Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Seminar Programme (current)

Academic Year 2021-2022

Conveners: Dr Louise Braddock, Professor Paul Tod, Dr Niall Gildea

Oxford Interdisciplinary Psychoanalysis Seminar: Hilary Term 2022

Monday 28th February 2022. Shaul Bar-Haim (Essex): 'The Shadow of Narcissism: (Jewish) Self-Hatred in the Age of Identity Politics'.

My talk aims to highlight the need to explore the political, historical and psychoanalytical dimensions of 'self-hatred'. I discuss ‘self-hatred’ as a genuine authentic, non-pathologized, and overlooked emotion that can help us understanding a core aspect of identity politics.


There is a whole history of the 'self-hating Jew' (similar but not equal to self-anti-Semite) which I'm going to present briefly – a concept which turned from a pathology in the 19th century, to a psychological and sociological concept in the mid-20th century, into a rhetorical accusation in debates mainly over Zionism and anti-Zionism. However, I argue, 'self-hatred' is functioning in discourses of identity groups such as the so-called ‘diaspora Jews’ as a sort of a 'shadow emotion' of narcissism, that is a degraded emotion which is illegitimate to express in public.

My goal will be to understand how self-hatred in general, and Jewish self-hatred in particular, became a cultural taboo; and also, to ask some questions about the inflation, I believe, in the idea of 'internalization' in identity discourses, and in the social sciences more generally, in a way that excludes the possibility for some emotions to be manifested publicly.

To register, please email Paul Tod at paul.tod@sjc.ox.ac.uk. The seminar, which is pre-recorded, will be available as an online link throughout the term.