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Jonathan Metzl

Jonathan Metzl

Keynote Speaker: Professor of Sociology & Psychiatry, Director of the Center for Medicine, Health & Society at Vanderbilt University

Jonathan Metzl Biography

Jonathan Metzl is an acclaimed physician and sociologist who speaks, teaches, and writes on a range of topics including mental illness and gun violence, race and whiteness in America, health and healthcare, and diversity and structural competency in higher education. Jonathan Metzl is the author of the groundbreaking book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland. A New York Times bestseller, the book is an in-depth look at why so many working-class white Americans support politicians whose policies are literally killing them. The book was also the winner of the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Being a gun violence expert, professor, and psychiatrist is a unique combination that allows Dr. Metzl to speak and write about gun violence in America, and in particular to address stereotypes that link guns with race or mental illness, or that blame mental illness for mass shootings and other gun crimes.

The topic is the focus of Dr. Metzl’s forthcoming, What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, a highly-anticipated book that, by looking at a racially-charged mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, reexamines how we as a nation should address gun violence.

Jonathan M. Metzl MD, PhD, is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the director of the Department of 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. Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Book Award, the 2020 APA Benjamin Rush Award for Scholarship, and a 2010 Guggenheim fellowship, Dr. Metzl has written extensively about the relationships between guns, mass shootings, and mental illness. His books include The Protest Psychosis, Prozac on the Couch, Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, and What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Jonathan Metzl and other top speakers and celebrities.

Jonathan Metzl Speaking Topics

What Weve Become – Guns in America

“What is the meaning of public health in an armed society?” asks psychiatrist and author Dr. JONATHAN METZL. In his vital new book, What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, Metzl takes on an urgent topic: mass shootings and the contested social and racial politics of American firearms. Rather than preaching to one side or the other of the polarizing gun debate, he asks us to step back and think of the broader questions we face as a nation: How do we imagine safety? Are the divisions too deep, or is it possible to come together in solidarity? And, how on earth did we get here? This piercing analysis shows mass shootings as a symptom of our deepest unresolved conflicts. Metzl ultimately lights the long road of alliance-forging, racial-reckoning, and political power-brokering we must take to set things right.

A renowned psychiatrist and professor, Dr. Jonathan Metzl is a widely sought after speaker on topics ranging from race, racism, and mental health to “structural competency” and medical education, to health in the U.S. South, to the politics of racial resentment in America. In his genre-shifting book Dying of Whiteness, which won the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and many other honors, he changed how we understand what it means to be white in an age where the politics of racial resentment are higher than ever before. A regular commentator for major media outlets like ABC News and MSNBC, Metzl is also the Director of Vanderbilt’s Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, and author of several acclaimed books that challenge the ways we think about illness and health—including Dying of Whiteness, The Protest Psychosis, Prozac on the Couch, and Against Health.

His latest book, What We’ve Become, Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, is a vital new perspective on our current moment. Using the lens of gun reform, Metzl shows how we can reckon with our national conflicts and forge a new path towards racial justice and solidarity. “What We’ve Become is not just a book about guns,” Jonathan says. Rather, it’s about how we can still come together to build a healthy democracy: by creating structures “that foster everyday life, education, pleasure, and commerce, bolster shared investment rather than mistrust, and welcome people who can engage with one another free from fear.” What We’ve Become is a New York Times Book Review Staff Pick and has been hailed as “consistently persuasive” by Kirkus, which calls it “a powerful, convincing effort to reframe the discussion.”

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Shaped the American Pandemic Moment

Jonathan Metzl’s award-winning 2019 book, Dying of Whiteness, provided a warning: white Americans were drawn to politicians who pledged to make their lives great again, but whose policies actually placed them at greater risk of illness and death. Racial resentment fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, caused resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and drove cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. The direct results of these policies? Increasing deaths by gun suicide, rising dropout rates, and falling life expectancies. As Dr. Metzl shows in this talk, rather than mobilizing a course correction, falling life expectancy became the core on which was built an ever-more-expansive political movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to widespread dismantling of public health infrastructure and reinforcement of racial and class hierarchies. This talk ultimately offers a smart and necessary plan for working collectively toward a society that would be healthier for everyone.

Structural Competency: New Medicine for Inequalities That are Making Us Sick

As the US health care system looks to adapt to new, post-pandemic norms, we must begin to address the inequities made even more apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can we reimagine and redesign the health care delivery and education systems through a lens of health equity and racial justice? Dr. Metzl argues that the answer lies with Structural Competency which calls for a new approach to the relationships among race, class, and symptom expression. While many health care professionals, social workers, and public health practitioners have long addressed structural determinants of health, clinical care has been focused on the individual, and often restricts the scope of cultural competency training to the beliefs and behaviors of individual patients. In this keynote, Dr. Metzl underscores how Structural Competency aims to develop a language and set of interventions to reduce health inequalities at the level of neighborhoods, institutions, and policies.

Protest Psychosis: What the Race-Based Overdiagnosis of Schizophrenia in the 1960s Reveals About Today’s CRT Wars

Battles over the role of “race” in education and the structures that uphold racial privilege and inequity burst into the national spotlight in the 2020s. But the origins of the debate, and the politics that undergird it, track back decades, and play out in unexpected ways. In this thought-provoking talk, Dr. Metzl provides an analysis of how, within the sociopolitical context of the 1960s and 1970s, the intersection of race and mental health altered the way that mental illness was diagnosed, understood, and treated in the United States. Once considered a nonthreatening disease that primarily targeted white middle-class women, Metzl provides an historical exploration of how schizophrenia became associated with the perceived hostility, rebellion, mistrust, and violence of Black men during the Civil Rights movement. Part historical case study and part social commentary, Metzl utilizes the complex history of the Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Ionia, Michigan to showcase the detrimental impact that shifting definitions of schizophrenia had on Black men, and the implications of that history for CRT debates in the present-day.

Jonathan Metzl Videos

P&P Live! Jonathan Metzl | DYING OF WHITENESS in conversation ...
Jonathan Metzl on political issues that could impact your health ...
Jonathan Metzl, MD: A New Paradigm for Race & Racisms in Medicine

How do I book Jonathan Metzl to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Jonathan Metzl for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Jonathan Metzl, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Jonathan Metzl or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Jonathan Metzl for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Jonathan Metzl, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Jonathan Metzl are $10,000 - $20,000 for live events and Below $10,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Jonathan Metzl, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Jonathan Metzl speak about?

Jonathan Metzl is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Healthcare, Health, Nutrition, Science, Big Think, Professors, Social Sciences, Economy, Social Activism, Diversity, Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery, Political, Psychology, Authors and Virtual.

Where does Jonathan Metzl travel from?

Jonathan Metzl generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Jonathan Metzl?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Jonathan Metzl for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jonathan Metzl for your next private or corporate function.

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Jonathan Metzl is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Healthcare, Health and Nutrition. The estimated speaking fee range to book Jonathan Metzl for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Jonathan Metzl generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Marty Makary, M.D., Vikram Patel and Nora D. Volkow. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jonathan Metzl for an upcoming event.

Jonathan Metzl Speaking Topics

  • What Weve Become – Guns in America

    “What is the meaning of public health in an armed society?” asks psychiatrist and author Dr. JONATHAN METZL. In his vital new book, What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, Metzl takes on an urgent topic: mass shootings and the contested social and racial politics of American firearms. Rather than preaching to one side or the other of the polarizing gun debate, he asks us to step back and think of the broader questions we face as a nation: How do we imagine safety? Are the divisions too deep, or is it possible to come together in solidarity? And, how on earth did we get here? This piercing analysis shows mass shootings as a symptom of our deepest unresolved conflicts. Metzl ultimately lights the long road of alliance-forging, racial-reckoning, and political power-brokering we must take to set things right.

    A renowned psychiatrist and professor, Dr. Jonathan Metzl is a widely sought after speaker on topics ranging from race, racism, and mental health to “structural competency” and medical education, to health in the U.S. South, to the politics of racial resentment in America. In his genre-shifting book Dying of Whiteness, which won the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and many other honors, he changed how we understand what it means to be white in an age where the politics of racial resentment are higher than ever before. A regular commentator for major media outlets like ABC News and MSNBC, Metzl is also the Director of Vanderbilt’s Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, and author of several acclaimed books that challenge the ways we think about illness and health—including Dying of Whiteness, The Protest Psychosis, Prozac on the Couch, and Against Health.

    His latest book, What We’ve Become, Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, is a vital new perspective on our current moment. Using the lens of gun reform, Metzl shows how we can reckon with our national conflicts and forge a new path towards racial justice and solidarity. “What We’ve Become is not just a book about guns,” Jonathan says. Rather, it’s about how we can still come together to build a healthy democracy: by creating structures “that foster everyday life, education, pleasure, and commerce, bolster shared investment rather than mistrust, and welcome people who can engage with one another free from fear.” What We’ve Become is a New York Times Book Review Staff Pick and has been hailed as “consistently persuasive” by Kirkus, which calls it “a powerful, convincing effort to reframe the discussion.”

  • Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Shaped the American Pandemic Moment

    Jonathan Metzl’s award-winning 2019 book, Dying of Whiteness, provided a warning: white Americans were drawn to politicians who pledged to make their lives great again, but whose policies actually placed them at greater risk of illness and death. Racial resentment fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, caused resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and drove cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. The direct results of these policies? Increasing deaths by gun suicide, rising dropout rates, and falling life expectancies. As Dr. Metzl shows in this talk, rather than mobilizing a course correction, falling life expectancy became the core on which was built an ever-more-expansive political movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to widespread dismantling of public health infrastructure and reinforcement of racial and class hierarchies. This talk ultimately offers a smart and necessary plan for working collectively toward a society that would be healthier for everyone.

  • Structural Competency: New Medicine for Inequalities That are Making Us Sick

    As the US health care system looks to adapt to new, post-pandemic norms, we must begin to address the inequities made even more apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can we reimagine and redesign the health care delivery and education systems through a lens of health equity and racial justice? Dr. Metzl argues that the answer lies with Structural Competency which calls for a new approach to the relationships among race, class, and symptom expression. While many health care professionals, social workers, and public health practitioners have long addressed structural determinants of health, clinical care has been focused on the individual, and often restricts the scope of cultural competency training to the beliefs and behaviors of individual patients. In this keynote, Dr. Metzl underscores how Structural Competency aims to develop a language and set of interventions to reduce health inequalities at the level of neighborhoods, institutions, and policies.

  • Protest Psychosis: What the Race-Based Overdiagnosis of Schizophrenia in the 1960s Reveals About Today’s CRT Wars

    Battles over the role of “race” in education and the structures that uphold racial privilege and inequity burst into the national spotlight in the 2020s. But the origins of the debate, and the politics that undergird it, track back decades, and play out in unexpected ways. In this thought-provoking talk, Dr. Metzl provides an analysis of how, within the sociopolitical context of the 1960s and 1970s, the intersection of race and mental health altered the way that mental illness was diagnosed, understood, and treated in the United States. Once considered a nonthreatening disease that primarily targeted white middle-class women, Metzl provides an historical exploration of how schizophrenia became associated with the perceived hostility, rebellion, mistrust, and violence of Black men during the Civil Rights movement. Part historical case study and part social commentary, Metzl utilizes the complex history of the Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Ionia, Michigan to showcase the detrimental impact that shifting definitions of schizophrenia had on Black men, and the implications of that history for CRT debates in the present-day.

Jonathan Metzl Videos

P&P Live! Jonathan Metzl | DYING OF WHITENESS in conversation ...
Jonathan Metzl on political issues that could impact your health ...
Jonathan Metzl, MD: A New Paradigm for Race & Racisms in Medicine
Men's Health and the Politics of Masculinity: Jonathan Metzl

Jonathan Metzl Reviews

  • I really can't say enough about Jonathan's open and easy communication. He's very generous, super easy to talk to, kind, and a great speaker. Thank you!
    Division of Research Kaiser Permanente - Aug 30 2022

  • Creighton University Kingfisher Institute - Oct 27 2020

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