Western advocates of globalisation on the defensive, and a ‘New Xenophobia’ seems to have emerged out of nowhere.
In this fascinating study, George Makari traces the history of xenophobia from its origins to the present day. Often perceived as an ancient word for a timeless problem, ‘xenophobia’ was in fact only coined a century ago, tied to heated and formative Western debates over nationalism, globalization, race and immigration. From Richard Wright to Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, writers and thinkers have long grappled with this most dangerous of phobias. Drawing on their work, Makari demonstrates how we can better understand the problem that is so crucial to our troubled times.
Historian, psychoanalyst, and psychiatrist George Makari is the Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry: History, Policy, and the Arts, and Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College, where for over two decades he has led efforts to integrate humanistic scholarship into mind/brain medicine and science. Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia (Yale U. Press, London; W.W Norton, New York, 2021), his third book, was preceded by two widely acclaimed histories, Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind (2015) and Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis (2008). His books have been or are being translated into ten languages and their findings have been the subject of eight symposia. His opinion pieces and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Massachusetts Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Boston Globe, and Time, in addition to his many articles in psychiatric journals. The recipient of numerous honors, in 2017 Dr. Makari was presented with the Benjamin Rush Award from the American Psychiatric Association. He lives with his family in New York City.
Marion Schoenfeld will be respondent and interlocutor. She is a psychoanalyst and member of the British Psychoanalytic Association. She works in private practice in London. She has a long-standing interest in the interdisciplinary application of psychoanalysis, focusing on ‘othering’ in relation to German history, gender and racism.
A Zoom link will be sent near the time.