Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia

An Open Seminar from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies and the History of Psychoanalysis Research Group

  • Wed 17 Nov 21

    17:00 - 18:30

  • Online

  • Event speaker

    George Makari, Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Emilia Halton-Hernandez

Join us for this fascinating seminar on a History of Xenophobia with George Makari

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 globalization 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.

The Speaker

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. A graduate of Brown University, Cornell University Medical College, and the Columbia University’s Psychoanalytic Center, he is presently a Guest Investigator at Rockefeller University and a faculty member of Columbia’s Psychoanalytic institute. 

Register your place

Entry is free and open to all but please register your place. Zoom login details will be emailed following registration.


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