Conference at Yale to Explore the Psychology of Genocide and Terrorism

Yale University will host a free, public conference on “Genocide and Terrorism: Probing the Mind of the Perpetrator” on April 11 in the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., 9 a.m.-6:15 p.m.

Keynote speaker will be Matthias Kuntzel, a political scientist from Germany, who will present a talk on “Islamic Terrorism and Anti-Semitism: The Mission against Modernity” at 9 a.m.

The first panel, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., will focus on Nazism. Speakers will be Yale faculty members. Bernhard Giesen, visiting professor of sociology, will present “The Trauma of the Perpetrator.” Ernst Prelinger, professor of psychology, will discuss “Thoughts on Hate and Emptiness” and Aleida Assmann, visiting professor of Germanic languages and literatures, will speak on “The Discrepancy between Official and Social Memory in Germany after World War II.”

“Islamic Jihad-A Case of Global, Non-state Terrorism?” is the focus of the second panel, 2-3:30 p.m. Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan, will speak on Muhammad Atta and the psychology of religious terrorism. Raphael Israeli, professor of history at Wesleyan, will discuss “Islamikaze and its Ramifications.”

The final panel, 3:30-5:30 p.m., will address the changes wrought in individuals and societies by large-scale violence. Speakers will be Martha Bragin, psychoanalyst with the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; Charles Mironko, anthropologist and visiting fellow at the Watson Institute; and Arjun Appadurai, the William K. Lanman Professor of International Studies and Anthropology at Yale.

Following the final session, there will be open discussion with the panelists, a reception and dinner.

The conference is organized by the Genocide Studies Program of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Dori Laub, professor of psychiatry, is the conference coordinator.

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