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Changing the Terms of Debate about Gun Violence: Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms

December 1, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Four assumptions frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings in the United States: (1) that mental illness causes gun violence, (2) that psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime, (3) that shootings represent the deranged acts of mentally ill loners, and (4) that gun control “won’t prevent” such incidents. Professor Metzl will address how assumptions about gun violence incorrectly link to stereotypes of mental illness and race in the United States. These issues become obscured when mass shootings come to stand in for all gun crime, and when “mentally ill” ceases to be a medical designation and becomes a sign of violent threat. Professor Metzl will also discuss how and why gun violence is a pertinent topic for the growing field of Health Humanities.

This event is presented by the Glasscock Medical Humanities Working Group.
Co-sponsors: Aggie Agora, Department of English, and the Sociology Colloquium.
Attendees must RSVP at http://glasscock.tamu.edu/programs/co-sponsored-events/metzl/.

Location: MSC Ballroom, Room 2300E
Reception to follow at the University Club Mezzanine.

See Texas A&M story: Prominent scholar to give lecture on mental illness and gun violence

Jonathan Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his MD from the University of Missouri, MA in humanities/poetics and Psychiatric internship/residency from Stanford University, and PhD in American Culture from University of Michigan. A 2008 Guggenheim fellow, Professor Metzl has written extensively for medical, psychiatric, and popular publications. His books include The Protest Psychosis, Prozac on the Couch, and Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality.


December 1, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Texas A&M University – MSC Ballroom, Room 2300E
275 Joe Routt Boulevard, Room 2300E
College Station, TX 77843 United States
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