The Majority Report with Sam Seder

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Regina Kunzel, professor of history and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Yale University, to discuss her recent book In the Shadow of Diagnosis: Psychiatric Power and Queer Life. Then, she speaks with Beshara Doumani, professor of Palestinian studies at Brown University, to discuss the 76th anniversary of the Nakba. First, Emma runs through updates on South Africa’s ICJ appeal to stop Israel’s Rafah invasion, growing public dissent from Biden allies to his support of Israel’s genocide, the US’ detainment of an anti-zionist Israeli academic, Bob Menendez’s genius legal tactic, the assassination attempt on Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Trump’s legal woes, Argentinian homophobic hate crimes, and Louisiana gerrymandering, before watching CNN try to save face on their coverage of the violence against student protesters. Professor Regina Kunzel then dives right into the history of the psychiatric industry, from its roots as a custodial care industry (asylums, etc) in the 19th Century, through its slow battle for professional legitimacy over the first half of the 1900s, exploring how this push for legitimacy saw the industry lay claim to a wide range of “problems in living” such as anxiety, depression, and (importantly) homosexuality and gender nonconformity. Expanding on this, Professor Kunzel tackles the presentation of queerness as a “treatable” mental disorder, one that would eventually be codified as a personality disorder (alongside pedophilia and sadism) with the introduction of the DSM in 1952, before stepping back to look at the role World War II, and more specifically the emphasis on mental health screenings, had in giving state-backed legitimacy to the psychiatric industry writ large, and in its particular pathologization of queer identity. After looking at the central role de-pathologizing homosexuality played in the gay rights movement of the 1970s, and the side-effect of gender “deviance” taking a back seat to homosexuality, Professor Kunzel wraps up with the re-emergence of the medical and psychiatric attack on queer identity with the mainstreaming of transphobic politics over the last decade. Professor Beshara Doumani then joins, walking through the 76 years of Palestinian oppression and ethnic cleansing since the 1948 Nakba, with the original event seeing the expulsion of over 80% of Palestinians from their homes, the end of the Palestinian state (and Palestinian society), and the creation of the State of Israel in the vacuum left by British colonial rule. Continuing the conversation, Professor Doumani contextualizes the central role the Nakba plays in Palestinian trauma and oppression to this day, exacerbated and brought to the fore with the following “earthquakes” of the 1967 Six-Day War, which saw hundreds of thousands more Palestinians ethnically cleansed, and the Oslo Accords complete isolation of Palestinians between the river and the sea. After diving deeper into the particular failure of the 2-state “solution,” Professor Doumani walks Emma through the specific repression he’s faced as a Palestinian academic, and the tremendous increase it has seen in the wake of October 7th.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they watch British bigot Mike Graham boot Arab-Israeli Jew Avi Shlaim from his program for being honest about Israeli apartheid. Alec from Western New York explores the evolution of his perspective on anti-zionism, Mike in Denver on the second coming of meme-stock, and Bumble creator discusses the alienating future of AI-infused dating. Plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Regina's book here: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo212129044.html

Hear Beshara speak more about the Nakba here: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2024/05/15/al-nakba-palestinians

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The Majority Report with Sam Seder - https://majorityreportradio.com/

Direct download: 5_16_Kunzel_Doumani-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT